Are you interested in improving your creative writing skills? One of the best things you can do is set aside time each week to work on writing exercises to get your creativity flowing. The best creative writing prompts are meant to provoke some interesting thoughts, ideas, or stories in your mind, especially when you’re struggling with writer’s block.
What Is Writer’s Block?
Many writers struggle to maintain a routine in which dedicated time each week is spent practicing their craft. A lot of people reference “writer’s block” as the culprit for this. Writer’s block simply refers to those phases in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences some type of creative slowdown.
What Causes Writer’s Block?
There are often two big contributors to writer’s block- having nothing to write about, or having a topic in mind but being unsure where to begin. Sometimes, an author has a topic in mind that he or she would really like to write about, but find themselves feeling hesitant, questioning the quality of their work, and therefore not getting started because none of their ideas sound exactly right enough to put down on paper.
The best way to circumnavigate this type of writer’s block is to simply dive in and start writing anyway, even if you know you’re not putting out your best work. You’ll often find that after a few sloppy, uneasy paragraphs, all of a sudden you find your groove and start producing more meaningful, impressive work. You can always circle back to where you started and rework any wonky beginnings- but at that point, at least you’ll have some groundwork to get started.
Other times, the writer might feel confident in their skills and ready to start working, but simply might not have anything in particular on his or her mind that they’d like to get out on paper. This is when creative writing exercises come in handy. Prompts like these can really help you dive in with enthusiasm when there's otherwise not much on your mind that you’re feeling inspired enough to start discussing.
Writing Prompts To Help You Get Started
If you’re ready to write but in need of some prompts to get started, the following three exercises are incredibly helpful in getting your thoughts rolling and dialing in your inspiration.
- Alphabet Writing
This is a really popular writing exercise for authors looking for something entertaining to help them fine-tune their vocabulary skills and engage in a fun, creative challenge. All you have to do for this exercise is to write a 26 sentence long story- but the trick is, you have to make yourself start each sentence with a different letter of the alphabet. You must use all 26 letters, from A to Z, to begin the first word in each of the 26 sentences.
- Write a Letter to Your Younger Self
For this creative writing exercise, think about what you would say to your younger self if you had the opportunity. Get started by picking a time in your life or a certain age that you’d like to be writing to. What message would you share with your former self? Get it down on paper.
- Create a Character
Character development is another super helpful writing prompt that will really help you in the long run. For this exercise, don’t worry about a plot or a story line - just imagine a very interesting person and start writing about him or her. Where do they live? What kind of career do they have? What are they interested in? Take some time to really delve into this individual and get creative describing someone unique.
Want More Creative Writing Practice?
If you’re serious about pursuing creative writing as a career, consider enrolling in NYIAD’s online course for creative writers. Throughout the course, you will be supported by a dedicated team of mentors who are all experienced writers. They are here to give you feedback on your projects and help to develop your stories and characters as you improve your skills as a more capable writer.