I'm always on the lookout for something different to write about, but some days the nudge just isn't there. I started using my daily themes as writing topics but this can be somewhat repetitive, and it still falls on me to narrow down the theme to a topic that I can write about.

I started looking for writing prompts that fell into the category of my daily themes, but this was another challenge in itself. Frequently it involved digging through the thousands of writing prompts available online across different websites. What the problem with these is that they not usually organised in a way that makes them easy to search through.

I needed a daily random writing prompt but one that was geared towards my daily themes for the day. So I started making one. Here's how it looks so far.

Screenshot of the PenMuse website

The idea is simple. It displays a random writing prompt. If you don't like it, you can generate another one. As a nice tie-in with DailyMuse and my preference towards analogue writing tools, I've called it PenMuse.

Product playground

PenMuse serves a dual-purpose for me. While it does take the guesswork out of what you are going to write about, it also helps a much more significant purpose. It's a product playground.

The idea of this that you have a small service or product that you can use to flex your development skills. While this application doesn't have the complexity of a more significant Rails application, it does allow me to try things out on a smaller scale and it's proved to be helpful already. I'm going to re-design the DailyMuse website with a similar theme.

Plans for the future

There are a few things still missing that I hope to add shortly.

  • Allow people to suggest a writing prompt and give them accreditation when it is displayed.
  • Document the API for other developers to use.
  • Allow people to link to individual writing prompts.
  • Create a weekly PenMuse email that emails you the week's writing prompts ahead of schedule.

One thing that I could do with help on though is writing prompts. There are thousands of writing prompts online, but I don't want to copy these into PenMuse without thought. I want to curate these prompts so that they are easy to find and share.

What do you like to write about? What prompts would you like to see on PenMuse?

Contact me with your suggestions.