101 Writing Prompts For Beating Writer's Block (2022) (2022)

Writing prompts help you start writing when you feel like you don’t know how to begin your work. Get your free writing prompts and tips today.

Are you looking for some great writing prompts? Or have you ever looked at the blank page and found it difficult to get started?

Well, you’re not alone.

Ernest Hemingway said:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

It’s no wonder many new writers struggle when they start sitting down in front of the blank page regularly.

So, what to do?

I’ve spent more than my fair share of time looking at the blank page and wondering what to do next. (Perhaps that goes some way to explaining my rapidly receding hairline).

Today, I avoid moments like this through the power of writing prompts.

Here, I’ve gathered 101 proven writing prompts for adults that you can use today.

In this article, I’ll cover:

Contents

  • Why Use Writing Prompts?
  • How to Use These Writing Prompts
  • 101 Writing Prompts
  • A Few More Writing Topics
  • What To Do Next
  • Tailoring Your Writing Routine
  • Writing Prompts Resources
  • Final Thoughts
  • Author

Why Use Writing Prompts?

Whether you are trying to improve your writing skills, or you are writing a book, writing prompts can give you the spark of creativity needed to get started.

A writing prompt is a fragmented sentence or writing idea that is used as a topic to start writing.

(Video) How to Use Creative Writing Prompts

The purpose of using a writing prompt is to expand your point of view or thoughts on a topic to get your creativity and words flowing.

Many people forget about writing prompts after high school, but it turns out they aren’t just for high school students. They are pretty darn useful for even the best of writers.

Plus they are great for short story writing!

A good prompt will help you start writing when you feel like you’ve got nothing to say or when you don’t know how to begin your work.

They’re also particularly useful for new writers who want to build a habit of writing every day but are unsure of what to write about.

How to Use These Writing Prompts

The below writing prompts aren’t meant as the final first line for your work.

Instead, you can use them as a jumping-off point into your work or for free writing.

The Process

  • In your journal, take one of these lines, write it down, and then write whatever else comes to mind.
  • Do this for at least 30 minutes.

This is good enough to accomplish something on the blank page, but not so long that it feels overwhelming.

Later, when you’ve something more polished, go back and delete the writing prompt.

Download 101 Prompts Booklet

101 Writing Prompts

1. “I remember the first time I…”
2. “I remember the last time I…”
3. “The next time I…”
4. “It tasted like…”
5. “It felt like…”
6. “It sounded like…”
7. “We were wrong about…”
8. “We were right about…”
9. “That was the day we…”
10. “This is our new…”
11. “It’s here.”
12. “I learnt that…”
13. “I made a terrible mistake when…”
14. “Nobody expected us to…”
15. “Do you know why…”
16. “It’s always important to…”
17. “Most people don’t know this but…”
18. “I probably shouldn’t be telling you this but…”
19. “Here’s a secret nobody knows…”
20. “I do this because…”
21. “Admit it.”
22. “I found out that…”
23. “He gave us a…”
24. “She took a…”
25. “We found a…”
26. “I was in pain.”
27. “We discovered…”
28. “Today is a good day for…”
29. “Tomorrow is a bad day for…”
30. “This time it will be different.”
31. “We need to talk about…”
32. “You need to face up to…”
33. “Our only hope is…”
34. “On my desk, I can see…”
35. “Outside the window there’s…”
36. “I ate…”
37. “If I was…”
38. “When I’m…”
39. “Go to…”
40. “Now that we…”
41. “We argued about…”
42. “Being wrong is hard because…”
43. “Being right is lonely because…”
44. “Together we can….”
45. “Apart we are…”
46. “Let me guess.”
47. “If I understand you correctly, you think…”
48. “My friend is…”
49. “I love her because…”
50. “I hate him because…”
51. “We’re going to…”
52. “Let’s take a trip to…”
53. “My favourite…”
54. “I’m lost.”
55. “We want to get to…”
56. “The weather is…”
57. “We’re going to eat…”
58. “Food is…”
59.“Water is…”
60. “Money is…”
61. “Help is…”
62. “Sex is…”
63. “Last night I dreamt of…”
64. “I slept for…”
65. “I’m working for…”
66. “I failed at…”
67. “I succeeded at…”
68. “You showed me how to…”
69. “He sat me down and explained that…”
70. “She made us laugh when…”
71. “My hero is…”
72. “My enemy is…”
73. “I regret…”
74. “This time we went too far.”
75. “I told him…”
76. “She told me…”
77. “I looked in the mirror and saw….”
78. “Black.”
79. “White.”
80. “I awoke at 3 am and realised…”
81. “I should have listened.”
82. “He won’t do that again.”
83. “It was the first storm of the year…”
84. “Her eyes are…”
85. “His hands make me want to…”
86. “She tastes like…”
87. “He feels like…”
88. “Danger.”
89. “How can we…”
90. “Open your…”
91. “Keep it safe.”
92. “It’s a new day.”
93. “It’s later than we think.”
94. “If I ever see another…”
95. “The best day of my life was…”
96. “The worst day of my life was…”
97. “When I’m king…”
98. “You could be a queen of…”
99. “Looking back…”
100. “They caught me.”
101. “I was crushed because…”

