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 .
The best part of your vacation was probably pretty good. What about the best part of a train wreck?
How do you scratch your ear with your elbow?
The decisions we make can be big, small, disastrous, rewarding, or forgettable.
How big is the universe of everything that has not happened? How small, in comparison, is the map of everything that has occurred?
New possessions, attitudes, and circumstances will come into our lives, whether we want them or not.
Can you remember shoes that you lost? boots that you ruined? childhood footwear that you outgrew?
Have you passed any milestones lately? Gotten something out of the car or off the desk?
Ready for Winter?
Cold drizzle. Mini-snowstorms. Shortening daylight. Are you ready for what’s next?
That Super-Tiny Stuff
Where does dust come from? How does it move around? What does it turn into when it’s not dust anymore?
Sometimes a series of absurd questions can tell a story or make a point.
What is the Sky?
Where does the sky stop and the earth start? Is there anything in between?
Does erosion wear out your clothes? What erodes a friendship?
Certain Kinds of Success
What makes a daffodil successful? How does a cat succeed?
It’s in wires. In your phone. In lightning. In your brain. How do you know it’s there?
Getting Out The Door
Your mode of transportation can affect your departure considerations. So can the state of your laundry.
What does the average person look like? What do they tend to forget?
Sometimes we say that we are moved. Sometimes we say that we have moved on.
Water can make a person miserable in so many different ways.
The Perfect People
What do you suppose the Perfect People are up to right now?
Comparisons are based on qualities.
You probably didn’t walk on water today, or invent cold fusion. What else didn’t you do?
Where’s the Writing?
What is writing anyway? Words and letters in books, of course. What about bar codes or the geologic record?
Some Assembly Required
What happens when you put together vinegar and baking soda?
More Than 10
How many leaves on a tree? pages in a dissertation? eggs in a dozen?
Are ashes left behind when you burn calories or bridges?
Is a turbine a type of wheel? How about a fan? A hurricane?
Look up, and you see the world from whole new angle.
When you think you understand something, there’s always some part of it you don’t get.
In the Middle
The middle of the floor. The middle of the night. The middle of a strange situation.
Did you lose it? Were you even looking for it? What have you found (or found out) lately?
Best and Favorite Habits
What is a habit, anyway?
What do you do automatically and pretty regularly that makes you happy, or healthy, or more at peace with yourself?
A Strange and Useful Word
When you want to talk about what’s not real, you use the word “if.”
Wash It Away!
Imagine a great flood that washes everything you don’t want from your life–and leaves the rest.
Don’t Want To!
Tasks that get done with much procrastination. Tasks nobody else is going to do for you.
A Pleasant Surprise
A dreaded event that didn’t turn out dreadful. Or something you never expected in a million years–or at least not that afternoon.
Explosive events and major turning points are often milestones. So are smaller things.
Warm, Warmer, Hot
How do you keep warm? (Where do you keep it?) When is it good to get hot?
Diamonds in the snow. Static electricity. Glimmers of recognition. Flashes of rage…
You can get straight, get it straight or get straight to the point. You can go straight through a stop sign or straight through an inheritance.
Make a series of predictions about yourself that you know will come true.
You might have received praise and applause for your outward accomplishments, but sometimes the inner ones are bigger.
We don’t always know what new things will be coming down the pike for us, but sometimes we do.
On Your Mind
Everyone has a mind, but you are the only one who knows what yours is like.
Connected by Color
Can you disengage your mind from the names of what you see and only notice the colors that are in front of you?
Giving Thanks for Stuff
Look around you–or deep into the bottom of your closet–and celebrate your attachments.
A Perfect Meal
Whether it’s Thanksgiving or not, you have preferences surrounding food, eating, and the context where it takes place.
Thumb’s the Word
What is the relationship between writing and drawing? Same, different, or in-between?
The Easy Ones
Mountains are hard to ignore. You can step blindly over the molehills.
The Old and the New
Objects, possessions, attitudes, beliefs, preferences, places, nagging questions, things you understand…
Left and Right
Look to your right and fill up the right-hand side of the page with observations about what you see.
Sensing the Silence
Turn off the music and the machines. Do whatever tricks you know to quiet your mind.
Who We Use To Be
Did you use to crawl around on the carpet in a diaper and drool? Did you use to wear different shoes?
Would-a, Should-a, Could-a
It’s impossible to change the past with the force of your imagination, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try.
You can find apples on trees, on the ground, in your fridge. They can be in pies, vinegar, stories and popular expressions.
From the atoms of our bodies to the earth under our feet and black holes in distant space, nothing stays the same.
Acts of Kindness
Often kindness comes unbidden. It can also arrive in the form of an uncomplicated yes when you ask for help.
How do you surprise yourself? You simply do something that you didn’t know you were going to do until you did it.
