100+ Writing Prompts to Get You Writing More

100+ Writing Prompts to Get You Writing More

Are you struggling to come up with ideas? When you're stuck staring at a blank screen, it's time to get the creativity flowing! If you're looking for a way to break up your same old ideas, look no further. 

I've created 100+ writing prompts to get you writing more, faster. Take some time to explore the categories and pick the right prompt for you and your story. Then, bookmark this page for future projects! 

Okay, let's get started.

Boost Your Creativity in Ten Simple Ways

Have you ever had that kind of day when the creative well runs dry? That was me last week, staring at my notebook, waiting for the ideas to come. While we love to think we are in charge of our writerly destiny, there are days when you're out of sync.

But there is good news! Otherwise, this would be a seriously depressing blog post, am I right?

Today, I'll teach you ten simple ways to boost your creativity! Ready? Okay!

1. GO OUTSIDE OF YOUR ROUTINE.

Think about the day-to-day of your life. For me, it looks something like this:

  1. Wake up. Coffee.

  2. Go to work. Coffee.

  3. Lunch break. Coffee.

  4. Go home. Coffee.

In all seriousness, routine is a blessing and a curse. It can help us to create a schedule for our writing, but it can become mundane. When we're trapped in the routine rut, it's time to break out.

How can we do this? Here are a couple of ideas for you:

  • Take a day off. Time to play writing hookey! Get away from your desk and refresh.

  • Make a small switch. Keep it small, man. Park on a different floor. Wear heels instead of flats. A minimal shift can bring a maximum impact.

  • Take a walk. Getting outside can both inspire and de-stress you.

2. BREAK OUT THE BOOKS.

Obviously, we like books. But are we taking the time to actually, you know, read? It's time to set down our laptops and pick up the hardbacks!

Here are some creative reading tips for you, my friend:

  • Read a book outside of your genre. Don't be a one-note reader. Expand your horizons and read something fresh.

  • Read something outside of your medium. How about poetry? A medical journal? If you are a fiction writer, it doesn't limit you to being a fiction reader.

  • Read a visual story. Pick up a graphic novel or a comic book this week!

3. GET SOME SHUT-EYE.

In college, I consistently pulled all-nighters. I'd stay up all night perfecting whatever writing project was due the next day, and I'd roll into class looking I belonged on The Walking Dead. Don't stay up too late, okay?

If you must stay up late, then make room for a nice nap in your schedule. You only need twenty minutes to refresh your brain and rebuild your energy. You'll be amazed at how much more productive you can be when you're well rested.

4. START WRITING ON PAPER.

If you haven't read my post about writing the old fashioned way, hop on over! (Or skip. Or slide.) Writing on paper is an incredibly freeing experience, mainly because it prevents you from editing as you go along.

When you break away from the computer screen, it allows your mind to wander in a bigger, broader way. Don't tie yourself down! You're a balloon! A plane! Okay, I'll stop now.

5. TAKE A DIGITAL BREAK.

I need to confess something. I'm slightly addicted to my phone. If I'm not checking Instagram, I'm flipping through my Twitter feed. If I'm not studying my blog stats, I'm refreshing my book sales. This madness must stop.

Lately, I've been seizing every excuse to ditch the tech. Here are a few tips for breaking the digital bond:

  • Shut the data off on your apps. We're bringing back the 90's, my friend. When I'm off writing, I turn the data option off of my apps, so that I can't use them unless I'm connected to WiFi.

  • Set a time limit. Instagram to your heart's content... but only for ten minutes. Be specific, so you can stick to it.

  • Leave your phone in the other room. Turn the ringer on high and get to work!

6. BE PRESENT.

Our minds are constantly jumping to the next big thing. How many times have you finished a book only to dive right into the sequel? We are always looking ahead, which is both good and bad.

If you're trying to find your creative spark, it's imperative that you stay in the moment. You can't write a story now when you're thinking about how to sell it later. Stay grounded, like so:

  • Meditate. Sit in a quiet space and block out the thoughts. Find a guided meditation to get you started.

  • Free-write. Pair this baby with #4. Basically, write as fast as you can with whatever nonsense pops into your brain.

  • Mind Map. Break out a blank sheet of paper and start mapping! You begin with a big idea bubble, then branch out with smaller idea bubbles.

7. ISOLATE YOURSELF.

I consider myself to be a social person. I love hanging out with friends and family, but sometimes, I need to take a few hours for myself. It's okay to take a break! A few ideas on how to unwind alone:

  • Binge-watch a new show. But do this with intention. Pay attention to dialogue, setting, or storyline. Give your TV time a purpose!