A Few More Writing Topics

All the writing prompts above serve as story starters and inspiration to spark your imagination.

Writing prompts come in all shapes and forms. They can be fragmented sentences or actualessay writing topics.

Creative writing prompts, like journal prompts, are usually more extensive than story starters. Here are some examples:

  • Write a poem on your favorite person or place.
  • Write a personal essay describing the timeline of your life.
  • Think back on a homework assignment from when you were in middle school or high school that left a significant impact on you.
  • Write an essay on a school teacher that made an impact on who you are.
  • Did you grow up to have the life or career you imagined you would have?
  • Discuss how social media has impacted our ability to communicate with one another.
  • Explain your dream valentine’s day.
  • Which American cinema has given you the most inspiration?
  • You are at the grocery store, and you run into someone you haven’t seen in years. Who is it? Write a narrative of the experience.
  • Write an essay about your favorite book. Was there a character that grabbed your attention? Did you find inspiration to run off into a world of imagination? Explain what happened in the book and why it is your favorite.
  • Which famous person would you like to meet? Explain why.
  • Write an expository essay on how to write a book. List the steps and explain to your reader the pros and cons of writing a printed book versus an e-book.
  • What is your opinion on religion as a whole?
  • Write an essay on an experience when you learned a tough lesson. What happened?
  • If you were to write a book, what would your main character be like?
  • Write a short essay about a dystopian world like in Handmaid’s Tale. What led this world to become dystopian? Will the people rise out of the ashes?
  • List your favorite phrases. Do they have anything in common? Try to create your own.
  • What is your opinion on the decline of American school funding?
  • In your opinion, should teens be allowed to play violent video games?
  • Think back on a good memory with your best friend or family members. What happened in the experience? Who was there?
  • Why do you love writing? What led you to become a writer?

The creative writing prompts can go on. Creative writing can include anything from poetry to journal writing about one’s real-life experiences.

Creative writing can take the form of a narrative, an expository essay, a short story, a dialog, and even a social media post.

(Video) WHAT TO WRITE IN A JOURNAL | things to write about (for beginners or when you have writers block)

It is a gateway to thought and imagination. A chance to get the creative wheels in your mind cranking.

What To Do Next

Ok, I’ll admit it. My list of prompts works for me because I wrote it 🙂

No, that’s not the sound of my over-sized ego banging off the ceiling…

The biggest writing tip I can offer is to create your list of writing prompts and add to it over time.

Whether you’re writing a blog post or a book chapter, keeping a personal library of writing prompts will save you hours of wasted time.

Use a notepad. Use a digital app like Evernote. Use the back of your hand if you have to… but build your library.

Start by taking a great first line from your favourite book, writer or story.