You do this by saying the first thought out loud. Yes, out loud, with your voice and lips. Then write what comes to mind next.
Any old thought. About the past, present, or future. About wisdom or bad advice. About nuclear physics or sculpture. No pressure to be profound.
Don’t burden yourself with a requirement to “make sense.” Let the words roll out and see what kind of word salad they make.
A Talking Object
If you write from the point of view of an object, will it brag or complain? Will it sound like a child or a space alien?
How to Make a Fort
Begin with the word “Well…” That signals that you are coming up with any old idea without committing that it will be a good one.
You Know Where
Everybody’s got to be somewhere. So does everything. Everything that happens, happens somewhere.
If you kept a chore score, what chore would you have done most in your life?
“Arriving home” can be a moment or a process. It can involve stepping through a doorway, of course
One minute you are going about your business, doing the next task at hand, then suddenly the awareness hits…. It’s summer!
Questions Upon Questions
When you start with “What if…” a zillion (or two) questions should come to mind.
Where’s the Fire?
Some fires turn things to smoke and soot. Others issue warnings or bring change.
You can hold a round ball in your hand, but how do you know that the earth is round?
A Story of a Shoe (or Two)
Some shoes–traveling shoes, crying shoes, big-girl shoes are metaphorical and real at the same time.
Starting With a Tree
Consider trees. Their biology and mythology. Their leaves and needles, fruits and shade. All the things that can be made from them.
What Would Rumpelstiltskin Do?
Do you have a metaphorical pile of straw that you wish Rumpelstiltskin would spin into gold.
Where is the Air?
Without air, much of the world-as-we-know-it wouldn’t function: candles, car engines, bullhorns, vacuum cleaners.
Lots and Lots
A new thing becomes abundant and something else fades away. This the process we call change.
Are there numbers you like and dislike? What can you do with a lucky number?
Mind and Body
Everybody has a mind. Everybody has a body. Is there a line between the two?
When the Pandemic is Over
There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. What does it shine on for you?
For the Love of Gloves
When is a glove not a glove? Think of mittens or fingerless gloves. Or whatever you do when you need a glove and can’t find one.
Pause and Relax
Can you write and be relaxed at the same time? What changes when you try?
From Squiggles to Faces
Fiddle around, making squiggles upon squiggles, until some faces start to emerge.
People have different learning styles, preferences and experience. What’s easy for you?
At Least Four Letters
What happens to the English language if you skip all the words that are less than four letters long?
Shadows have shapes and colors. If there is light, there will be shadows.
A Story From Your Life
The stories in your life can be big, little, exciting or dull. They might center on places, people or events.
Objects that are so well-made you barely notice you are using them. Art that affects you.
Landscapes of Life
Our lives don’t run straight. They wander through landscapes of possibility and surprise.
Day By Day
Thinking about what changes over a 48-hour period can help you examine it more closely and notice the nuances.
An exercise that helps you disorganize your thoughts, and connect them to something new.
Drawing, Doodling and Writing
An opportunity to observe what drawing, doodling, and writing have in common.
‘Tis the Season
Seasonal cycles can be minutes, days, months or even years long. Laundry season. Snow-shoveling season. Global pandemic season.
Fun With Truth and Lies
Begin with facts. Observations about your surroundings that any other person would agree with.
The Bigger Picture
You can zoom out in space, or in time. You can even zoom into realms of greater understanding.
Hot (Not) To Do Something
Instead of explaining what to do, explain what not to do.
What are your immediate plans? Your newest plans? Your post-pandemic plans? Do you have a plan not to plan?
Choosing and Choosing
Even if we make the same choice every time, it’s still a choice.
Anything that isn’t from an animal or a mineral counts as a vegetable–green beans, wooden tables, cotton shirts.
There’s Always Water Somewhere
If you are alive and on this planet, there is water nearby. In your body. In plants and animals. In underground lakes and rivers. In the sky.
Sometimes you are all but certain disaster is going to strike–and then it doesn’t. Ah, sweet relief.
A Turning Point, Alphabetically
You might notice a turning point as you pass through it, or only come to understand it in retrospect.
Things You Trust
What are some of the things that you trust? (Things, not people or animals. Maybe not even plants.) Think of trust as a form of expectation. Expectations that you know will be met. Is there a fence that you trust? A tool? Furniture? Explain how you reliably expect this object to perform and how that […]
It’s possible to provide many details about a person, a place or a time and still make it impossible to identify them.
Where There’s a Chair
A chair you have known. One you have forgotten. A chair that isn’t a chair at all.
Bubbles of Your Bubble
Each of us lives at the center of our very own universe. We explore it with our awareness. Can you be aware of your awareness?
Small, Medium, Large
The present. What your senses take in. Physical and emotional states. The contents of your mind and imagination.