5 Writing Prompts for Getting Unstuck, Every Time
I’m a romantic. My ideal writing environment involves an ocean view, an endless cup of Earl Grey tea, warm wind softly blowing Egyptian cotton drapes behind me as words fly from my fingertips like intimate whispers from a secret lover.
But it doesn't look like that. Ever. You can probably relate.
This is what it usually looks like for me: I’m in my sweats, there’s a semi-cold cup of coffee sitting on my desk reminding me how long I’ve been there, and the sound of my children yelling at their gaming screen is wafting through the floor. I’m plugging my ears and praying the words will come.
Can you relate now?
But sometimes the words don't come. Sometimes I wait. And wait. And wait. And still wait.
And then sometimes the words do come, but I hate them and no matter what I do, I can't get out of my own way and just let it flow. I am STUCK.
I've been writing since I could put words together and still, this happens to me. That’s why I have a few tricks up my sleeve, and here’s one of them: juicy writing prompts.
Here’s how they work:
- Set a timer for three minutes (max). Urgency opens locked doors.
- Finish the sentence and keep going.
- Write without stopping until your timer goes off.
- Do not cross out or erase.
- Keep going.
- Breathe and write, write and breathe.
- Here’s the cool part: once done, read it back to yourself as if you just discovered it.
- Then follow and trust the next thought that comes. Write into it.
Here are my 5 fave juicy writing prompts for getting unstuck. Simply fill in the blanks, or finish the sentence:
- The one thing you'd never guess about me/the character/this is...
- It makes me crazy when...
- Enough is enough, I want...
- In a movie, __________ would play the lead role because __________
- It's so beautiful I...
These five work because they have a confessional quality. They bring stakes to your writing. Whether it's a secret you're telling, a rant you're afraid to say out loud or a childlike dream, these writing prompts will take you to where momentum lives. For a romantic like me, that’s where the whispers flow.
Jump in to the adventure of writing and let’s play.
TinaO is a Writer, Story Coach, and the other half of The Writer's Compass with Meribeth Deen. She is the host of the TinaOShow, collecting and telling Stories from the Core and co-owner with Gina Best of The LEAP Learning Lab. The Writer's Compass encourages writers to go off the beaten path and create impactful stories from the core. We teach: writing isn't precious, it's a practice.
Want to join Tina's online writing group? Check out the Core Story Writers Facebook group.