You could go on to record snippets of conversations, headlines you like and even writing ideas you come across in great books.

Like coins filling a jar, one day you’ll look into your library and discover you’re rich with creative writing ideas.

Download 101 Prompts Booklet

Tailoring Your Writing Routine

Writing prompts are a fantastic way to get the writing process started, but there’s more to good writing than a creative idea.

The most successful writers have a few more strategies that they put to use on a daily basis to keep their writing sharp and effective.

If you really want to hone in on your writing skills and productivity, focus on these four things in your writing process:

1. Create a Writing Schedule

Dedicate an uninterrupted, scheduled writing time for your work.

Whether it be once a day or once a week, figure out what works best for you and stick to it! An effective writing schedule is essential for productive writing.

2. Create a Word Count Goal

Create a realistic word-count goal for each writing session. If you are reaching your goal easily, increase the count. This is beneficial for productivity and staying focused.

(Video) 7 Ways to Beat Writer's Block | Weaving Worlds

3. Be Prepared to Deal with Writer’s Block

Writer’s block is inevitable.

There will be days where you simply cannot get a single word onto paper.

Prepare yourself beforehand by keeping a few tricks up your sleeve such as a commonplace book for writing ideas, and a list of writing prompts that have been effective in the past.

The more you practice getting out of writer’s block when you are in it, the less often you will struggle with it.

4. Discuss Your Work With Others

Discussing your current project with others not only holds you accountable for your deadlines, but it can lead to more ideas. Moreover, it gets the word out about your work and sparks anticipation!

Writing Prompts Resources

Bryan Cohen has written a series of books with writing prompts based around events, occasions and characters, the most comprehensive book being his boxset 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts Box Set.

If you like using great first lines as prompts, The First Line Generator will spew one up at random from a great book.

Musicians Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno created The Oblique Strategies in 1975. These are a set of cards or prompts for musicians, but they can be used for all types of creative work.

Reddit has acomprehensive forum packed full of free writing prompts, with a heavy emphasis on fiction writing.

Writer’s digest has an entire web page dedicated to writing prompts.

Ryan Andrew Kinder has gathered more writing prompts than you shake a blank page at in his book 1001 Awesome Writing Prompts.

The Story Shack offers a useful writing prompt generator for fiction writers.

The New York Times has a specific list of writing prompts for narrative and personal fiction.

If you want to inject more colour into your writing, check out The Comic Tool Box: How to Be Funny Even If You’re Not by John Vorhaus.

If you want to write more jokes, read Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer.

Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within doesn’t cover writing prompts per-say, but she goes into great detail about how to find ideas and tackle problems like writer’s block.

(Video) Writer's Block Relief Meditation - BEAT WRITER'S BLOCK with this POWERFUL 10 min meditation

Robert McKee’s book Story: Style, Structure, Substance, and the Principles of Screenwriting is essential reading if you want to tell better stories.

Evernote is a great place to build your library of personal writing prompts. Alternatives, include Simplenote and Google Keep.

If you want to practise journaling, the app Day One is purpose-built for just that. You can even include photos alongside your time and location-stamped entries.

Finally, if you really love writing and want to see how you compare to other writers, enter your work into writing contests!

Final Thoughts

These 101 writing prompts and other writing topics have always provided the creative impetus needed to give my writing skills a boost.

So, next time you feel the shackles of the writer’s block restrain your creativity, pick up one of these writing prompts to fire up your imagination! You can even use these as content writing practice exercises.

Want more? Check out our list of writing tips.

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

FAQs

What is 500 writing prompts? ›

500 Writing Prompts guided journal is lined with a prompt or two per page and will help ease you into your own writing space, allowing you to explore the inner depths of your mind and soul, one word at a time. The unique journal design allows pages to lay open flat, making them easier to write in.

