Writing is hard. I know, statement of the century. But it’s true! Continuously coming up with ideas and finding new ways to stretch yourself as a creative can be almost as hard as the actual writing itself. Which is why prompts and little inspiration sparks can be so, so helpful.
Below are 11 free for all prompts written with sparking inspiration and creativity in mind. Take them! Run with them! See what you come up with! Maybe you’ll come up with something magical.
1. Write a letter to your biggest fear. Oftentimes fear equals things we don’t want to be vulnerable about. Things we don’t want to open up about. But by acknowledging it, and really speaking to it, it can be a way to harness control over said fear. For so many of us writing is truly therapeutic and cathartic. So use it! Have a day where your writing is your own therapist helping you take control over your fears!
2. And going on your biggest fear, if it happened, how would you survive it? If the worst case scenario happened, what would you do? Where would you go? How would you handle it? Breakdown what you would do in that scenario, and how you would theoretically move on and past it.
3. Fill in the blank! There are literally thousands of articles and headlines on the internet to riff on. “I Don’t Want A Lover, I Want A [BLANK]”, “Here’s What Happens When You Stop [BLANK] And Start [BLANK]”, “You’ll Ruin Your [BLANK] If You [BLANK]” and so on and so forth. Look at a headline, dissect it down to the framework, and fill in the buzzwords with your own idea. (HINT!! This will also help you with your headline writing in the future. It’s a great exercise.)
4. Write about a love in your life that is not romantic. Writing about love is awesome, but writing about non-romantic love can be just as interesting and isn’t as common. So look at something in your life that has truly nothing to do with romantic love, and focus on that!
5. Pick an opinion you have, and try to write from the other side of it. This can be extremely challenging and might even make you kind of angry—but that’s good! Anger is a powerful emotion that can potentially give you even more fire and inspiration to write something. Whether this ends up being an empathetic piece of writing or one that fuels you even further to your original opinion, it can be a really thought-provoking challenge.
6. Write out your “gratitude” list. Look at your life, look at the things you have, and write what you’re grateful for. Write out all the things you’re thankful for and that give you joy. A list like this can be super inspirational on its own to come back to when you’re just feeling kind of stuck.
7. Look at your portfolio, see which point of view you typically gravitate towards, and force yourself to write in a different one. Do you typically lean into first-person narratives? Almost like storytelling? Write in second! Write *to* someone instead. Opposite? Take away pointing things to someone else and write YOUR perspective instead. Not sure? Write in third? Try flash fiction! There are so many options with this to stretch yourself.
8. What’s your favorite word? Write a headline using it. It might not be usable or it might just make you laugh, but give it shot! You might surprise yourself.
9. Look through the discover page on Instagram, pick a photo that inspires you or jumps out to you, and write a caption for it. Write that person’s story or just what the picture evokes in you. Focus on what grabbed your attention and describe it. Imagery can be incredibly powerful when it comes to looking for some inspiration.
10. Think about your past self and the version of you submitting your writing for the first time. What advice do you have for your past self? What do you wish you would’ve known before embarking on your writing journey? What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned? Writing as reflection is another very therapeutic tool and in turn, looking at yourself and reminding yourself of lessons makes you a stronger and more self-aware writer.
11. Write a goodbye letter to your biggest insecurity. One more piece of writing therapy! What is the one thing you constantly beat yourself up about? Write about it, really break it down, and then say goodbye to it. Work through letting it go through your own words. [cw-mark]