I’m not a huge fan of blog posts that offer suggestions for writing exercises (“Imagine you have just one wish” or “Pretend you’ve found some treasure”). And I don’t like books that offer writing prompts (“You’ve just woken up in a place where you can’t speak the language, write for 5 minutes on what you would do next”). I just don’t see the point. 50% of the attraction of writing is because you think you have something to say that comes from your head. Why waste precious writing time on an unoriginal thought?
It’s the famous Mark Twain quote, “I didn’t have time to write you a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead”. When aspiring authors get asked, “What’s your book about?”, it’s usually the time we scrunch up our face and tell people we prefer not to say, it’s bad luck, or we go shy. Most of the time, I think it’s because we can’t reduce what the hell we’ve spent months writing into one or two simple sentences.