When you earn money through your writing skills, writer’s block can frustrate you more than almost anything else. Fortunately, you can kick that writer’s block out of town.
One of the best ways that I’ve found for breaking through writer’s block is taking a break. For example, you can take a walk, cook a delicious snack (muffins, anyone?), or sit back and listen to cool music with your eyes closed. In this article, I focus on breaking out of writer’s block through creative writing—specifically through writing prompts
How Writing Prompts Help
Writing something for a job or specific project can come with a lot of pressure. You want to get the words out and make them good while you’re at it. Creative writing that you’re doing for fun can change up your writing routine, which can be a big release.
One of my favorite parts about writing prompts is that I don’t feel like I have to have a whole novel figured out, have backstory for the last 20 plus years on each character mapped, or even have a plan at all. I simply find a quote or tidbit of plot that tickles my fancy and write whatever I want. This freedom gets the creative juices flowing (and reminds me that I like writing).
Where to Find Writing Prompts
While you can simply Google the term “writing prompts,” you can find inspiration in other, more focused ways.
One of my friends gets more inspiration out of a quirky or beautiful picture than she’s ever gotten out of a written prompt. She saw one picture of Sebastian from the show Black Butler, and it inspired several stories over the next few years. And she hasn’t even seen a single episode of the show. Pictures of historical fashion, an unusual landscape, awkward people, etc., inspire writers in different ways. Find a detail that stands out to you and let the words flow without listening to your inner editor’s criticism.
Dialog can be a goldmine of untapped writing potential. Have you ever heard someone say something that would be really funny or weird if taken out of context? Have you ever said the wrong thing when talking or ever misheard what someone said in a spectacular way? Here are some examples from my life that could make interesting writing prompts.
- “I’m just showing my love and affection in potentially fatal ways.”
- “I risked getting Lyme disease to avoid you. You should be impressed.”
- “The most violent thing that happens is World War II. No big.”
- “You’re very pretty . . . well, I wasn’t looking at your face.”
- “Why would you buy ‘fatty nuggets’?”
- “I do not eat rust!” “I said ‘you need rest.’”
Quotes don’t have to be from real life, either. Sometimes a line from a book, movie, or song can get your writing juices flowing. Pinterest also has quite a few quotes.
Situational concept writing prompts are some of the most common types that you can find online, but you easily can invent your own. Find something small that you can change about real life and write about how that would impact a person or society. I’ll give you a few examples that I’ve come up with:
- What if there was a game that had cards with emotions written on them that made you experience that emotion?
- Sadness is the sound of giggles and the color pink. Why?
- What if there were hipster dragons that only wanted foreign human pets that needed special food and temperatures to be happy?
- Write a scene where a statement that is usually sad is said with joy.
There you have it! Try writing a short story (one that’s only a few hundred words or so) from one of the prompts in any of these categories. Just find something fun and different to write about. It will lubricate your writing gears and get you back where you need to be—writing without the block.