Where do I start???
That’s a common question when it comes to writing, or any creative act.
Let’s say we do manage to make time in our schedules to write… we make a cup of tea… we sit down with a pen and notebook… but then what? What do we write about?
The truth is… it doesn’t matter where we start, because where we start is never where we’ll end up.
Writing takes us to places we aren’t expecting to go. It teaches us things we aren’t expecting to learn. We don’t have to know anything at the outset. We just have to be courageous, and take the first step, at which point the rest of the path will unfold in front of us.
A simple writing prompt can sometimes open the channels of creativity and help us get started. Think of them as little instigators that kick us into writing action, and from there we can follow the work in whichever direction it leads.
The key is to start with the easiest way in, without knowing where it will lead you.
If the prompt is to write about a time you got in trouble as a child, then rather than sit around thinking about every time you ever got in trouble, start with the first thing that comes to you: “There was this one time when I was twelve years old…” or “I was well-behaved until adolescence, then all hell broke loose…”
Don’t think too much about it. Just go. Write. Move your hand and keep it moving as long as you can.
Here are a few writing prompts to try…
- A time you got in trouble as a child.
- A Thanksgiving you remember.
- An old friend you’ve lost touch with.
- Something you did that took a lot of courage.
- A trip that changed your life.
- A memorable first date.
- Something you regret.
- Your first kiss.
- An embarrassing memory.
- The last big decision you made.
- Your view on marriage.
- A secret you’ve never told anyone.
- One of your proudest accomplishments.
- Someone you want to forgive.
- A time you got rejected.
- A time you rejected someone.
- A mystical experience you’ve had.
- Someone special who passed away.
- One of your favorite teachers.
- A birthday you celebrated as a child.
- A time you got physically ill.
- Your favorite book.
- Your faith.
- Someone who loves you.
- A bad habit you want to break.
- Your favorite food.
- Someone who bullied you in school.
- Someone you bullied in school.
- Growing older.
- A time you confronted someone.
- A time you took care of someone.
- A time someone took care of you.
- A time you broke the law.
- A nighttime dream you remember.
- Your writing practice.
- The best gift you’ve ever given.
- The best gift you’ve ever received.
- A secret talent you have.
- A time you stayed up all night.
- A relative you’ve never met.
- A time you got lost.
- An object in the room around you.
- How you celebrated your last birthday.
- How you want to celebrate your next birthday.
- A game you used to play as a child.
- Your first “real” job.
- Something you’re struggling with right now.
- A miracle that happened in your life.
- The most exotic place you’ve traveled to.
- Something romantic you did for someone.
You can use these prompts to help you get started. Or bypass them altogether. Or make up some of your own. Or go straight to writing your book. Whatever you want. You decide. You know what’s best, and I can’t wait to see what you will create. ðŸ’œ