This week’s post on writing blogs is a Guest Post researched and written by Michelle Bonga, who has been working with me as an intern for the past six weeks. Michelle is a student of Algonquin College’s Professional Writing program and a founding member of Voices in the Attic. She enjoys reading, writing, and playing videogames. She hopes to write a book and one day find it in bookstores. This is Part 3 of a three-part series – you can find Part 1 on Facebook Groups for Writers here and Part 2 on Best Writing Blogs here.
Sometimes, everyone needs a little push in life. And when we need those pushes, we often turn to external sources to guide us through our detours until we’re back on track, regardless if you are working towards a goal or need help with a big change.
As writers, we often need metaphorical tugs on our sleeves to find the motivation and inspiration we need to put pen to paper again. And if you’re here because that’s exactly what you need, then click the headers below to get moving forward again.
Top 12 Places to Find Writing Prompts
The Writer’s Digest is a pretty well-balanced source for writing materials and information. You can find pretty much everything on this website: from the quirks of the writing process to interviews with successful writers. It also has a prompts section that is regularly updated. Many of the prompts have specified restrictions too, if you feel up to the added challenge. And if you find none of the prompts inspiring, The Writer’s Digest also offers several recommendations for you to check out as well.
Poets & Writers is an online magazine that offers writing advice and regularly posts different prompts throughout the week: poetry on Tuesdays, fiction on Wednesdays, creative non-fiction on Thursdays.
My favourite thing about the Poets & Writers prompts is that you are not simply being handed a line or two to do what you will with. Each prompt provides a bit of exposition into the inspiration behind the prompt itself. So while you are practicing your writing, you are also absorbing other tidbits of information that can impact your current thought process, and learning new things is one of the best ways to get your imagination to seep onto your page.
3. Daily Post
Mainly a blog about, well, writing blogs, the Daily Post also offers quite a few prompts for any type of writing practice; 365 to be exact. The link above actually directs you to a PDF file from the Daily Post site.
This file literally has a prompt for every single day of the year. So if you’re feeling uninspired, pull it up and find your current date, your birthday, or any day that’s important to you. You can even just do them in order, but where’s the fun in that? This file was created in 2013, and some of the prompts mention this year and 2014, but a little trip down memory lane could be beneficial to your work-in-progress.
If you’d like to check out the blog itself, click here.
Language is a Virus is not just a nifty name but also a nifty writing tool. This website has a generator that gives you a random prompt with a click of the button. Not fussy about what it gives you? Keep clicking until you find a prompt that clicks with you. If that’s still not enough, feel free to wander through the pages. Language is a Virus also has a multitude of exercises for you to stretch your brain with, so if the prompts aren’t hitting the spot then one of these might!
I am always fascinated when a writer is able to evoke a powerful image or feeling by saying as little as possible.
A great way to exercise a more thoughtful writing practice, Six-Word Memoirs encourages you to share your six cents on their page for the web to see. Writing within such a small restriction forces you to focus in on words you find meaningful and what it is you want to convey with your writing. Even if you don’t stick to only six words, challenging yourself to have a more minimalistic approach can have a profound effect on your writing.
Everything submitted to Six-Word Memoirs is posted on their website for all to see. Even if you don’t want to do this exercise, you can still use what others have submitted as prompts to bounce off of. They’re quite intriguing.
This addition to the list has a bit of twist. The New Yorker regularly posts unnamed cartoons as “caption this” contests for its viewers to ponder over. It’s surely an entertaining way to beat your writer’s block.
You don’t have to submit anything, just grab a piece of paper and write down all the things come to mind. And if writing captions isn’t your cup of tea, take a look at past contest winners. Their captions could be a great way to bounce back into gear.
Like the Daily Post, the writers of Think Written have compiled writing prompts for every day of the year. These prompts are short and sweet, perfect if you need a hit of inspiration while you’re on the go or have a few precious moments to spare.
Writing Exercises is another generator site, equipped with more options for you to choose from. The site has randomized generators for everything from prompts, dialogue, and character stories, so if you’re feeling a little rusty take your pick and try them out.
It also has a lottery number generator, “because every aspiring author needs a back-up plan…”
The Story Shack is not just a prompts site. It’s a generator that creates random writing exercises with specific restrictions for you to work with. The results may seem a bit odd, but they’re often intriguing and can be taken in many different directions.
10. Writing Forward
While this website doesn’t actually provide any prompts, Writing Forward tells you where you can find sources of inspiration in this article. We as writers can often forget where to turn when facing our challenges, so it’s nice to have a little reminder every now and then that inspiration can come from anywhere.
Tumblr and Reddit are quite the mixed bags when it comes to finding outlandish things on the internet. You can never know what to expect with them, so I wasn’t surprised to discover users circulating the platforms with writing prompts. Simply search through their tags and threads for your next muse.
If you’re interested in seeing what these sites have to offer, I advise you to tread them with caution. You may find yourself tumbling down quite a dark rabbit hole, so expect the unexpected when scrolling and only follow users who post content you are comfortable with.
While the internet is an endless source of inspiration, these websites are the perfect places to get your writing back on track. Writing prompts are easy to use in one of your Short Time writing sessions. Who knows, maybe your next big thing could stem from one of these prompts.