We’ve been talking about how to create a daily writing practice. A few weeks ago we explored the idea of creating a writing ritual to help you carve out and settle into a writing space more easily. Last week we talked about cultivating a writing mindset. Today I’m giving you a list to writing prompts to help you dig into that daily practice of writing for yourself.
You’ll notice that I haven’t broken these into “kinds” of writing. That’s because when you’re doing this kind of daily writing practice the kind of writing you’re doing doesn’t matter. I also firmly believe that all writing is the same. Whether we’re writing sci-fi, how-to, memoir, or essay we are humans writing for humans. We use the same tools, the same ideas, we appeal to the same senses and the same emotions. Writing is writing.
You’ll also notice that a lot of these are deeply emotional, involve conflict, or are opinion-based. That’s because I also firmly believe that meaningful writing is personal. If you’re hiding yourself when you write, the quality of your writing will suffer. So I’ve crafted these prompts to force you to dig into yourself and be honest.
What Are Writing Prompts for Anyway?
When you’re trying to cultivate a daily writing practice, when you’re actively striving to regularly shift your mind into that writing the biggest struggle can be figuring out what to write about. When you’re teetering on the edge of sitting down to write or not, the “I don’t have anything to write about” excuse can be enough to make you put it off until tomorrow. Writing prompts eliminate the “I don’t have anything to write about” excuse. They take all the struggle out of daily writing.
How to Use Writing Prompts
Using writing prompts is simple. You pick one and you start writing. You can write as much or as little as you want. You can polish it or leave it as a rough draft. The point is to shift yourself into that writing mindset, into that space where you’re taking your thoughts out of your head and you’re putting them down onto the paper.
Writing Prompts to Get You Started
- The last time you didn’t say something because you thought it would make the person you were talking to uncomfortable.
- Your morning routine from the perspective of your pet (if you don’t have a pet then try a houseplant, a bird outside the window or a piece of furniture).
- An opinion you have that would make others uncomfortable.
- What would happen if half the world’s population has disappeared.
- Your home, your life, one hundred years ago.
- Your home, your life, five hundred years ago.
- How your life would be different if you were born a man? a woman? neither?
- I wish I never…
- A fight between two friends.
- Convince me to give you one hundred dollars.
- Write an article for the front page of the paper that would shock the person who raised you.
- How do you feel about fossil fuels?
- If you could travel to any moment in time what would it be?
- The day your parents met.
- Convince me to buy a course you’ve created.
- Teach me how to….
- Someone you love just lied to you.
- How do you feel about music?
- A moment when you were embarrassed.
- A time you wish you said something different.
- A time when you were treated unfairly.
- What are you hiding from yourself?
- Something you believe deeply.
- How do you feel about your childhood?
- What do you wish you could change about the world?
- What do you wish you could change about yourself?
- Tell a story you don’t ever want to share.
- Magic is real. What will you do with it?
- Revisit a lesson you were taught as a child.
- Write about an event from two different perspectives.
- What did you worry about when you were a child?
- The last time you were really angry.
Let me know how it goes. Do you have any other sources of writing prompts? I’d love to hear from you.
As always I’m writing with you,
Laurie MacNevin, HF Associate Editor
Laurie is an editor, writer, and researcher. Her deep love of stories led to an Honours degree and a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Windsor. Originally from Southern Ontario, Laurie has lived in Manitoba for more than ten years, exploring the stories, landscape, plants, and people of some of the most remote parts of the province including three years in Churchill and two years in God’s Lake Narrows First Nation. Laurie and her family now live on an acreage outside of Carberry.
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