These creative prompts are designed to gently ease our way back into writing (or any other art form) as we step into a new year.
They can be used whether you wish to reflect on your own life, that of an ancestor or that of a fictional character. Use them as short warm-up exercises, integrate them into a scene or chapter you’re working on, or use them to get to know your subject better. Or, if you’re starting from scratch, simply see what emerges as you write.
There is one prompt for each day of the month, but is in entirely invitational and there are no rules. If you don’t like one, skip it or choose a different one. If you can only commit to once a week instead of every day, be kind to yourself; work out what works for you.
It’s also completely up to you how much time you spend on each prompt, but you don’t need to carve out a big chunk of time. I’m a big fan of the ‘just ten minutes’ idea, which I have used again and again to trick myself out of procrastinating and into writing. Simply set the timer for ten minutes and just begin. Keep your hand moving across the page. If you get to the end of ten minutes, and you want to stop, then do so. If you find yourself on a roll and want to keep going, then that’s great too.
1. a fresh start
2. showing up
3. leaving something behind
5. something you would do differently next time
6. a moment of fun
7. favourite books/films/TV show
8. a poem or song that resonates or inspires you
9. holidays or down time
11. a scene or story based on the title of a song
12. biography of a favourite object (past or present)
13. Use the last line of a story as the first line of a new one (or incorporate it in some other way).
14. Listen to a song of your choice. Describe how it makes you feel and how your body responds. What memories are attached to this song?
16. call to action
17. Use the five senses to describe the immediate world around you. Incorporate a few of these specific details into something you’re working on.
18. What book are you (or your character) currently reading? Select a section you (or your character) really likes and consider why/how it works.
19. If you could learn an additional language, what would it be? Why? Extra challenge: learn 10 words or phrases in that language.
22. a turning point
23. point of no return
24. morning brew
28. leaving home
30. first pet
Over to you
Here’s to consistent and sustainable creativity this coming year.
Remember: just begin.