  • Spa trip. Time to relax! Get thee to a spa-ery. (Butchered that.)

  • Start a creative project. Have you tried the new adult coloring book fad? Or maybe you're a scrapbook maker. Find your creative drive in non-writing creations.

8. FIND INSPIRATION ONLINE.

While the Internet world can serve as a distraction, you can also make it work for you. I have a set of blogs that I read daily, as well as podcasts I listen to, and youtubers I watch. It's important to surround yourself by the people who inspire you. Looking for ideas? Have at 'em:

9. ESCAPE FROM THE DAILY GRIND.

Cabin fever? No thank you. It's time to get on your feet and greet the great outdoors. Or maybe just a shopping mall. Totally up to you.

If you really want to re-energize and kick your inspiration up a notch, it's time to get away from the desk. Here are a few ideas:

  • Travel. Make like Nemo, and get lost! (Ha. Ha.)

  • Take a Day Trip. Don't have the time or money for a full-fledged vacation? Take a day trip to somewhere nearby.

  • Have fun! Go to the aquarium. Ride bikes in the park. Visit a cupcake shop. So many options!

10. HAVE A POW-WOW.

Maybe isolation isn't for you. Maybe your creativity needs a tribe! I love having brainstorming sessions with my writer pals and find inspiration from talking shop with them. If you need a pow-wow, look no further:

  • #StorySocial chat. Kristen of She's Novel and I host a Twitter chat every Wednesday at 9 PM EST, helping writers to navigate social media. It's a great place to ask questions and make friends!

  • Meet in person. Have in person writer friends? Meet up at a coffee shop and get chatting.

Discussion Time: How do you boost your creativity when you're in a slump?



Three Reasons Writers Should Walk

This is post #9 in a fifteen post series, entitled “15 Days to Writerly Awesome in 2015,”  posting on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday of January.

Below is a guest post by my friend Christine of the Better Novel Project:

As writers, we know there is one tried-and-true way to write a novel: Put your butt in the chair and write it.

But, like every rule, this one has an exception: exercise. And no, this isn’t a metaphor about exercising your fingertips. I’m talking about…(gulp) working out. To take the anxiety away from the idea, let’s start with the idea of taking a walk. You like long walks, right? Seriously, grab your pup and go. Here are three reasons why it will improve your writing.

Walk for Mental Clarity

Ever feel that burny-dry-eye-blink from staring at the screen for too long? After going for a walk, you return with your mind refreshed and ready for higher order thinking. No really, that’s science. And that higher order thinking may be just what you need to catch those typos, or realize which paragraph needs to be moved up a few lines to be oh-so-much better.

Walk for a Better Mood

Are you really writing during your screen time? In case you haven’t figured it out, refreshing your feed over and over again is bad for your psyche. That’s science too. Those little red bells, alarms, flags, notifications, and buzzes-- or lack thereof-- can be a vicious cycle.  Sometimes I hear my inner critic saying “nobody cares about you” as I check these things. Why do we do this to ourselves?

Stay positive. Break the cycle, even for a 15 minute walk. Come back and attack the blank page. Then post all over twitter because, hooray, word count.

Walk for Creativity

Something about setting the body on autopilot really lets the mind free to wander. Maybe it’s a small plot point that you can resolve, or maybe you’ll overhear a perfect snippet of dialogue. Going for a walk lets me entertain all my “dumb” or silly thoughts without that inner critic getting a chance to reject them. So when you are really stuck with what should happen next, walk it out!

Finally, writing and exercising are both habits. You may not *feel* like exercising, just like a lot of times you aren’t inspired to write, but you do it anyway. And who regrets taking a walk or writing 1000 words? It’s just a matter of getting over the hurdle of deciding to get up/sit down to do it.

To get writing and exercising to the daily habit level, join my brother Matt Frazier and me, over at writeandrun31.com. We are encouraging our readers to write and exercise everyday for 31 days straight. It’s got a positive facebook group for accountability and encouragement. You can start anytime (read: right now).

christine-profile

Christine (@BetterNovelProj) is writer, joyous outliner, and compulsive doodler. Follow her research on Better Novel Project, where she deconstructs bestselling novels, one index card at a time. She currently has over 90 index cards that show the common elements of Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games in her master outline, which you are welcome to use!

5 Ways to Create Your Own Writing Space

This is post #8 in a fifteen post series, entitled “15 Days to Writerly Awesome in 2015,” 

posting on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday of January.

I write this post from my bed, a cup of tea on my nightstand and a Delta Rae song playing on Spotify. I'm distracted, if I'm completely honest. I keep checking my Twitter and Pinterest, and I'm having a hard time avoiding Netflix. As a blogger and a novelist, finding the perfect writing space can make or break my productivity.

