Writers, how do you prime the pump marilyn l davis two drops of ink

Writers, How Do You Prime the Pump?

By: Marilyn L. Davis


Has Your Writing Well Gone Dry? 


If no water comes out of your faucet when you switch it on, it can be a worrying sign, and you may think the well’s gone dry. Now, our brains are the well – full of information, funny antecedents, exciting stories, and other minutiae that help us develop and create our posts and books. But when we think that well has gone dry, we can panic.

You need to remember that writers have an infinite supply of ideas, but like the seemingly dry well, we have to dig deeper sometimes to find and write about those ideas when we think we’ve gone dry in our writing.  

People sometimes have to prime the pump to get the water flowing again. It’s the same for writers. We have to find ways to make the writing flow. Prompts can serve this purpose. 


We Have To Dig Deeply


We’ve all read the story of the city and country mouse. Well, I was the city cousin. At ten years younger than most of my cousins, I thought living on a farm and doing chores was exciting, exotic, and fun. Of course, I didn’t have to do manual labor every day as they did, so my perspective wasn’t accurate. 

I remember watching the men load water barrels to take out to an outlying field when Uncle Robert would change pastures for his cows. Then one summer, on my vacation to the farm, the men were digging a new well so that transporting the water barrels wouldn’t be necessary. 

About two weeks into the summer, the well started going dry. After much discussion, the men decided that the water level was below the intake and couldn’t reach the groundwater aquifer. It all sounded Greek, but there was consensus, so they got the drilling apparatus down to the well and dug it deeper. 

Problem solved. 


Purposeful Prompts To Pump Up Your Writing


“You have to dig a well before you can draw water from it.”― Richie Norton, The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret

Writing prompts can be bits of information or questions you ponder to spark creativity in your writing. Think of the tidbit of information as a starting point for an essay, personal story, or short fiction. When you answer the questions, you may create an excellent how-to. So, start digging your well, or priming your pump and see what you create. 


Why You Should Use Writing Prompts


“I do not plan my writing any more than I normally plan woodland walks; I follow the path that seems most promising at any given point, not some itinerary decided before entry.”― John Fowles

Key in any prompt is helping the writer focus on an idea, topic, or point of view and draw on the reserved knowledge of the writer. Writing prompts do this by stimulating the writer’s analytical and reasoning skills. 

Building on Fowles quote, prompts are not intended as the destination; they are signposts on the way. Why? Because each writer will use a prompt and take us on a different journey. 


It’s Time To Prime The Pump With Prompts


Water pumps have been around since 2000 BC. Who knew? And since then, they’ve needed priming because the water flow dried up. And to prime the pump, you need to add water to manually fill pumps and pipes before you’ve got a working pump. 

My grandfather talked about priming the pump when he thought the well was going dry. I can see him in the field, with a horse-drawn wagon loaded with water barrels and working very hard – and cussing. 

Don’t fret, but you may cuss.  


Prompts To Prime The Pump And Discover A Well-th Of Words


Several sites and books are dedicated explicitly to writer’s prompts. Not ready to randomly choose one from Amazon? Then Authority did the work for you and selected 11 books to prompt your brain. 

I got The Writer’s Toolbox: Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the ‘Write’ Side of Your Brain as a Christmas present and found it helpful when I didn’t think I had anything to write. 

Amazon also has prompts for specific genres, including romance, mystery, thriller, fantasy, and sci-fi.


What Do You Do To Prime The Pump?


Writers, How Do You Prime the Pump? two drops of ink marilyn l davis

I know that my answers worked for me, but I’m always curious how other writers overcome the blog, glut, and dry well that affects us all. If you leave a comment on how you tapped into the well and created a post, blog, or even a book, I’d be grateful. 


Bio: Marilyn L. Davis


Marilyn is the Editor-in-chief at Two Drops of Ink and From Addict 2 Advocate. She is a charter member of the cult of the paper – in other words, she reads a lot.

She is also the author of Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook. Both are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and other retailers. 


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What Ideas Do You Have To Help Writers? 


Whether from poetry, prose, or a great problem-solving post, we all need inspiration. 

You may need additional exposure as a writer, which is why collaboration works. 

Consider a guest post today to inspire us and gain exposure for yourself.



Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing 




  1. I go for a walk. Sometimes I think about my life while I’m walking. Sometimes, I take in what is around me. Or sometimes, I’ll just have the intention to scan whatever I’m seeing and thinking about during my day for writing material. This always works for me. I can’t do “traditional” prompts because I might not have anything to say about the topic. Thanks for sharing what helps you.

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