I absolutely love writing prompts when I’m trying to go through a writing exercise. Often, freewriting—just starting from nothing and going at the words—leaves me blank. I like to have a jumping point for my writing.
Now, I’m a poet and a prose writer, but I remembered an event I went to where the mediating author gave us prompts based on our own experiences. So I figured I’d include some journaling prompts for any of you personal writers! You can, of course, adapt any of the prompts for any form of writing you see fit. And don’t feel confined to the guidelines. Writing prompts exist to inspire you, so take what works and leave what doesn’t.
- Write a short story from beyond the grave.
- Challenge yourself to a flash fiction under 500 words.
- Get three sentences from three different books, and use them to create a story with the theme of “exile.”
- Write a flash fiction without using one of the following letters: S, R, N, or T. Your optional theme is “distance.”
- Using sonnet rhyme scheme (English or Petrarchan—your choice), write a poem about a blind date.
- How many synonyms can you think of for one of the following words? Use them in a poem addressing the notion of “paradox.”
- Turn as a verb
- Turn as a noun
- Write two connected poems: one celebrates something and the other inquires about it.
- Write a concrete/image poem (one that has a shape) that contradicts the content.
Journalling and Personal Creative Non-fiction
- Think of your earliest memory—and then add a butterfly to it.
- Create an onomatopoeia for something a family member or friend does. Write about that activity or action.
- Think of something that stands out in your memory that is red, yellow, or blue. Describe it, only naming it once.
- Write about the first time you saw something sublime in nature—the ocean, a mountain, a canyon, a waterfall… What was it like?
Feel free to leave any prompts, or your feedback, in the comments!