Shelley Widhalm

Benefits of Writing Prompts (+ Examples)

In Prompts, Shelley Widhalm, Writing, Writing Discipline on May 4, 2014 at 11:00 am

Writing prompts are an effective way to spark your writing session and to get you in the mood for writing.

Prompts can help you establish a writing routine if you do them at a set time or day of the week.

You can make up your own and keep them in your writing space or in a notebook. You can find them anywhere or everywhere, such as outside on a walk, in a coffee shop or browsing through a book, looking for a sentence or two that strikes you.

Write for 5 or 10 minutes, or for a set time that works for you. Go for longer if the idea is unfinished and you don’t want to stop.

Use the senses as you write.

Describe something in your immediate environment.

But don’t force creativity. Just write and see what happens.

Here are a few prompts I’ve developed and compiled from my writing materials:

• Randomly read a line from a book or look up a word in dictionary.
• Pretend you’re a waitress and use the order pad to write a different type of story. Or try using the form of a grocery list.
• Recall a childhood place and describe it.
• Grab a snippet of conversation and use it to start a dialogue between characters.
• Read a poem and use the mood it creates to start writing.
• Write about an old object. What does it make you think about and what emotions does it evoke?
• Walk down the aisles of a toy store and see what happens.
• Write about something you lost and want back, and then imagine what you would do if you had it back.
• Write about your secret wish (mine is to be a full-time novelist married to the hottest man on the planet).
• Read a couple of horoscopes and the weather report together.
• Write about a bad gift you gave or received.
• Read a billboard and start writing based on the corny or cute saying.
• Write about a new pair of shoes. (I had to include shoes, of course!)

Feel inspired, yet? If not, see what Zoey the Cute Dachshund has to say about writing prompts.

See Zoey’s blog at

  1. Thx for sharing, would you prompts are a way of warming up? Useful post

  2. […] prompt, which can be found online or by visiting my blog about ideas for writing prompts at Prompts can serve as a freewriting, block-freeing […]

  3. […] prompt or use an existing prompt, which can be found online or by visiting my blog about ideas for writing prompts. Prompts can serve as a freewriting, block-freeing […]

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