How does Creative Caffeine work?

Every Sunday, we’ll pair you with a new partner for the week. Then, beginning on Monday, and continuing through Friday, we’ll make sure you wake up to a freshly brewed prompt designed to act on your creativity like a jolt of caffeine.

With the prompt as inspiration, you’ll do a 10 minute free write—the Creative Caffeine writing page has a timer built in to help you keep track.

As the week progresses, you’ll share up to 3 pieces of your writing with your partner, and your partner will share up to 3 pieces of writing with you. We’ll notify you when your partner has shared something.

Because no one likes to send their work into the great unknown, we ask partners to respond to each other’s writing within 24 hours. The feedback page makes responding effortless with annotation and comment features built in.

When Friday rolls around, you will have the opportunity to choose one piece of writing from the week to post on Freshly Brewed, the Creative Caffeine blog. This blog is public, so feel free to share across your social media channels to get your writing out into the world. If you’d prefer your work to stay private, that’s fine too!

Creative Caffeine Workflow

Why do I have to wait until Sunday to be given a partner?

Because partners are paired for a week, we do all our partner assignments on Sunday, right before the week’s first prompt arrives in your inbox on Monday morning.

Why do the prompts come first thing in the morning?

We are big believers in the power of writing first thing in the morning, as close to the dream state as possible. Also, if you set aside 10 minutes to write every morning, you are more likely to do it every day. And it’s no secret that the more you practice, the better you write.

Do I have to write in the morning?

Everybody has a different lifestyle and a different biorhythm. While we know how powerful writing first thing in the morning can be, it’s equally as important to write when you feel inspired—and when you can find the time and space. So, feel free to write in the afternoon or evening.

Do I have to write to the prompt?

Absolutely not! If you are working on a longer project, for example, you can ignore the prompt and free write into your character, or your plot. The prompts are meant to inspire you…but if you’re not inspired by one, make up your own!

How many times a week should I write?

We think it’s best to write to all 5 prompts, because the more you access that type of creativity, the better you get at it. That said, we also know you have a life, so we suggest setting a goal of doing at least 3 free writes each week.

Can I write for longer than 10 minutes?

Absolutely! Please write as much and as long as you like. The platform is designed to limit the number of words you can share with your partner to 800, just to keep everyone from getting overwhelmed. However, your work will still be available–evenif you go above 800 words–to publish to the Creative Caffeine Blog or review later.

Why can’t I send my partner more than 3 pieces of writing?

We want participating in Creative Caffeine Daily to be manageable. Three pieces of writing to review each week felt the most doable and realistic.

What kind of feedback should I give my partner?

It’s important to keep in mind that everyone is sharing new writing, so the most useful feedback is constructive. Let your partner know what resonated for you, what phrase or metaphor you loved, and where you would love them to go deeper. This is not the time to obsess over grammar or sentence structure. If you’re struggling with how to offer feedback, starting with what you liked, following with what could be improved, and finishing with another highlight, is a simple and respectful format.

How quickly should I respond to my partner’s work?

Because it is never fun to send your work out and hear nothing, we ask everyone to respond to their partner’s work within 24 hours of receiving it. We’ve designed the feedback page to make responding easy, and we recommend not spending more time giving feedback than the 10 minutes your partner spent writing.

What if my partner doesn’t write or give feedback?

Creative Caffeine doesn’t work unless every member participates. While we cannot force anyone to write (or respond), we can incentivize everyone to take part. That’s where the rating system comes in. Partners who do not participate will receive lower ratings, and be paired with other members with low ratings. Conversely, members with high ratings—4 coffee cups or above—will be paired with each other.

What if my partner gives inappropriate feedback?

We strive to make Creative Caffeine a supportive environment in which to explore your creativity. If at any time you receive feedback from a Creative Caffeine partner that is mean-spirited or inappropriate in any way, contact us immediately at creativecaffeinedaily@gmail.com.

How are partners chosen?

When you are new to the platform, your partners will be chosen randomly from other Creative Caffeine members, using an algorithm that ensures the greatest diversity of partners. As you accumulate ratings from other members, you will be paired with partners who have similar ratings, i.e. members with 5 coffee cup ratings will be paired with other 5 coffee cup members, while members with 2 coffee cup ratings will be paired with other 2 coffee cup members.

Why do we rate our partners?

The rating system is meant to incentivize everyone to write and respond at least 3 times each week. Because members are paired based on their ratings, the odds of being paired with a reliable and supportive partner are increased when you are a reliable and supportive partner.

How does Freshly Brewed—the Creative Caffeine blog—work?

Think of Freshly Brewed as an online magazine that celebrates fresh, new writing. We’ve made Freshly Brewed public, and we promote it through our social media channels. It’s our way of making sure our members writing gets out into the world. You can share to your social media channels directly as well.

How do I get it touch with the folks behind Creative Caffeine?

Reach out to us anytime at creativecaffeinedaily@gmail.com