A writing prompt is the antidote to writer’s block. It is a straightforward writing assignment that anyone can do. Here are some ideas for using writing prompts to jump-start your creativity .
People and things. Animals, vegetables and minerals. Which are 10 years older than you? Which are 10 years younger?
Whatever isn’t growing might have been growing once. Or it might start growing soon. What never stops growing?
Whether it is rising, setting, or going behind a cloud, the sun is always shining. Without sunlight, there wouldn’t be much life-as-we-know-it here on earth.
When you describe what something is not, your awareness widens to an infinity of possibilities.
While it’s true that in overcoming pain, a person often grows, it’s not true that the way to grow is to inflict pain on yourself.
Make it seem like taking care of this obligation is an opportunity no one would want to miss.
You might end up with a character who has a name like Devious Kitten, Wicked Daffodil, or Vicious Duckling.
Begin with the sentence, “Sometimes the sky is red.” Then enjoy where the ramble of your writing takes you.
Over the next few weeks everything from the sky to the shrubbery will shed its memory of winter. What will the summer bring?
You can write anything, even a series of unrelated sentences. The important thing is to use only one-syllable words.
What no longer exists in its old form? A shirt, a pet, the carpet, a memory, a friendship, a vehicle?
Pick a section and doodle in it until a random thought about kindness floats into your mind.
What contributed to your reluctance? Inertia, fear, common sense, warnings, fatigue, information, experience…?
A person can act with physical might or be bolstered by mighty clothes, tools and accessories.
Sometimes your writing practice can feel like a burden. How can you make time to write a page when already there is not enough time for what you must do?
Is the groundhog story one of timidity or perseverance? Is the groundhog a rebel, an outcast, or a pioneer? When have you been like the groundhog?
So much sitting, so little time! Tell any story at all, as long as it has something to do with sitting.
Close your eyes, relax your mind, and loosen it from its grip on the way things ought to be.
The important thing is to keep the alteration going, zig-zagging in time as you work your way down the page.
Begin writing by describing what you do on Tuesdays. You can include things that happen on other days as well, as long as they also happen on Tuesdays.
Think about all that is uncertain. What you hope for. How surprises can change everything. What you don’t know yet.
Because rituals are reliably repetitive, we benefit from their rhythms. Families have them. So do sports teams, friendships and clubs.
What are you wearing? Who do you look like? What don’t you remember? Use what you know about yourself to invent somebody new.
We use our senses to understand the world. We also ask questions and think things up.
Resist the urge to write a coherent narrative. Let each detail lead to another. Don’t plan. Don’t look back until you have reached the bottom of the page.
You can thank other people, inanimate objects and invisible forces. You can thank yourself.
A pile of “shoulds” on your back can weight you down so hard that you can’t get anything done.
Cartoon heaven is built upon clouds that look like pillows. Wedding rings and royal crowns are often delivered on pillows. But not pizzas.
How do you manage situations when you can’t sleep even though you need to, or when you are sleepy but must stay awake?
Unless everything is dark and stone-cold frozen, there has to be a fire somewhere.
After each thought you have recorded about the present, add some related details from the past.
The only requirement about the questions is that you not know the answer to them already.
Compare yourself to a newborn. Everything you know and everything that you can do is evidence of what you have learned in your life.
You can make anything–arts and crafts, piles of laundry, order in your room.
Describe situations where you received help. Don’t tell what you needed or why the help was important.
Even when your first thought is that a thing is sitting there doing nothing,, everything is doing something.
Use clothing, accessories, tools, and details that show how your life and routines are different in opposite seasons.
Think about the tasks and chores of a day as “acts of hospitality” to yourself. That is a perspective where you are a guest and a host at the same time.
Go to the library. Turn on your powers of observation. Step out of the weather and into a different world.
People read words. People also read the world.
Write a dialog that is at odds with itself, swinging from cheerful to gloomy, going back and forth with each sentence.
Clothes you love and clothes you hate. Clothes that you would never wear to church. All those clothes you keep but never wear…
We all know a lot of things. Then there is so much more that we don’t know.
Can you describe a shadow without describing the sun?
Sometimes we make ourselves comfortable by blending in. Sometimes it’s important to stand out.
Proprioception is the sense that tells us where our bodies are in space. Interoception sends us information about what’s going on inside our bodies.
If you could pack a suitcase with everything you needed for a whole summer, what would you put in it?
Write a story where the words “…and so…” appear somewhere in the middle and signal some kind of cause-and-effect relationship.
