Writer’s block happens to the best of us, but some hurdles are harder to clear than others. Taking a break and focusing on something else for a while usually helps. But if you have a particularly stubborn block that won’t budge no matter what you do, a writing prompt may just be the trick to get your creative juices flowing again. Here are the nine best writing prompts that will help you beat the block.
Use the Dictionary
This writing prompt will never go out of style. All you need is a good, hard copy of the dictionary. Now flip to any random page at all, and place your finger anywhere on the page. What word are you pointing at? Think about that word and just begin writing whatever comes to mind.
Think about one or both of your parents. Write about them. Start with, “The thing I love most about my parents…” or even, “The thing I hate most about my parents…” There’s nothing like thinking about your parents to dig up raw emotions. If you prefer, try it with your siblings.
Spirituality or religion is also a great starting point for your writing. Write about your first experiences or what you were taught as a child about spirituality or religion. Or write your current views. Try starting with, “God is…” or “What will happen when I die is…”
She Said, She Didn’t Say
If you’re doing some creative writing, take a passage you’ve already written that includes a lot of dialogue. Now rewrite that passage using no dialogue at all, only descriptions.
Just Do It
Can’t think about what to write? Maybe you can. Try starting with, “I want to write about…” or “I’m now going to write about…” and you may be shocked at how easily your thoughts come.
There’s nothing like young love. Think back to when you were younger, and remember your first love. Write about how you felt, and start with, “My first love was…” If you want to spice things up a little more, write about your first sexual experience.
Use a Picture
Images can be great inspiration for our writing. Look around you, and choose a picture to write about. You could also flip through a photo album or a book with pictures and choose a random page. Write about the photograph and whatever feelings you have when you look at it.
It might be scary at first, but start out with, “I am the only one who knows that…” or “No one knows this but me…” You can write from your own point of view, or if you’re writing a work of fiction, try writing it from one of the character’s point of view. What secrets do they have to share with you?
Prompt yourself by thinking about authority, such as your boss, a former boss, or a teacher. Write about a time you clashed with them. There’s nothing like power and politics to stir up emotions. Try, “The President is…” or, “If I were the President…”
Mark Weatherford is a high school English teacher and published author who loves to write. He often generates content aimed at helping students either with homework or college essays.
Photo Credit: photosteve101