83 Writing prompts and exercises

To get your creative juices flowing and get past your inner perfectionist!


Here are 83 prompts and exercises I use when I have horrible writer’s block. They get me past the little critic in my head telling me that everything I write has to be “perfect”. I just write any and everything that pops in my head while using them.

  1. 7th sentence on the 7th page of the 7th book on your bookshelf. Write a story or poem using this sentence as the first.
  2. On a map point to a random country blindly. Pretend you’re a travel writer and write about a weird experience you had in that country.
  3. Write a letter to your future self.
  4. Start a paragraph with “I remember” and let your memories dictate what you write.
  5. Write a mini-story in the first person. Take on the persona of someone with a different gender, nationality, and age.
  6. Write the first word that comes to mind. Write a second word that is random and disconnected from the first. Continue writing random words until you feel it is complete and you are past the perfectionist.
  7. Pick a book. Take two different chapters: in the first take the beginning sentence, and last sentence of the second. Write a short story using these as bookends.
  8. Rewrite a fairytale from the bad guys point of view.
  9. Write the acknowledgement page that will be placed in your next published book. Thank all the people who have helped along the way.
  10. Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.
  11. Write about being friends with someone.
  12. Write a short story about someone who has lost or is about to lose their home.
  13. Write about secrets you’ve kept from someone else or how you feel when you know someone is keeping a secret from you.
  14. Write about being inside an old abandoned warehouse.
  15. Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.
  16. Write about a first date.
  17. Write about your day. Start with waking up.
  18. Write about a call you recently received.
  19. Write about being caught doing something embarrassing.
  20. Pick a place you’ve never visited. Write why you would or would not like to visit that place.
  21. Write about someone you regard as a hero.
  22. Imagine you have a touch of magic and you can make impossible things happen. What would you do?
  23. Write about your favorite season.
  24. What does normal mean to you? Is it good or bad to be normal?
  25. Write about a time when you took a chance and what the result was.
  26. Write about moving quickly and doing things fast.
  27. Write about the beach.
  28. Write about a moment in your life that you wish you could freeze and preserve.
  29. Write about a promise you’ve made to someone. Did you keep that promise?
  30. Write a description of an object close up.
  31. Write from the viewpoint of a cactus.
  32. Write about what it would be like to have wings.
  33. Write about being able to see through something.
  34. Write about switching places with someone.
  35. Write about partying and parties. How do they make you feel? Are they fun?
  36. Write about the current time of day. What are you/everyone else usually doing at this time.
  37. Write about fairies, gnomes, elves, and other mythical creatures.
  38. Imagine the scents and sights of a bakery and write.
  39. Write about your own secret treehouse hideaway.
  40. Write about the good that happens in a bad situation.
  41. Write about envy and jealousy.
  42. Write about running away from someone or something.
  43. Write your complaints about something.
  44. Take an old poem or story of yours and use the last line and make it the first line of today’s writing.
  45. Write about something that you long to do.
  46. What is at the end of a rainbow?
  47. Imagine you could stand on a rooftop and broadcast a message to everyone below. What would you say?
  48. If there was a time period you could visit for a day. Write about traveling back in time to that day.
  49. Imagine living the day as someone else.
  50. Imagine how life might be different if you could change your look (body and clothes) into something completely opposite from your current style.
  51. Write from the perspective of someone with no money to buy food.
  52. Write from the point of view of someone who always wants more (money, power, etc.)
  53. Write about an eruption of a volcano.
  54. Write a shorty modern version of Romeo and Juliet.
  55. Think of a waterfall you’ve seen. Write about the power, movement, flow and energy.
  56. Write about coming close to reaching a goal.
  57. Write about sea creatures and underwater life.
  58. Write about someone who is unfaithful.
  59. Write about two people in an argument.
  60. Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. Don’t worry about being perfect or making sense.
  61. Write about a dancer or being one.
  62. Write from the perspective of a forgotten or lost toy.
  63. Write about being able to fast forward and rewind your life with a remote control.
  64. Write about being stranded somewhere.
  65. Use a popular quote and write inspired by it.
  66. Write about being in a country setting.
  67. Write about a promise you want to make to yourself and keep.
  68. Write about a time when you’ve had to repeat yourself or when it felt like no one was listening.
  69. Write about someone who is not accepted by their peers.
  70. Write about craving something.
  71. Research phobias, pick one and write about it.
  72. Write about living in the moment.
  73. Write about a couple that is separated by distance.
  74. Write about something or someone you think is adorable.
  75. Write about how it feels when you can’t focus.
  76. Write about staying up late at night or not being able to sleep.
  77. Write about attraction to something or someone.
  78. Write about the games people play- literally or figuratively.
  79. Write about a witch’s spell.
  80. Write about trusting someone.
  81. Write about a first romantic or sexual experience.
  82. Write about your body.
  83. Write about your surroundings.

I came up with some of these and got others from the web. Remember to be creative and have fun with these.

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