What are some cool writing prompts? ›

20 fun writing prompts
  • 1 Write about a song and a feeling it invoked in you.
  • 2 Recall an important memory from your childhood and tell it from the perspective of someone else who was present.
  • 3 Write about an item you have that isn't expensive but means a lot to you.
  • 4 What color do you feel like today and why?
1 Dec 2021

Where can I find writing prompts? ›

10 Great Sites For Writing Prompts
  • StoryADay.org Writing Prompts.
  • DIYMFA Writer Igniter.
  • Writers' Digest Writing Prompts.
  • Tumblr.
  • Writing Prompts That Don't Suck.
  • CreativeWriting Prompts.
  • Writing Fix.
  • Reddit Writing Prompts SubReddit.

How do you write a good essay prompt? ›

An effective writing prompt should have the following characteristics:
  1. Use clear and concise wording. Plainly identify the student's task . ...
  2. • ...
  3. Make connections to previous learning, when possible. ...
  4. Respect students' privacy (avoid highly personal, private issues). ...
  5. Potential Pitfalls.

What are 10 writing prompts? ›

Top 10 Writing Prompts of 2018
  • Custom Etymology. Write a story or a scene about someone inventing a new word—or, alternatively, giving an existing word a new meaning.
  • Unexpected Inking. ...
  • Handwriting Anatomy. ...
  • Musical Incantation. ...
  • Thou Mayest. ...
  • A Book of Chance. ...
  • Madder Libs. ...
  • Things We Lose.
27 Dec 2018

How do I start a prompt? ›

Writing prompt construction:
  1. Part 1. Introduce the topic or writing situation with a statement or generalization to orient the student to the topic.
  2. Part 2. Encourage students to brainstorm and to make a personal connection with the topic. ...
  3. Part 3. Describe the writing task, purpose, and audience.

How can I be a good writer? ›

Below are tips to help you become a better writer:
  1. Set specific goals. Before you begin writing, make sure you have a clear objective in mind. ...
  2. Use simple and concise language. ...
  3. Read often. ...
  4. Take notes. ...
  5. Practice, practice, practice. ...
  6. Take active breaks. ...
  7. Match your tone to your audience. ...
  8. Get better at grammar and spelling.

What is a good prompt? ›

A good writing prompt should be evocative.

A well-worded prompt should feel almost like a burr in your side. It should make you feel provoked, edgy, spurred to respond. The first thoughts that come to you upon reading the prompt may be surprising or unusual, even risky. Always go with those first thoughts.

Do writing prompts improve writing? ›

Building writing prompts into your writing routine will make you a better writer. Not only will writing prompts get the creative juices flowing, but they can also help you warm-up for a productive writing session and even enable you to develop a wider writing skill-set.

What should write today? ›

Things to Write About Today
  • Write about what you love about your life right now.
  • Write a list of words for each of your senses.
  • Write about a lifestyle you can barely imagine.
  • Write about spending a day in the house of your dreams.
  • Write a world with no characters.
  • Write an ode to the floor.

How do I talk to my 8 year old? ›

Communicating With Your Child

Make time to hear about the day's activities; be sure your child knows you're actively interested and listening carefully. Remember to talk with your kids, not at them. Ask questions that go beyond "yes" or "no" answers to prompt more developed conversation.

What ifs should I ask my girlfriend? ›

“What If” Questions to Ask Your Girlfriend
  • What if you could relive one day in your life? ...
  • What if we only had one day left together? ...
  • What if you had the power to read my mind? ...
  • What if you were offered $10 million dollars to break up with me? ...
  • What if we were stranded on a desert island together?
20 Sept 2022

How can I help my 9 year old with creative writing? ›

Here are 9 ways to make creative writing skills fun:
  1. Read Often. Books are the best precursor to writing. ...
  2. Identify Ways to Practice. ...
  3. Encourage Your Child to Write. ...
  4. Encourage Journaling. ...
  5. Use “Feeling” Words. ...
  6. Use Writing Prompts. ...
  7. Practice Storytelling. ...
  8. Play Games.

