Writing Marathon Training Begins with Pop Culture Theme and Prompt

"I Think I Can" WNFIN Prompt 001Welcome to week 1 of our 44-week marathon training! Today, I offer you Writing Prompt 001. Numbering the writing prompts in sequential order will make it easy for you to revisit the prompts throughout the year or possibly do them over!

The training will be offered on WNFIN starting today and running through the end of October 2013. By the time you’re done with 44 weeks of this training program and strengthening your writing muscles, you will have completed approximately 120 writing prompts, or writing exercises, in preparation for November’s nonfiction writing marathon.

Last week, I introduced the concept of a 10-month training program (“I Think I Can” Write Nonfiction in November) and discussed my inspiration for coming up with this idea. The training consists of writing prompts in which I pose specific questions and encourage blog visitors to do research and writing in response to the prompts.

The Theme for January–Pop Culture

Drumroll, please. The theme for January is pop culture! I realize that some of you may like it and some of you will not. Either way, try your best to write nonfiction within this theme. When in doubt, always keep that actor analogy in mind, and you’ll start to slowly build up your writing skills and branch out into new territory that ultimately will benefit you.

Pop culture is a fun theme for the month of January. It involves diving in and getting to know a bit more about celebrities and their often eccentric lifestyles. With Christmas over, January is typically a month when people get depressed because they have put away their Christmas decorations and stopped listening to Christmas music. I say baloney to all that.

In my book, there is no time to get depressed because we’re all beginning our new “I Think I Can” Write Nonfiction in November training program in preparation for our November nonfiction writing marathon, right? One fun way to get out of the January funk is by peeking into lifestyles that are different than our own, particularly those of celebrities.

Pop culture is what I like to call “pleasant fluff.” Ultimately, our lives will not be improved by knowing about the latest shenanigans of the Kardashian clan, but we’re allowed to laugh a little and be amused, right? Not all of life has to be intellectual, focused, and serious, right?

Writing Prompt 001

For our first writing prompt or exercise, I want you to scour current news headlines and find a story about a celebrity that interests you. Do you like reality television? Sports? Religion? Fashion? Music? Whatever you like, I guarantee you, there’s a celebrity out there that matches your taste!

To complete today’s prompt, take the following steps on the honor system.

  • Step 1: Find a headline about a celebrity that interests you. If you do not like celebrities, just pick someone.
  • Step 2: Read the headline and determine the main point of the story. Did the celebrity do something good, stupid, or professional? Is the celebrity selling something, making a public appearance, writing a book, traveling, or having or adopting a child? Whatever it is, make sure the main point of the story is clear in your mind.
  • Step 3: Record your reaction to the celebrity news story you just read. Whether you liked it or not, write about your feelings or reactions as well as the reasons why.
  • Step 4: Pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself. You’ve just completed your first nonfiction writing in response to our new “I Think I Can” Write Nonfiction in November training program. A truthful account of your feelings and reactions to a celebrity news story!
  • Bonus Step: If you own a blog and wish to share a link to the blog post that contains your response to today’s writing prompt, we welcome your permalink and encourage you to post it as a comment below!

Please be sure to leave comments about today’s first writing prompt.  Did you like it?  Would you do it again?  Why or why not?


About the Author

Amanda M. Socci, J.D., is a freelance writer with 14 years of experience writing professionally. Socci currently cuts her blogging chops on her personal portfolio blog, the Creative Idea Gal blog, and on an online news site, Mount Vernon Patch.

Inspired by Nina Amir’s Write Nonfiction in November writing challenge, she created a unique 10-month training program for Writenonfictionnow.com and Writenonfictioninnovember.com blog visitors. Grab the badge of honor and upload it to your blog. Follow the prompts three times a week (M-W-F) right here.


  1. […] as part of our month-long focus on the pop culture theme. Miss last Monday’s prompt? No problem. Here it is again. This is week 2, Writing Prompt 004 in our 44-week, 120-prompt training program en […]

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  3. […] believe that today is our last writing prompt for the month of January! Hopefully, you have enjoyed January’s pop culture theme where we had Pop Culture Mondays, January Jones Wednesdays, and ended off the weeks with Celebrity […]

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