The best way to expand your mind creatively is to find prompts that allow you to think outside the box, thus helping you make poems/articles/pieces/art that differs from your typical work. Not only does this give you flexibility in what you can market, sell, freelance, etc., but offers you the opportunity to be challenged—a positive exercise regardless of what you do with the final product.
Here are 9 writing prompts to help you think and produce outside the norm.
1. Write text to match a soundtrack.
Select an instrumental song (Tip: play it on your bluetooth speaker so you can get the surround sound – this UE Boom my favorite!) Choose a genre you don’t normally listen to. Close your eyes and feel the mood of the music. What are you experiencing? What does the song make you feel?
Write the story, poem, lyrics, screenplay, etc. for the music. Add characters, visual imagery, and hints about the scenery, if possible.
2. Pretend you are from a different time period.
Take on the perspective of someone far older or younger than you. Pretend you’ve time-traveled back into the 20’s, or that you’re from the 30’s living in the contemporary world. How are you engaging with what’s around you? What do you notice? How is your perspective vastly different?
Write a story, poem, anecdote, screenplay, monologue etc. from the perspective of this person.
3. Choose three of your favorite (or random words) and create a rhyming poem.
Challenge your brain by thinking in a different way. (If you’re not a poetry person—even better!) Pick words that either you love, or that you stumble across online, in a magazine, or in your latest text conversation. Take those three words and try to carve them into a rhyming poem. Whether you rhyme with those words or others is your choice, just challenge yourself to create a poem that actually makes sense!
4. Take on the perspective of an intimate object.
Pretend you are a household item, like this shower drain plug, for instance. (I legitimately just wrote about this drain the other day, no lie! Haha!) How does this object feel? What purpose does it serve? Does it notice this perspective? Does it feel valued? Treat this object as if it’s a person. Pretend you are having a very real conversation with it, taking it to therapy, discussing it’s influence on the earth. (Have fun with this, or be serious!)
5. Induce fear.
Craft a story, poem, piece, excerpt, etc. that evokes fear in the reader. Whether you’re talking about a specific situation, diving into a scene, or telling a story, try your best to bring haunted vibes and characters into your writing.
6. Remove one of the senses from your writing.
Imagine you can no longer see—describe an experience without any visual details. Pretend you can’t smell—how would you describe a food without any scent? Challenge yourself to write descriptively and to show instead of tell as much as possible.
7. Write a product description in three different ways.
Pretend you are advertising for a business. Can you describe, for example, a bed pillow in three different ways? Can you write a basic review, a humorous review, a review that would be included in a magazine for children? For adults? Can you write something creative? Something more professional and clear-cut?
Work on writing around the same object while still keeping reader interest in what you’re actually selling.
8. Write a character sketch.
Take this however you’d like—from creating a criminal profile in a murder case, to detailing out a main figure for a future text. Craft what a character looks like, thinks like, feels like, etc. From this identity you can have the background to create a well-rounded story, emotion-packed poem, or screenplay involving that person and others.
9. Dive into the future.
Pretend your Amazon Alexa is actually a real person. What conversations has she overheard? What does she know/think? What would you talk about? First person is optional, but challenge yourself to write a story or narrative piece where something of the future (i.e. robot, electronic device, etc.) is present in contemporary life.
Like these? Have some of your own? Feel free to comment!
Featured Image Credit: Nick Morrison