When you make time to write, you need to use it wisely. For me, I won't get nearly enough done at home than at a coffee shop, unless I trick my brain into the writing mode. Maybe you are one of those people who can write in pajamas. Maybe you are the kind of person who needs to be in full-on work clothes. To keep my writing in check, I've devised five ways to create your own writing space:

Eliminate Distractions

I've spoken about this topic several times, mostly involving social media. Let's take it a step further, shall we? When you make the decision to write, eliminate all possible distractions. Writing time should not be interrupted by laundry or cleaning. (See that? I just gave you permission not to clean. You're welcome.)

If you're tempted to turn on the television, switch rooms. If the shuffling of people in coffee shops keeps you from getting work done, stay at home. This is a tweetable moment:

[Tweet "Learn your distraction triggers and avoid the heck out of 'em. @blotsandplots #writetip"]

Get Comfortable, But Not Too Comfortable

If you're writing from your couch and you find yourself slinking into the cushions, get out now. You're on your way to nap town. Quick, get moving! You don't want to be uncomfortable when writing, because that can fall into the distraction category, but you also don't want to be overly adjusted. Imagine yourself sitting at a school desk. Avoid slouching, and sit up straight. Tell yourself that you mean business. 

Silence or No Silence

Personally, I'm a writer who likes to make playlists, but if you create your writing space music-free, that's cool, too. When I'm writing from home, I still use my headphones, because it helps me to click into the moment. If you're a no-noise writer, prepare for this. Maybe try writing at your local library if your apartment/house is too loud. Try some fancy noise-cancelling headphones for fun. Whatever suits you, make sure to prepare for this ahead of time. Have your playlist ready or your sound-proof room all set. 

Coffee/Tea/Water/Hydrate, Okay?

I am the rare, all-of-the-above person. Depending on the day, I drink either coffee or tea, and I always have a bottle of water handy. For long bouts of writing, I make sure to have these ready from the start. Nothing kills productivity like needing to stop mid-scene to grab a sip of water. Try drinking your coffee or tea out of a thermos. This keeps it warmer longer and prevents unnecessary trips to the kitchen. Also, pace yourself, people. Bathroom breaks are distractions, too. Pick your poison and fill up ahead of time. 

Consider a Well-Lit Room

Honestly, I'm a night writer, as I've mentioned before in this post on scheduling your writing time. On the weekends when I have more time, I spend most of my Sunday writing or editing at the coffee shop. For me, when daytime writing, I like to be in a place with plenty of natural lighting. Natural lighting wakes you up and tells you that it's time to work. If you're writing from home, try opening the blinds and writing by a window. If you're really an overachiever, you can even try writing outside.

Discussion Time: How do you create your own writing space? What elements are essential for your best writing productivity?

How to Storyboard Your Novel on Pinterest

Feeling the inspirational lull? Today, we're going to talk about how to storyboard your novel on Pinterest. As part of our Writerly series, it's important to talk about how to visualize your novel with all of its characters and elements. The more creative you are with it, the more you get out of it. 

THIS BOOK WILL (3).png

Pre-Pinterest, I used inspiration boards to channel my creative energy, which was basically a collage of pictures, colors and accents that made up my novel in image form.

With Pinterest, we have much more flexibility. Much like making a novel soundtrack, it allows you to see your story in a new light. Ready to make your own? Here are a few ideas of which pins to use + pins I used to storyboard my own novel, These Are the Moments:

Character Pins

Having trouble picturing your characters? Pinterest has your back! There are some amazing resources on Pinterest to help you find the picture-perfect images of your characters. For instance, my friend Kristen of She's Novel has great boards specifically for character inspiration.

Setting Pins

Now that we have our characters, we need to set them in a space of their own. Whether they're in a post-apocalyptic world or right there in your backyard, it helps to picture your characters in their natural habitats. Let's bring them to life, okay? To find settings of your own, check out Mandy Wallace's Pinterest page.

Quote Pins

We're writers, so we love the heck out of words. Maybe you need dialogue inspiration. Maybe you need motivation. Maybe you just need words to make you feel something. Whatever the case, it's time to start quote collecting, my friends.

Inspiration Pins

If you're having trouble getting your story started, maybe you need a bit of inspiration. Patterns, florals, whatever evokes emotion in you is fair game! If you're looking for more pins like these, be sure to check out my boards on Pinterest.

Discussion Time: Do you storyboard your novel(s) on Pinterest? What are your favorite ways to spark your inspiration?