Three Reasons I Often Avoid the Daily Post Prompt

It has come to my attention that I have a remarkably poor track record of actually writing about the Daily Post daily prompt. For those of you who don’t know, the Daily Post prompt is a remarkable series of ideas, produced each day, to allow bloggers to write about something for that day. Remember in high school when teachers made you write an essay based on a prompt? It’s kind of like that. For example, today’s prompt is called Inside the Bubble, and it requires you consider how you would spend a month in quarantine.

I find the daily prompt to be nothing short of the single best blogging tool I’ve ever utilized. My blogging skills have improved ten times since I started using it. Please allow me to repeat myself in case someone from Daily Post (preferably on the Freshly Pressed committee) happens to be reading this. The Daily Post daily prompt is amazing. It is my lifeline, and it better not go anywhere!

But Matt, you say, you’ve only followed the prompt like twice since you’ve been here. Not to mention, both of those posts have been kind of “meh.”

Exactly. That’s exactly the point. When I write precisely to the prompt the quality of the post goes down. Considerably. Here are three reasons why.

1. I write better posts when I’m not constrained to a particular set of expectations.

Some writers perform best when they are given a particular framework and told to run with it. I am not one of those writers. The blank page with the flashing cursor inspires me. The feeling of the buttons of the keyboard hitting the tips of my fingers makes me feel good, and that feeling rides with the letters as they transition from the mind and are immortalized forever in their eternal digital home. The problem is, they don’t always manifest themselves as a perfect fit for another person’s vision.

I don’t write narratives on my blogs.
I write feelings.

These things, although inspiring or somber, are almost always incompatible with the daily prompt. And that is perfectly fine.

2. Just because they don’t follow the prompt doesn’t mean they’re not inspired by the prompt.

Have you ever seen a movie that’s “based on a true story?” Very often, the story will be changed considerably to fit the type of style that works for film. The films that are almost exact replicas of the events portrayed are almost always considered boring except to a particular niche audience.

My blogs are often the same way. They are “based on a true writing prompt.” I’ll often make changes to the prompt, though, until they become almost unrecognizable. I’ll change birth to death. I’ll change happy to melancholy. I’ll change up many of the key components of the prompt until I have a completely new one. But it still doesn’t change the fact that I still draw inspiration from it. Then it just becomes an opinion if I’m off-prompt or not.

3. Isn’t the whole point of Daily Post to, well, post daily?

Daily Post seems to be training ground for people to develop good habits of blogging. The most important good habit is to post daily, which I’m sure is where the site got its name. Since I’ve started using this resource, I’ve posted Monday through Friday almost without fail. It seems like it shouldn’t matter exactly what you write about, as long as it is well written and develops you as a writer and enhances your audience.

So, I’m horrible at following instructions. I completely agree with that sentiment. But is that really such a bad thing? After all, a kind of eccentricity seems to be what makes an artist better at his or her craft.


about the author

Paper is made from trees, and paper is used for writing, and blogging is a form of writing, and this is a blog about blogging. Okay fine, picture unrelated.




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