🌿 writing prompts


documenting your life

  • In the form of a list which could be a poem, note small things which have mattered in your life.

  • “List twenty things you enjoy doing. . . . When was the last time you let yourself do those things? Next to each entry, place a date. Don’t be surprised if it’s been years for some of your favorites.”

  • Trace or print and paste a line-art world map into your journal. Mark each city you’ve visited; color each country.

  • “Good health is not achieved by merely treating symptoms. Plan for yourself an appropriate diet, moderate exercise, relief from stress, and adequate rest to hep your body find its natural balance. List any habits or practices that stand between you and optimum health. . . . Select one and commit to changing it. Make a plan with a time frame.”

    • Finding Your Inner Goddess: An Interactive Journal, Amy Patterson (out of print)

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make. Bad. Art.”
— Neil Gaiman

expressing gratitude

facing your fears

  • “When was the last time you felt unafraid?”

  • “Time Travel: List three old champions of your creative self-worth. This is your hall of champions, those who wish you and your creativity well. Be specific. Every encouraging word counts. . . . Even if you disbelieve a compliment, record it. It may well be true. Additionally, you might wish to write the compliment out and decorate it. Post it near where you do your morning pages or on the dashboard of your car. I put mine on the chassis of my computer to cheer me as I write."

  • “List the ways you feel powerless in your life right now. Ways as big as your entire career, as small as replacing a broke light bulb in your closet. List until you can’t list anymore. Then go further! (If you worry about it, chances are you feel powerless about it. . . . Now circle the ones you can do something about immediately. Go do one small one right now! How does it feel? Amazing, right?”

  • “What makes you stand apart from everyone else? Is it your writing abilities? Is it the ease at which you throw a party together? What truly makes your heart sing? . . . What could you do to expand on your joy?”

  • “Writing frees you to rise above the daily dust and see clearly. What is the real issue you need to write about?”


  • In list form, “describe what love looks like.”

  • “Name someone who makes you jealous. Do you envy their fame? Their money? They way people love them? What exactly do you believe you deserve that they have and you do not? . . . Now think: Do you actually know what their daily life is like? Do some research! Read their biography. Scroll through their social media. Be honest: Do you envy the struggles in their lives, or is it just the accolades you’re focusing on?”

  • “Because we are usually so close to the people we love, both physically and emotionally, we often forget how to look at them objectively, as they might appear to an outsider. This exercise gives you an opportunity to step back and take a fresh look at those you love. . . . Once you’ve decided on someone, close your eyes for a moment and put the person on your mental TV screen. . . . . Look for any unusual physical characteristics, especially features that distinguish them from others. Let them move about on the screen and observe them in a familiar action. Watch how they walk, run, sit, and so on. Go back to a close-up of their face. Let them talk to you, and listen closely to what you hear. If you want to ask them a particular question, do so and let them give you an answer. Look directly into their eyes for a while and study the eyes in detail. What do you see in those eyes What are the real feelings behind them? Do you see anything you’ve never seen before? . . . Next imagine them interacting with others. . . . Describe the person fully, as if you’re explaining what they’re like to a perfect stranger.”

  • Write a letter to someone who has passed, beginning with: “Dear _____, I wish I could have gotten to know you better.”

writing warm-ups for fiction