Writer’s block. In the world of the literary creative, it is essentially a curse word. All writers have experienced it. Sometimes it lasts minutes, sometimes hours, and sometimes days upon days. It can come about from a brain working non-stop on a project and just feeling a bit burnt out. At other times, it may be when focusing on a project that does not come naturally or is on a subject matter in which a writer does not have much experience or passion. If you have found your way to this article, you are likely suffering from a bout of this yourself.
Don’t worry. It happens to even the most award-winning writers. In a 2006 interview with The Washington Post, Stephen King, one of the most productive writers of our time, was quoted as saying, “There may be a stretch of weeks or months when it doesn’t come at all; this is called writer’s block.” Fortunately, writing prompts can work wonders when you feel a bit stuck. Below are 15 writing poetry prompts to open up that block and help you put words on paper or screen.
1 Play your favorite song on repeat and write fluidly about the thoughts, feeling, and memories that the music evokes.
2 Advise your younger self. Pick an age or several and write a letter in poem form to your 8-year-old, 15-year-old, or 21-year-old self.
3 Describe a mundane drive you took to work this week and the tiny details that you tend to overlook. This could be the houses you passed, or the people waiting at a stoplight in the car next to you.
4 Choose one or several of your five senses and write focusing on a simple object. This could be a cup of coffee, a box fan, etc. It does not need to be extraordinary.
5 Thank a family member or friend for a moment in your life where their words or actions inspired a monumental shift in your life.
6 Use your favorite color to describe not just objects of that color but also emotions, sounds, and other sensory experiences.
7 Recall one of your most vivid dreams. Include how it felt waking up from the dream and the meanings you believe it held.
8 Speak to the body part you always hated growing up. Craft an apology to it and thank it for all it has done for you. These could be feet you felt were too big but let you become a runner or arms you thought weren’t shapely enough but that now help you carry your children.
9 Describe your favorite childhood toy. If you remember when and who gave it to you, include those points as well as the joy it gave you playing with it.
10 Write from your point of view on an airplane to and from a memorable trip. You can describe the excitement of the departure and maybe the sadness of the return, coming back to reality.
11 Detail one of your favorite childhood holidays. Make it a sensory experience. Mention the smell of the holiday meal, the laughter of family members, and the happiness you remember.
12 Enter the mind of your favorite past or current pet. Write about what their daily experience must be, including their thoughts and feelings.
13 Freeze a moment in time. This can be a good or a bad moment. Describe it as vividly as possible. Include how it looked, felt, smelled, and sounded.
14 Give yourself a superpower and a superhero alias. Talk about how you would change the world with this superpower, whether physically or mentally.
15 Write about your writer’s block. It is an art form for writers to self-indulge in their writing ruts. Writer’s block happens to the best writers today and has happened since people put their thoughts down on paper. Show yourself a little grace. Take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee or tea and give one of these 15 prompts a try. Hopefully, those poetry juices will be flowing again in no time.
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