ANYTHING Can Be a Writing Prompt: (Prompts, Pt. 2)

Do you believe me when I tell you that ANYTHING can be a writing prompt?

When I did a week-long writing retreat with Natalie Goldberg, I remember ‘tar’ was a prompt, and I thought, “Really? What am I going to write about ‘tar?’

But if you read, 4 Reasons to Never Judge a Writing Prompt: (Prompts, Pt. 1), you know that you can never tell beforehand where a prompt will take you and how the prompt might reveal what wants to be written, known, experienced, or released.

ANYTHING can be a prompt.

*dusk   * what I learned from my mother *a favorite feeling you had this week   *coffee   * I want…  *peppers   *sneakers   *4th grade   *nail polish *trust

Object Prompts and Concept Prompts: You’ll notice that object prompts (*sneakers  *nail polish *coffee) are easier to write with concreteness and sensory detail compared to concept prompts (*what I learned from my mother  *a favorite feeling you had today  *trust) which can lead you into abstract thought. With either prompt, the more specific you are about the sensory details, the more in your body you’ll be.

Ways to pick a prompt:

  • Look around the room, or if you’re outside, look around you. Find 5 objects that catch your eye or interest or stir an emotion (or not!): *coffee mug  *rug stain  *hummingbird  *red bike  *gray clouds…
  • Tune into sounds around you: *dishwasher  *lawnmower  *neighbors fighting  *dog snoring *traffic
  • Open a book, newspaper, magazine, book of poems and scan the page for the first word or phrase that jumps out at you. *I am releasing… *investment  *beauty is startling  *ice skates  *she sleeps on a futon on the floor and lives close to the ground
  • Visit a prompt website, or get a deck of cards with inspiring or thought-provoking phrases, questions, and mantras. Here’s a Danielle LaPorte card I just pulled from her TruthBomb deck: *What would give you great comfort right now?  (I LOVE this prompt)
  • Create a list of your favorite evergreen prompts (such as *What would give you great comfort right now?)

Here's my list: 5 Favorite Prompts to Use Again and Again (Prompts, Pt. 3)

Hit reply and tell me some of your favorite prompts. 

With love,

Want to write?
Take a pen & prompt journey:

writing prompt

Look around the room or outdoor space and see which prompt wants to be picked!

Grab a pen & notebook. Write the prompt at the top of the page. Set a timer for 10 minutes. Or 5. Or 2!

Write whatever arises in your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Don’t stop to think or edit - keep your pen moving.

Accept ALL that you write - the pretty & ugly; absurd & boring. Discover what wants to be felt, known, expressed, released...