Which words should not be used in this essay? ›

20+ Words to Avoid Writing in Your Essay
  • 1) Contractions. ...
  • 2) Idioms. ...
  • 3-5) “So on,” “etc,” “and so forth“ ...
  • 6) Clichés. ...
  • 7-11) “Thing,” “stuff,” “good,” “bad,” “big“ ...
  • 12) Slang, jargon, teen speak. ...
  • 13) Rhetorical questions. ...
  • 14-17) “In terms of,” “needless to say,” “in conclusion,” “it goes without saying“
13 Mar 2018

What are prompts examples? ›

The definition of a prompt is a cue given to someone to help him remember what to say, or is something that causes another event or action to occur. An example of prompt is when you whisper a line to an actor who forgot what to say next. An example of prompt is an event that starts an argument.

How do you write a 7th grade essay? ›

7.2 How To Write in Middle School - The 7th grade informational essay

How do you write faster? ›

To do a quickwrite, students and teacher write for two or three minutes off a found idea or borrowed line from a text, responding to something that sparks a reaction in the mind of the reader/listener. This process helps writers generate ideas and get words on paper.

Should a 3 year old be able to write their name? ›

Your 3-year-old now

Some threes even start writing their name, or a few letters of it. But writing is one of those developmental milestones that varies greatly from child to child. Don't stress out if your child isn't even interested in writing. A lot depends on fine motor development.

What age can kids write their name? ›

There is no age that your child must know how to write his name. It will probably start emerging around 4 years, maybe a little earlier or later. If your child is too young developmentally to be expected to write, then the same applies to his name.

What is the right age to start writing? ›

Writing. By ages four to five, children will start writing letters. Children will learn to write the alphabet in preschool and kindergarten, but it may be beneficial to have your child practice writing his/her letters at home.

How do I start writing for fun? ›

There are actually quite a few ways to make writing more fun, but some take more time than others.
  1. Write with the help of a writing prompt. ...
  2. Illustrate your writing. ...
  3. Tell a story. ...
  4. Write, write, write. ...
  5. Write about something new. ...
  6. Get inspired by others. ...
  7. Re-write previous works. ...
  8. Write about what you enjoy.
17 Nov 2019

How long can writer's block last? ›

How long does writer's block last? Writer's block doesn't have a time frame. If you are lucky, it will last only for an hour or two. However, for some people, it can go on for much longer ranging from days to weeks.

What causes writers block? ›

Perfectionism is one of the causes of writer's block. The best way to combat perfectionism is to remind yourself that you're merely working on the first draft. Thinking of your work as a first draft of many will take the pressure off to get it just right.

Why do I have writers block? ›

“Blocks often occur because writers put a lot of pressure on themselves to sound 'right' the first time. A good way to loosen up and have fun again in a draft is to give yourself permission to write imperfectly.” Writers often spend hours looking for the perfect phrasing to illustrate a concept.

How many paragraphs is an essay? ›

No rule says an essay needs to have a certain number of paragraphs, but an essay must be at least three paragraphs. Many people say an essay should be five paragraphs, but it's an extremely limiting rule, and unless you've been instructed to write a five-paragraph essay, there's no reason to stick to it.

How long should writing Prompts be? ›

What is a prompt? A prompt consists of 1-3 sentences raising an issue, or asking a question that you will have to respond to in an essay.

How long should essays be? ›

Essay length guidelines
Type of essayAverage word count range
High school essay300–1000 words
College admission essay200–650 words
Undergraduate college essay1500–5000 words
Graduate school admission essay500–1000 words
1 more row
28 Jan 2019

What is a good writer called? ›

Wordsmith

Perhaps swapping out the word 'writer' for wordsmith is an accurate representation of your skills. According to Dictionary.com a wordsmith is “an expert in the use of words.” A wordsmith makes a career in words as a journalist or novelist.

