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Writing Prompts To Kick Start Your Creativity
What Are Writing Prompts?
Look at a blank piece of paper. Now imagine sitting in one spot for an hour looking at that blank piece of paper and having nothing happen. Now imagine your brain as that blank piece of paper, completely flat-lined and incapable of a creative thought.
Not a pretty picture, is it? Writer’s block is the scourge of writers everywhere and most definitely something to be avoided at all costs. Writing prompts help us to avoid that painful experience. For lack of a better definition, a writing prompt is a topic, or a picture, or music, or whatever which helps us to start thinking of writing ideas. It can be as short as a single word, as in word association, or it can be a phrase, paragraph, or photo display. The goal is to give you something to focus upon so that writing ideas will then flow.
It is a very effective tool for writers, one this writer uses quite often. Consider these reasons for using writing prompts:
- It can quickly end writer’s block and get your creative juices flowing.
- Besides ending writer’s block, your writing responses may be used in later writing.
- The result of the prompt may give you ideas for a future article or book.
- Writing prompts can also help to establish routine and get you in the habit of writing regularly.
- They also give you an opportunity to become a part of a writing community. There are several online writing sites, to be mentioned a little later on, where prompts are given daily and members share their responses.
- Daily Writing Prompts
Creative Writing Prompts with historical significance for every day of the year. You will find holidays, historical events, birthdays and other interesting and educational prompts to write about. Educate and Inspire at the same time using these writi
Writing Prompts Online
As with most anything in life in the year 2014, the internet has what you need in the way of writing prompts. Check out these sites:
It took me thirty seconds to find those three; there are literally hundreds of other sites available to you.
Example of Writing Prompts
The beauty of writing prompts is that they are everywhere and it takes very little effort to think of one. Here are some examples I just came up with:
- He stood in the rain watching…….
- The plane left her behind
- Lavender fields in the distance
- Good day sunshine
- The streets of heaven are filled with angels tonight
- “Why are you talking to me like that?”
- Pink elephants
- A walk in the park with a dog named Dufus
- Rocky Mountain High
What does this do for you?
I grew up in the Sixties. I love classic Rock. I can put on an old Beatles’ song and know exactly where I was when I first heard it, and exactly what I was doing there and what I felt when I heard the song.
“Nowhere Man” reminds me of those painful college days when I had no idea who I was or what my purpose was in life.
“Got To Get You Into My Life” was all about a college crush I had for Tammy Johnson.
“Norwegian Wood” was all about…..hell, I don’t know what it was all about, but I know I first heard it while stroking my girlfriend’s hair while sitting on the couch.
“Sexy Sadie” still today reminds me of distrust and the fact that many people don’t walk the talk in life.
And I’m sure you have similar memories about songs that were important to you. Put on some music and let the ideas flow.
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A Photo Writing Prompt Exercise
And so we finally arrive at the main point of this article: the writing challenge.
What follows are a series of pictures. I want you to choose one and write an opening sentence (in 25 words or less) to a story based on one of the photos below. You can write your opening sentence in the comment section below, or just do it at home and don’t share it with any of us….whatever you choose to do, I hope you find it fun and rewarding. Shall we begin? So that you see how it is done, I will give you my own opening sentence for each photo.
He ran outside in bare feet to get the morning newspaper; he so enjoyed the newly-cut grass between his toes.
Well this is the address she gave me, but which damn boat is hers?
No, Bev, you cannot try to fly; remember how much emergency care cost last time?
Five generations lived within these walls; five generations of heartaches, joys, triumphs and defeats.
My grandfather was a farmer; he labored for forty years in the green fields of Iowa.
Her beauty was that of golden sunshine on a meadow, spreading warmth, comfort and promises of better days ahead.
Have no fear of the destination; the joy is in the journey.
There is great wisdom in nature if one is willing to see and accept it.
Are you looking at me? You must be looking at me cuz I don’t see anyone else around here.
Which do you prefer? This or an oil pipeline? You see, the choice really is yours.
Were these helpful?
And That’s All There Is to It
I hope you had some fun with those, and I also hope that they gave birth to some writing ideas.
I have said before that I don’t understand how someone could have writer’s block, but I think the main reason for that is because I was taught so well early on in my career. Writers need to be receptive to the world around them. By that I mean they need to open up their senses and allow stimuli to flow in and ideas to flow out. Staring at a blank sheet of paper, or a blank Word document, is not the type of stimuli that is conducive to creativity.
Shut down your mind and let these prompts, and others like them, to feed your writer’s soul. You just might be surprised by the results. To put it another way, I will borrow from the words of John Lennon: “Turn off your mind, relax and float downstream.”
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”