20 creative prompts to ward off writer’s block

The next time you come up dry, try out one of these quirky prompts. Writing an ode to an onion just might get the words flowing.


There is one thing all writers have in common: writer’s block.

From Shakespeare to Dickens, Fitzgerald to Twain, no writer has escaped its gnarly grasp.

And for those of us charged with corporate writing, it usually hits right around deadline time.

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Before you sigh and despair that you’re destined to suffer from writer’s block from now until eternity, listen up.

I recently discovered a book titled “642 Things to Write About,” and it is exactly that—a book of 642 writing prompts that can help you unstick your mind when you can’t think of anything to say.

The prompts range from witty and silly, to thought provoking and sincere. Below are 20 of my favorites. Try one out the next time you go head to head with that blinking cursor.

1. Write 10 sayings for fortune cookies.

2. What is the sound of silence, and when did you last hear it?

3. What did you dream about last night?

4. Toto, if we’re not in Kansas anymore, where are we?

5. Describe a piece of clothing you keep just for the memory.

6. Open your desk drawer. Write a scene incorporating the first three things you see.

7. Write a bathroom wall limerick.

8. What were you doing this time last year?

9. Write a bucket list for your favorite superhero.

10. Fix the plot of the worst movie you’ve ever seen.

11. Write a recipe for disaster.

12. Describe something you would shoplift.

13. Write about something you know absolutely nothing about. Make all of it up.

14. Summarize your pet’s life in one paragraph.

15. Write the interior monologue you experience as you sit down to write.

16. Write an ode to an onion.

17. Explain to your boss why you spent $5,000 during one business meeting, and why he should reimburse you.

18. Write a scathing review of a classic book.

19. You have a time machine, but it can only go back in time two days. What would you change?

20. Describe a sneeze.

Can you think of any other creative prompts to get the words flowing? Share them in the comments.

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