Did you start a new blog or are you thinking of writing a short story and you can’t come up with an idea? When you have a website, it is recommended to publish posts several times a week, ideally, twice or even three times if you have the time. If you can only do it once, that’s OK too. As long as your website looks active in the search engines, it’s all good 🙂 To do this, however, having daily creative writing prompts may be a useful tool.
When do You Need a Writing Prompt?
How do you come up with good writing prompts? It is easy to say that you should write when you feel inspired, but nowadays those romantic notions are not so applicable anymore, especially if you need ideas on a nearly daily basis. Waiting until inspiration comes may cause you to waste valuable time. If writing is your way of making money online, those writing prompts are your allies.
Which writing prompts to use depends on your niche, of course. Regarding short stories, I will discuss that later in this article after going over writing prompts for blogs. If you like to read about the section for short stories, please scroll down 😉
How to Come up With Writing Prompts.
A writing prompt is basically a learning assignment that directs you to write in a particular way. They are specifically for essays at schools and universities, but they can certainly be used for blogs and short stories as well.
For some, it may come easy, and for others it takes time. Assuming that you have a keyword list, now you have to get your writing prompt. In case you don’t have a keyword list, or you are not sure how to find keywords, not to worry, I explain it all in this article here, feel free to check it out. Those keywords are great little helpers for the online writer.
Create Writing Prompts from Keywords
Let’s say, your keywords are “how to handle stress”. You could just start writing without having a need for a writing prompt, or you could think of a writing prompt and go from there if that helps you more.
So, for these keywords, we could use the following prompt: “Stress at work has become so common that it is perceived as “normal”, when in fact it is not.”
With this writing prompt, you could discuss why many workplaces have become hot spots for stress and then you could expose strategies how to improve certain situations.
Here’s a second writing prompt: “Stress at work seems hard to avoid, and although stress can be managed, we often tend to overlook its evil child, burnout, a condition that is often not taken seriously.”
With this writing prompt, you could go even deeper and research burnout.
In conclusion, here we have two writing prompts for the same keywords. You can, of course, include both writing prompts in your article or split it into two articles. That is entirely up to you.
Would you like another example? Let’s take these keywords here: “When to leave a relationship”.
You may already have plenty of ideas about this one and perhaps also some personal experience, but how do you start writing about it?
OK, let me think. You could perhaps start with this: “Relationships always seem so promising at the beginning. The world is seen through a rosy lens, obscuring a view to your partner’s darker side; but when one day that rosy shade is washed off your lens, what do you do?” And we go from there.
“You have tried everything. You have attempted to “repair things” to no avail. Now it is time to stop fixing what can’t be fixed and move on. You can only help a person if he/she wants to be helped, but there comes a point when you have to let go.”
Can you work with this?
See, a writing prompt is born from an idea and it can provide great inspiration for an article. Perhaps the second writing prompt reminds you of your friend who struggled to break free from a toxic relationship with her boyfriend, and you could use that as an example. And suddenly, your fingers are flying over that keyboard and you have your blog post ready in no time.
What About Writing Prompts for Short Stories?
I would approach them the same way. When I write a short story, I have it already inside me and it just needs to flow out. However, if you need writing prompts for specific topics, because you are on a deadline or you are participating in an online short story contest, and you can’t come up with anything, then a writing prompt may help.
Let’s imagine that the short story contest is crime fiction. I chose this genre specifically for this blog post, since I never write in that genre, so I am making it a challenge for me too 😉
This is what I came up with, of the top of my head: “The faint illumination of the streetlights provided ample comfort in this shady part of town. He didn’t know why she had asked him to meet him here. He hurried around the street corner into a dark street, eager to get this over with …”
Is your imagination turned on? Then, go and finish that short story. 🙂
I hope that this will help you if you ever run out of writing ideas. And if you can’t come up with a writing prompt, then leave the computer for a while, go for a walk – even a brief stroll in the garden – and charge up those batteries. You will come back with fresh ideas.
Only this morning, I was working on a book (part 3 of Thorn Heart), and at one point I wasn’t sure how to approach a certain scene. So, I went outside and took my washing of the clothes line, and suddenly it was there, right in my mind. I hurried back inside, dumped my clothes somewhere, and continued writing.
Sometimes, a small break is exactly what we need to function at a 100%.
Wishing you happy writing!