Keep a record of what you have done and what you have yet to do. In alphabetical order.
Fill a page with doodling. Use one pen of one color, or choose several colors and use them all. Just doodle.
Write a page that riffs on the notion of things that fall from the sky.
There are more questions that begin “What if…?” than there are atoms in the universe.
Doorways always change. They open and close. Things and people pass through in either direction. So does the wind.
Maybe you’ll start to see an accidental picture. Maybe you won’t. The most important thing is to enjoy the coloring.
What are some of the many different perfect things could make their way into a perfect day?
Create a page about things that matter to you which doesn’t have any words on it.
Most of us started experimenting with rhyming when we were learning to talk. In other words, it’s so easy that even babies can do it.
What is morning like for you? Does it arrive by the clock? Where does it fit in your sleeping and eating patterns?
Write an elaborate miracle, or write a series of short ones. If it’s miraculous, it’s a miracle.
Sometimes we accidentally do something that later on turns out to be an excellent idea.
As you mark the change of the calendar year, spend some time remembering the year that is finishing.
Pick something that’s in front of you that’s not going to move in the next half hour. Draw it. Can’t draw? No problem, draw it anyway.
A season is something that changes. The weather has seasons. So do careers, relationships, and lifetimes.
Some things are forgotten forever. Other things we forget only momentarily, but with great consequences.
Before you begin to write, practice getting out of your chair without making the slightest grunting sound.
Notice your tongue. What are its many tasks and duties in the activity of getting the food chewed up and swallowed?
Pretend you are wearing a light saber on the top of your head and using it to draw circles in the sky.
A word is “good” if you like it. You can collect the words from anywhere.
Write about one of the ribbons of continuity that runs through your always-changing life.
Imagine the future. Write about your role in it, one line at a time.
Imagine someone who understands you completely. Someone who only wants the best for you.
Do you have a spot where odd bits of stuff accumulate? A junk drawer? Or corner? Or basket? Or tabletop?
Write about one or more unfortunate things that have happened to you. But leave out all the details of what happened. Write what you had expected to happen.
Freewriting is when you write whatever comes out of your pen without planning or paying attention to what you are “saying.”
Sing the individual praises of a few things in your surroundings. Big things such as thunder or small things such as paper clips and insect wings.
Do you want to be taller, smaller, more relaxed, or less allergic to pine pollen? Do you want breakfast, a skateboard, new shoes or grandchildren?
Choose a place to write about. It has to be a place nearby, one you can stand up and visit during your writing time.
You can’t point to your childhood or your ability to wash a cup. Where do you keep your fears? What else about you is invisible?
Even though we understand that life is unpredictable, we still make plans. When the unexpected happens, we have no choice but to keep going.
Putting your thoughts in alphabetical order is a good way to calm a whirling mind.
You might see patterns in your thoughts or in your style. You will like some things better than others.
Your home is the place where you can be renewed so that you can go back out into the world and do whatever you do.
Write about admiration. You can explain what you think it is, or you can write about what you admire.
This is the voice of someone who knows our strengths, understands our shortcomings and believes in us.
Start with a word and stretch your imagination to declare its opposite.
Tell about something that happened before you were doing whatever it is you are doing now.
How can you write without getting the tired old aches they call “writers cramp?”
A writing prompt is a push that helps to get your writing going.
The key part of evaluation is value. So when you evaluate your writing, you ask, “What is valuable to me?”
Draw an outline of a body (your body!) on a clean sheet of paper. Then label the parts.
What kinds of roads have you traveled lately?
You might not be able to figure everything out, but at least you can put it in alphabetical order.
They say that everything changes. Is that true?
You can collect words from things you read or things you overhear. The very best words, however, come from your own writing.
Start with a sentence. Any sentence at all! If your mind is truly empty, begin with “Here is a sentence.”
You can write all kinds of things about an event without revealing what occurred. The trick is in the details.
Tell a little bit about something. Anything at all. Write four or five lines. Then take a break.
Both you and your surroundings (animal, vegetable, and mineral) have changed in many ways over the past four years.
Instead of writing sentences and paragraphs, you can write webs and connections.
Pay attention to what your face makes you notice about your hands and what your hands make you notice about your face.
Consider an article of clothing that you are wearing. It can be anything at all, as long as you have it on right now.
Take an inventory of your inner or outer world and make a list of objects that you find there. Say what color each object is.
Write down a random sentence from the world around you or from your imagination. Draw a box around it.