Then, the Australian stumped me with this question:
“I understand, mate. But what TOPICS should I write about?”
I’d been extolling the benefits of stream-of-consciousness writing with a new friend halfway across the world. I think I sounded like some kind of wizard.
“Start writing, and the ideas will flow!” I exclaimed, rubbing my magic crystal ball and straightening my aluminum foil hat.
Can I be honest with you? For me, that’s exactly how it works. I get 15 ideas by the time I hop out of the shower. The pour through my pores from every point of my awareness. Then, I write about one concept and come up with 6 more. This is the infinite ideas life.
But it wasn’t always that way.
There was I time I’d spend weeks without a single keystroke. “There’s nothing new to write,” I would say.
Sometimes, you simply need a guide. Your creative block may not an issue of output, but of input. A single word or sentence at the right time can send you flying.
Here are the best prompt providers I’ve seen lately.
Okay, Writer’s Digest is taking the top spot in no small part because of all the other resources available to aspiring authors.
Brian Kelms is an excellent person and publishes a new prompt every week. At time of writing, the latest is “Harry Potter comes to your house,” so of course I’m a fan. (Shouts out to my fellow Ravenclaws)
This worksheet is interesting. Although you never get anything new (it’s a static PDF), you could take this document and hide in a cabin for an entire year and never run out of things to write about.
And let’s face it, that’s pretty much the dream for every writer.
Daily Page comes in as the only paid option on this list. It’s $4 a month, and offers daily prompts as well as reminders, specific courses, and a distraction-free writing space.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a member myself, but have heard too many good reviews from people I trust not to include the site.
Besides, sometimes you need a little skin in the game to keep you accountable.
Writing across genres has helped me better express my writing voice. Whenever I’m feeling stale, I often go write fiction or poetry.
This option from Poets and Writers is excellent simply because of the range it offers.
The Time is Now offers 3 prompts a week — one poetry, one fiction, and one nonfiction. Better still, you can filter the type of prompt you want to see based on whatever you want to write at the time.
Ha! I tricked you! This isn’t a prompt website at all, but I sneaked it in because this is far and away site most responsible for my writing habit.
As a lost and unfulfilled writer, I found 750 words. The site offered me a blank page, a timer, and a simple goal — Write 750 words. Groundbreaking, right?
750 Words keeps up with your writing stats, including the number of times you leave the page. If you’re looking to write more words more often, this is the place.
This is my all time favorite.
Quora is an endless source of writing prompts. Better still, the prompts are sourced from people filling the audience you are trying to reach.
Want to break through in personal development? There’s a topic for that.
Trying to be the next movie guru? There’s a topic for that.
Fitness entrepreneur? There’s a topic for that.
I’ve placed Quora last on the list because it requires active search for prompts, but the quality of those prompts is much higher. Better still, you can repurpose your posts there to any site for further reach.
I go to Quora for ideas first, last, and always. It provides me intimate access with exactly the folks I want to reach.
Learn Quora Like a Pro
Like I said, Quora is my favorite prompt site. Not only has it given me infinite ideas, my work there has been seen by *millions* of people.
Cut the learning curve and download The Starter’s Guide to Quora.