31 Writing Prompts You Can Leverage Right Now
Below are the fruits of a morning spent piddling about on Quora. If one of these doesn’t spur an idea directly, try running the keywords in the prompts through Answer the Public to come up with many, many more prompts.
If something you read here inspires a story, I’d love to read it! Please drop a link in the comments.
Should I add “piddler” to my profile description? Anyway, here goes:
What are you shocked about?
Someone commented, “The last two sentences. Wow. Great answer.” What question were they answering, and what were the last two sentences?
If you got drafted by an NBA team and awarded a 4-year, $39.6 million contract, what’s the first thing you would buy?
Inspired by local star James “Big Ticket” Wiseman, who went to Golden State with the number-two pick last night.
Have you ever survived a disaster? If so, what did you learn?
If you were homeless, and someone bought you a night’s stay in a hotel, what would you do with your time there?
What advice would you give a person who’s tired of everything?
Hmmm… I have a friend in my Sunday brunch crew who hates pretty much everything, except the place where we meet for brunch. Maybe I’ll write a story on what advice I’d give her. She’d probably hate my advice though.
What’s an example of human hypocrisy?
What’s a brutal truth a lot of people don’t realize?
Write a “___ reasons life is beautiful” listicle.
What would your day-to-day life be like if you hated yourself?
I know, I know… that’s kind of a dark prompt. I have an unwanted honorary Ph.D. in Narcissistic Studies, so I follow related spaces on Quora.
What makes you sigh?
What’s something that gave you far more value than what you paid for it?
If you never, ever had to explain yourself to anyone again, what would you do differently?
Write about an unexpected experience you had while shopping.
If you had a battery percentage indicator, what would it read right now? What could you do to boost it?
Yesterday was my birthday, and my friends bought me shots to celebrate. Accordingly, my battery percentage is not very high today.
If you were a happiness coach, what would be the most important lesson you would share with your clients?
Write about a time you made a mistake, and you knew right as you did it that it was a mistake, but you were committed to your course of action at that point so you made it anyway.
I think I just came up with the topic of my first submission to P.S. I Love You…
Have you ever witnessed instant change in someone?
If you could star in a Broadway musical, which one would it be and why?
That prompt was inspired by an autobiography I read during the county-imposed Safer at Home COVID shutdown back in March: “Face the Music: A Life Exposed” by Paul Stanley of KISS.
What quote led you to a better understanding of relationships?
Contrast a healthy thing and an unhealthy thing you do to deal with stress.
Think back to a time in your life when you were broke. What’s an important lesson you learned?
Think back to when you were 23. What’s the one thing you would do differently?
If you aren’t yet 23, what’s the one piece of advice you would give your future self? If you are 23…. ummm, I don’t know, pick one of the other prompts?
What’s something you remember about the very first time you ever visited a zoo?
Write about someone you know who has strong leadership qualities but not always the best ideas. What lessons can be learned from knowing them?
“The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat.” Write about that.
What’s the absolute favorite assignment you were given when you were in school?
For me, it was “find someone who was an adult during the Great Depression and have them tell you what life was like back then,” an assignment that would be close to impossible today.
If you have a junk drawer, spend a little time rummaging through it and write about an item in the drawer.
What’s something you stopped doing, and why?
If you could invent your own holiday and add it to the calendar, what would it be?
I would add National Day of the Week Person Day. This would be to honor that one person in the office (all offices have one) who says things like
- “I’m OK, I guess… for a Monday.”
- “At least it’s not Monday anymore.”
- “It’s Hump Day!”
- “It’s almost Friday!”
- “It’s… Friday!”
What is supposed to impress you, but doesn’t?
31 sounds like a good stopping point. Again, if any of these prompts inspire a story, I’d love to read it! I love inspiring others, so maybe I’ll do these once a month or so. If you want to be notified of future posts of mine, join my email list. Thanks for reading!