Behind the Scenes of The Writer’s Prompts

Behind the scenes of the 
Death to Stock Writer’s Prompts
By: Hillary Weiss
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What’s good, DTS fam?

I’m Hillary Weiss, copywriter and ghostwriter at hillaryweiss.com, and I'm beyond amped to be the Death to Stock blog manager, & the fourth and final contributor to the monthly Resident Artist series. 

From now on, you can catch me right here, riffing on creativity & content on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Come for the perspective, stay for the pen-pushing action takeaways that you can use on your blog, site, social media, and more.

The goal of all this: to help you get comfortable letting your natural voice & verve hang out on the internet, so you can create better, more original work that speaks to your audience in a way that feels fun and natural.

You ready? Let’s get after it.


 

Think you’ve seen me somewhere before? 

You might know me as fast-typing fingers that bring you the weekly Death to Stock Writing prompts.

(Heads up: I’ve included some extra prompts with matching header graphics at the bottom of this post!

These are more content marketing oriented, to help you start writing great new stuff for your people, and offer up a new window into you & your awesome ideas. Use 'em on your blog, Medium page,  social media, or privately!)

Every prompt is designed to help you flex your wordsmith muscles, get feedback on your content & explore new ideas you may never have played with before. I also personally read and reply to every single prompt shared, & every week we pick our favorite response to share with our entire Writing Prompts mailing list.

They’re a blast to create each week, and a process that brings me a lot of joy - so if you’ve been playing with us for the past few months: thank you.

Over the last 12 weeks, a few of the tribe have reached out with questions about how we do what we do, how we choose our weekly featured writers, and more.

So I'm taking this chance to answer those questions, lift the curtain a bit, and show you what it’s like to whip up weekly inspo beamed out to 6500+ writers and counting. (You can click here to join if you're not with us already.)

“How do you come up with & execute your ideas?”

Let me start by saying: I don’t work in a vacuum. Almost every week, on Slack or via email, Death to Stock founder David and I volley a bunch of ideas back and forth until we land on a concept we really like

Each post that makes the cut follows 3 principles: 

  1. It’s a little uncommon & unexpected
  2. It asks people to stretch their imaginations in ways they may not otherwise
  3. It’s something we’d want to write about, too

“Why do you choose certain topics over others?”

If something feels like it’s trying too hard, or it’s not something we’d do ourselves, or it’s been done to death, into the digital garbage it goes.

We also like to avoid creating any sense of complacency in the community. So, one week you’ll be telling us about a stranger you’ve met, the next week you’re finishing the start of a fiction story, and the next you’ll be imagining yourself as a 10 year old.

Can’t let you plateau creatively! We’ve gotta send you curve balls. :)

“How do you find time to answer every single prompt response?”

Scheduling, baby! An hour a day (or week) keeps the overwhelm away. I also set time in my schedule each month to go back and review past prompt responses people have answered after the due date.

I make it my job to pen each response from a place of positivity and encouragement - while also giving responders feedback that can improve their work and ideas.

“How do you select the featured responders every week?”

Every Monday, we highlight a response from the previous week. It’s not always an easy decision, but it’s a blast to congratulate the hardworking writer on the other end of the line.

We get so many great posts, but the ones that really stand out to me take an unexpected angle and are very unique in their voice, pace, and sense of expression.

Often, they feel completely natural in their approach. You can really sense the writer is “in it”, and having a great time with the creation process.

“How do you select the featured responders every week?”

Forever!

Or, until David tells me to knock it off. Which won't be any time soon.

So: are you ready to get writing or what?

If you’re looking to get back on the word horse, or just whip up an awesome new post for your people this week, here are 3 prompts to help you create more content your peeps will be dying to read.

We've also had our awesome in-house designer Lexi create graphics to match. Use 'em for your blog header, social media shares, or whatever feels right.

Just remember: link what you write back to Death to Stock so we can check it out! Tag us on Twitter & Facebook, too. It’s always phenomenal reading what our tribe has to say.

Ready? Pick one and get writing.

7things-prompt

  • What's something you're sick of seeing in your industry, and why? DOWNLOAD GRAPHIC

industry-trend-prompt

  • Tell your origin story (no, not an about page bio - the actual story about why and how you can to do what you do.) DOWNLOAD GRAPHIC

why-i-do-prompt

Go get those ideas flowing, and good luck! Can't wait to read what you share, and I'll catch you next month! 
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hillary Weiss is the brain behind the Death to Stock Writing Prompts and DTS Resident Artist series, & the copywriter / ghostwriter / writerwriter over at hillaryweiss.com.

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