Don’t you just hate writer’s block? Some say it’s a disease that only creative workers succumb to. Some say it’s a curse. Others argue that it doesn’t exist at all. But just about everyone has been there–sitting in front of a blank screen, fingers itching to create a masterpiece. And nothing happens.
For me, the most bizarre thing about writer’s block is that it strikes randomly. Most of the time, I’m overwhelmed with more ideas than I can possibly write about. But then I’ll sit down to write and my mind goes blank. Sure, I flip through my notebooks and review all the ideas I’ve stockpiled, but nothing feels right. I want something fresh. I need a new angle.
Luckily, I have several books and other writing resources that are packed with writing exercises and creative writing prompts. Sometimes, all it takes are a few words to get me started, and then I’m off, writing into the sunset.
Creative Writing Prompts
Today I’d like to share a mash-up of creative writing prompts. There are no rules. Write a poem. Write a short story. Write an essay. Aim for a hundred words or aim for a hundred thousand. Just start writing, and have fun.
- You’re digging in the garden and find a fist-sized nugget of gold. There’s more where that came from in this hilarious story of sudden wealth.
- Write about something ugly — war, fear, hate, or cruelty–but find the beauty (silver lining) in it or something good that comes out of it.
- An asteroid and a meteoroid collide near Earth, and fragments rain down onto the planet’s surface, wreaking havoc. Some of those fragments contain surprising elements: fossils that prove life exists elsewhere in the galaxy, for example.
- A kid comes out of the school bathroom with toilet paper dangling from his or her waistband.
- Revisit your earliest memories of learning about faith, religion, or spirituality.
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: bit, draw, flex, perilous, bubble, corner, rancid, pound, high, open.
- Write a poem about a first romantic (dare I say: sexual) experience or encounter.
- He turned the key in the lock and opened the door. To his horror, he saw…
- Silvery flakes drifted downward, glittering in the bright light of the harvest moon. The blackbird soared.
- Tell bad drivers, rude customers, and evil dictators how grateful you are for what they’ve done. Do it with a wink and a smile.
- Write a story about a detective solving a crime that was committed against his or her partner or a crime that his or her partner committed.
- Three children are sitting on a log near a stream. One of them looks up at the sky and says…
- There is a magic talisman that allows its keeper to read minds. It falls into the hands of a young politician…
- We’ve seen cute and cuddly dragons, mean and vicious dragons, and noble dragons. Write a story about a different kind of dragon.
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: dash, hard, staple, billboard, part, circle, flattened.
- A doctor puts his hand on his patient’s arm and says, “You or the baby will survive. Not both. I’m sorry.”
- Write about when you did something bad and got away with it.
- The kids were raised on the mantra “Family is everything.” What happens when they find out their parents aren’t who they pretended to be? Will the family fall apart?
- You walk into your house and it’s completely different — furniture, decor, all changed. It doesn’t look like the same house anymore. And nobody’s home.
- Turn ordinary animals into monsters that prey on humans: dog-sized rats, killer rabbits, or a pack of rabid mountain lions. Give the animals intelligence and set them loose.
- A twinkling eye can mean many things. Write a poem about a twinkle in someone’s eye.
- What determines an action or person as good or evil? Who gets to decide what or who is good or evil?
- Write about your body.
- Have you ever been just about to drift off to sleep only to be roused by a spontaneous memory of an embarrassing moment from your past?
- Use all of the following words in a piece of writing: feast, fire, modify, squash, robbed, forgotten, under-stated.
Now It’s Your Turn
If none of these creative writing prompts inspired you, don’t despair. Come up with some prompts of your own, and then share them in the comments.