Writing prompts by Christine Frazier of betternovelproject.com in the #writeandrun31 Facebook group.

Day 1

“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”

We’ve committed to two simple goals for January: write and run, every single day. Today, imagine it’s January 31st, the last day of the challenge. Write about the steps you took to make your own luck this month.

What did your routine look like? Did you lay out your running clothes before you went to bed, so they were waiting for you when you woke up? Did you keep your phone out of reach in another room while you did your writing? Describe how you feel with your new habits in place as you “look back” at January 2015. If you’d like, share your thoughts in the comment or post a link to your blog.

Day 2

If you don’t know what to write about, a great way to get started is to look at a picture.

As a novelist, try describing the scene using *all five senses* from the point of view of the window washer dressed as Batman.

As a blogger/journal-er, try to relate your own story to the emotions in the photo, and use it a as jumping off point for a post. For example, has a random act of whimsy ever helped you get through a tough moment? [Photo from Reuters: http://buff.ly/1D8GiV6 ]

Day 3

1. Choose one song that always makes you feel like running, and one song that puts you in the mood to write.

2. Write one gorgeous sentence describing each song– don’t be shy– go ahead and get flowery just this once.

3. Then write about why the songs have an effect on you. (What need do they fulfill?)

Day 4

Writing AND running are all about the mind games. Sometimes I feel like keeping my self-doubt under control is half the battle. For today’s prompt, stay positive by writing about a random compliment you received– something that really surprised you. (hat tip to http://buff.ly/1Almg95)

Day 5

What is your blog’s FAQ? I know that Matt Frazier gets “But where do you get your protein?” a lot. My blog (which outlines the common elements of bestsellers) often gets “Won’t using this outline create a cliché story?”

Today, write a post that answers that question.

If you don’t have a blog, write about the most common FAQ you get in another aspect of your life– maybe even why you are participating in ‪#‎writeandrun31‬.

Day 6

Absurd fantasy time! What do you think about while you run? Sometimes, my mind wanders off in the weirdest daydreams, most involving me doing an unlikely combination of heroic acts in front of a cheering crowd. Yeah, right! Today, write about a recurring daydream you have, no matter how “unrealistic.” Is your daydream standing in as a symbol for something else you crave?

Day 7

Critic check! Is there a mean voice living in your head? Would you ever keep a friend around who speaks to you like…the way you speak to yourself? It’s one thing to cringe at your middle-school era fashion sense, and another thing to truly beat yourself about decisions and progress you’ve made.

Today’s prompt comes from ‪#‎writeandrun31‬ member Laura Martin: “I thought this might be helpful in encouraging people to be supportive and kind to themselves when they fall behind. ‘In what ways are you judging your mistakes?'”

Day 8

During our Google+ Hangout on Tuesday, Matt and I discussed how we both like to do a type of free writing– Matt called it “Morning Pages” and I called it “Writing Sprints.” It’s also known as “stream of consciousness.”

No matter what you call it, sometimes you’ve got to turn the inner critic COMPLETELY off and just write. When you start pouring every “dumb” thought you have onto paper, you might be surprised by what you find. Set a timer for ten minutes and challenge yourself to keep your fingers moving. Remember, you can edit it later. This is a ROUGH draft for a reason.

The Write Practice has a great trick for doing this by changing the color of your font… http://thewritepractice.com/write-faster-for-nanowrimo/?utm_content=buffere74ae&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Day 9

We’ve been doing some free-writing the last couple of days to get used to writing. Now let’s make some “big decisions” so that the next time you sit down to free-write, you have some a little bit of a framework.

If you are writing a novel, write out one sentence answers to describe what your story is about: What does the protagonist want? What does your protagonist actually need? What obstacle is in his way of both his wants and needs? (I wrote a post about this using Harry Potter and The Hunger Games as an example if you want more guidance: http://buff.ly/17o1ITO)

For bloggers, zero in on what your blog is about. Think of three blogs that are similar to yours: what makes yours a little different? (perhaps you approach the subject from a different angle/tone, or you represent a small sub-section of a genre of readers, or you are chronicling a journey to a specific end goal.) What do you want readers to get out of your writing (perhaps inspiration, practical tips, entertainment, community…)

By answering these questions, you are giving your writing some limitations, which actually may help your creativity.

Day 10

What will running look like 100 years? What will writing look like in 100 years? (hopefully there are hoverboards involved with both.)

I got these questions by plugging “writing,” “running,” and “habit-change” into Hubspot’s blog topic generator: http://buff.ly/1tRQS2N It’s pretty addictive.

Day 11

Write about your experience as a volunteer. Try to focus in on and describe in detail one moment from your experience that has stuck with you. Why did you choose where to volunteer? Did you meet anyone interesting? Did the experience give you new perspective on another area of your life?

*novelists, write this prompt from the POV of your protagonist

(I got the idea for this prompt from Molly Greene http://buff.ly/14F8N0x)

Day 12

What is your favorite quote? Explain why it inspires you. Do you connect with the words, or the life of the person who said it?

Day 13

This is something I personally struggle with a lot: How do you tell the difference between when you really need a break, or when you are rationalizing excuses because it just seems too hard?

Day 14

Writing Prompt #14: Think back to your first job. Do you remember the amount of your first paycheck? What did you do with it? Would you ever spend it in the same way today?

Day 15

Writing Prompt #15: We are just about halfway through January! Think about what has surprised you about this challenge so far— is there a bit of counterintuitive advice that you can share?

(I got this idea from Buffer: http://buff.ly/1I8nOqC)

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