10 interesting prompts to inspire your creative writing
Some days I write for hours on end. Some days I don’t even know where to begin. It happens to the best of us. But I’m a strong believer that there’s always creativity flowing within - sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get you thinking. These are the ideas and starting points that work for me. Whenever I’m stuck or feeling unimaginative, I start here, and something always follows shortly after. Allow yourself some time, grab a pen and paper, and try one of these today!
1) Write about the best gift someone ever gave you and what made it so great. OR, think of a moment in your life that you wish you go back and re-write. Then re-write it. What would you say? How would you say it?
2) I always find that a fountain of words comes out when I’m writing a letter. Probably even more so for the letters I know I will never send. They’re a great way to vent, and a great way to get out emotions you didn’t even know you were feeling! Write a letter to anyone in your life and tell them all the things you could never say – all the things you wish you could tell them. It could be a family member, a friend, or get creative and write to your future or past self! What would you tell them, if you could?
3) Artwork is a massive inspiration for me. Do some googling or scroll on Pinterest, and choose a painting. Maybe you already have a favourite artist, or even some artwork in your home. Choose a piece and examine it. Who’s it about? Who’s in it? Look at the brush strokes, the light in it. Write something inspired by that piece and the way it makes you feel.
'The Sun and Her Flowers' has pieces inspired by art woven throughout:
4) Try writing in a form that you wouldn't normally use. For example, if you usually write long, thriller/crime novels, try writing a haiku. Or if you are a poet, try writing a short story. See what comes to mind and then see if you can apply that thought process in your real work, later on.
5) Pick a person or a place and then write a list of words that remind you of them/that. Or if you are a visual person, create a mood-board! Then, write something that is completely unrelated to the subject you chose, but use all the words that you just wrote down.
6) Grab a pen and paper, sit down at a desk, and set a timer for 5 minutes. Write, and write solidly for those 5 minutes. Don’t worry about any themes, just write whatever comes to mind and write it as quickly as you can. Even if it doesn’t make sense, even if it’s just a load of words, you will be amazed at how much you can write in just 5 minutes. This is a great idea just to see where you mind is at. Sometimes you didn’t even realise certain things were on your mind, but you just need to get them out.
7) Have a go at doing some blackout poetry. I tried it and fell in love. Get an old, second hand book you don’t mind ruining, or just use a magazine or newspaper. If you want, you could even try it with your own writing, to shake things up and see what new creations you can make from something old.
Here's an example of some of my blackout poetry:
Here, I used paints to colour the page, but you could use pen, pencil, or anything really! Have a look at my blackout poetry board on Pinterest for some more inspo, or do some googling to see what others have created!
8) Pick a poem or any other piece of writing you admire. Now write down all the reasons you admire it. Is it the form or the rhyme scheme? Maybe it’s the use of speech or the way it uses metaphor? Pick one thing and then try to mimic it in your own work. Now I don’t mean copy it exactly - we’re not copying someone’s homework here and just changing it up a bit so that your teacher doesn’t notice. I’m not advocating plagiarism. BUT, there’s nothing wrong with taking a bit of inspiration and turning it into creation. Just make it your own.
9) Take one of your favourite quotes – now expand on it. Create a story from it. Who said it, and why? If you write poetry, write a poem and try to fit it in somewhere as a line.
10) This one is going to sound like quite a basic concept, but stick with it and you’ll be amazed at what can come out. Pick a theme. Water, or the sky or the sun - something really obvious. In fact, the more cliché the better. And then just list / write out everything you can about it – what it means to you, how it looks, what it does, what it might say. Sometimes you spend so long trying to think outside the box and be original, that you lose all sense of meaning, and no-one can relate to what you’ve written. By really focusing and paying attention to one obvious subject, you could end up thinking of something super original, amongst all the clichés. And that’s going to stand out.
So there’s 10, (hopefully new) starting points for you. Why not save this blog post, so you can come back to it whenever you need inspiration?
If you did end up using any of these ideas, let me know if they worked for you by leaving a comment below, or drop me a DM – they are always open and I love hearing from you guys.
Don’t be too hard on yourself though if you are feeling stuck. You can’t write a masterpiece every single day. Words will find you again.