How do you write letter A? ›

Alphabet Writing lesson for children | The Singing Walrus - YouTube

What are the 5 types of writing? ›

The 5 Types of Writing Styles and Why You Should Master Each
  • Narrative Writing. Narrative writing is storytelling at its most basic: it's all about sharing something that happens to a character. ...
  • Descriptive Writing. ...
  • Persuasive Writing. ...
  • Expository Writing. ...
  • Creative Writing.
19 Apr 2021

What is the meaning of writing prompt? ›

A writing prompt introduces and focuses the writing topic. The purposes of a writing prompt are to encourage the student's interest in a topic and encourage them to write about it in a thoughtful and creative way.

What is an example of a writing prompt? ›

A writing prompt is usually a statement followed by questions you can use to craft a piece. The initial statement focuses on a particular subject or an area. For example, a creative writing prompt might suggest, "Describe a cold, empty place."

What would you do if prompts? ›

Journal Prompts
  1. What if you suddenly came into possession of five million dollars cash?
  2. What if you could choose a superpower? ...
  3. What if there was world peace? ...
  4. What if you could go back to school and study anything you wanted?
  5. What if you had an opportunity to travel to outer space?
  6. What if you could change careers?
17 Feb 2022

Are writing prompts helpful to beginner writers? ›

New writers sometimes find prompts and exercises are incredibly useful to give them a place to practice writing and develop their personal writing style. Prompts can give you the structure to explore the first sentence of an essay or a premise for a thriller that exercise different creative muscles.

Which words should not be used in this essay? ›

20+ Words to Avoid Writing in Your Essay
  • 1) Contractions. ...
  • 2) Idioms. ...
  • 3-5) “So on,” “etc,” “and so forth“ ...
  • 6) Clichés. ...
  • 7-11) “Thing,” “stuff,” “good,” “bad,” “big“ ...
  • 12) Slang, jargon, teen speak. ...
  • 13) Rhetorical questions. ...
  • 14-17) “In terms of,” “needless to say,” “in conclusion,” “it goes without saying“
13 Mar 2018

How many paragraphs should a writing prompt be? ›

A prompt consists of 1-3 sentences raising an issue, or asking a question that you will have to respond to in an essay.

How does an essay start? ›

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order: An opening hook to catch the reader's attention. Relevant background information that the reader needs to know. A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

What are 10 writing prompts? ›

Top 10 Writing Prompts of 2018
  • Custom Etymology. Write a story or a scene about someone inventing a new word—or, alternatively, giving an existing word a new meaning.
  • Unexpected Inking. ...
  • Handwriting Anatomy. ...
  • Musical Incantation. ...
  • Thou Mayest. ...
  • A Book of Chance. ...
  • Madder Libs. ...
  • Things We Lose.
27 Dec 2018

What are some story starters? ›

Story starters
  • I didn't mean to kill her.
  • The air turned black all around me.
  • Icy fingers gripped my arm in the darkness.
  • Wandering through the graveyard it felt like something was watching me.
  • The eyes in the painting follow him down the corridor.
  • A shrill cry echoed in the mist.

What should I write in my school journal? ›

Good High School Journal Topics and Activities to Improve Self-Expression
  1. Describe something you did this past summer.
  2. Describe the perfect date.
  3. What is courage?
  4. Describe a hero. ...
  5. What was your most difficult or most joyous life experience?
  6. List one of your pet peeves and write about why it annoys you.

How do I identify my writing style? ›

An author's writing style is defined by two elements:
  1. Voice: Voice is the personality you take on in your writing. It is the point of view through which you're telling a story.
  2. Tone: Tone is identified by the attitude that a piece of writing conveys.
11 Nov 2021

How long does it take to improve writing skills? ›

You might have heard about the 10,000-hour rule: to master any skill, you must practice for 10,000 hours. But who's got so much time? If you can dedicate 4 hours a week to writing, it'll take you 48 years to master writing skills.

How do I become a writer with no experience? ›

How To Become A Freelance Writer With No Experience
  1. Write samples.
  2. Find a writing agency to support you.
  3. Launch a blog.
  4. Write for friends and family.
  5. Network with other freelance writers.
  6. Get your start with a content network.
  7. Revise and refresh your grammar.
  8. Learn about SEO.

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