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How to Beat Writer's Block With 5 Super Easy Writing Prompts Especially for the Struggling Writer

Updated on June 2, 2018
Cyndi10 profile image

The former executive director of a successful nonprofit agency now content specialist, Cynthia writes about a variety of researched topics.

Writer's tools to keep handy as they may be a part of your writing prompts, allowing you to put your thoughts on paper.
Writer's tools to keep handy as they may be a part of your writing prompts, allowing you to put your thoughts on paper. | Source

Are You a Writer Struggling to Find a Topic? Writing Prompts Are Everywhere

If you are open to them, writing prompts are everywhere and they will become clear to you to aid the excellent writer within you. Once you develop and call on your powers of observation, you will be amazed at how easily writing prompts manifest and the struggle ended.

Sometimes the evidence of these writing prompts are visible, overtly obvious. More often, they are subtle. Still, they are there, hovering within reach, and if you relax, let the writer within takeover, the writing prompts will become obvious.

How and when do you start to recognize the writing prompts surrounding us.? Why not begin with what you already have written. Gather every scrap you've ever written. If it's on paper, catalogue it. If it's in your computer, search it out, categorize your writing and drop in folders. The poems you wrote in meetings, the stories you wrote for your kids; how about the novels you started and laid aside? Where are they now? Pull them out and review every piece. You are a writer, the prompts may already be in the work you have at hand but left unpolished or unfinished.

African violets can be a creative writing prompt. Create a how to article; use them in a story or poem.
African violets can be a creative writing prompt. Create a how to article; use them in a story or poem. | Source

Where Are Your Writing Prompts?

There is so much to write about, so many prompts. Prompts are spawns of the wonders of the world emerging from the wonders of the mind; characters not yet created and characters as ancient and familiar as the sea, just waiting to be awakened, to take on new shape. And the most important prompt lies in a writer's powers of observation.

The unpublished, the masses of would be writers use the similar retorts: "I only need to find the time," "find the money," "find the best hideaway to start to write," or " find the best creative writing prompts." Quite frankly, they are experts at excuses. These writers are bursting with reasons to procrastinate. They research and read what the accomplished writer has to share and proclaim, "Aha! I knew all this." But still, sadly, they don't write.

Look around. The plant in the corner can lead to an article on caring for that species of plant or may lead to "fleshing out" the character you have been toying with who now has a penchant for growing, say African violets. The violets become a prop, a part of the clues to how your character functions in his or her reality.

The music you listen to may contain writing prompts. Hot, steamy Latin beats can lead to a hot, steamy romance novel set in a Latin dance studio or set in the jungles of Brazil.

Cool jazz can prompt an article or a book about the life of Billie Holiday and the impact she left on jazz enthusiasts. Or it may lead to exploring the genius of Miles Davis.

What about that article you read? Can you add some additional information to it? Can you present a different point of view? If you can, that article has become your writing prompt.

Trace the discovery of your writing prompts. Can you feel where the words originate? When do the neurons start firing, lighting up the pathway to a single word, connecting to other words? When do you form the phrases, the sentences for the ideas that are the essence of a story, a poem or an essay? From your mind to the reader's mind. Miraculous, if you consider what has happened before you opened that book and began to read.

The creative writing process starts somewhere and that somewhere is with the prompt. Everything leads back to the writing prompts, whether you are aware or not.

Find that calmness, that uncrowded space in your mind. Let it fill up without concsious effort. The prompts will start to work their magic and the thoughts will start to take shape. It can happen at an appointed time, but it can happen just as easily with no conscious effort from you.

Be vigilante. Writing prompts can materialize anywhere at anytime. Something unexpected ignites the spark. Have your recorder on your phone ever ready. Have a journal or notebook always within reach. Even though always present, the shape and form of a prompt can easily slip away, like mud oozing between your toes.

Shamelessly eavesdrop on conversations around you. They don't have to know.
Shamelessly eavesdrop on conversations around you. They don't have to know. | Source

Five Writing Prompts When the Words Are Elusive

Five Writing Prompts When the Words Are Elusive

To help you become fully aware of the limitless writing prompts, consider the following for inspiration:

  1. Contemplate the sky, daytime or nighttime, but especially nighttime. You will find ideas sprinkled around the heavens like the stars. Skywatching can lead to an article on weather, clouds, astrology, or comets - and that's just the beginning of what waits for you among the heavens.
  2. Observe your dog. Dog watching can lead to fiction and/or nonfiction. Dog owners want to know about the best food, the best vet practices, the best flea/tick treatments, etc. Stories are written around the antics of the dogs in our lives and the way they interact with us. Consider using the dog as a catalyst for a new romance story. If not a dog, then use a cat to stir your imagination.
  3. Get out. Take a trip to the grocery store or the market. Articles about food abound, good and bad. So are articles about health and wellness. You can people watch while there and get your inspiration. How about etiquette while in line? Or what about a story about the mom with four young children all clamoring for attention? Then there is the mom with the teenager who is trying her best to disappear into the floor. Fiction or nonfiction can emerge from each scenario.
  4. Eavesdrop on conversations, surreptitiously, of course. A favorite of many writers prompt, particularly fiction writers, is to simply sit at their favorite coffee spot or the park and watch people. Listen to the cadence of their voices. People around have many stories to tell and if you listen closely enough you may find something to write about.
  5. Review old photos or old movies - your family's or others. Recall the family history. Pull your story, article or even a poem or two from them.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, then open your eyes and observe the writing prompts that surround you. Revel in them. They are a part of your everyday world.

You have the power to create a new world at any time, with the proverbial stroke of the pen or a tap of the keys. So relax, let the words form, these easy writing prompts will inspire the rest.

Ray Bradbury speaks on writing.

© 2012 Cynthia B Turner


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