What Gets You Writing?



Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

How often has that happened to you? You know that you want to write and last night you had some great ideas, but now they seem to have deserted you. When this happens to me I find myself turning to some of my favourite blogs for inspiration.

Ten Writing Prompts

There are many out there giving daily or weekly writing prompts. What I like most about them is that it also links you with fellow writers, all interpreting the prompts in different ways. Here are ten of my favourite.

1. The Sunday Whirl

Every Sunday Brenda takes a dozen words and puts them into a wordle (Incidentally, if you’ve never played around with wordle you should give it a try, it’s great fun.) The majority of people who respond to this weekly prompt are poets. You post your submission to your blog and then link it through the Linky List. The skill is getting all 12 words to fit neatly and inconspicuously  into your piece of writing. The words are always challenging.

2. Grammar Ghoul Press

Grammar Ghoul Press also hosts two weekly writing challenges: the Mutant 750, for flash fiction up to 750 words, and the Shapeshifting 13, for micro-fiction in multiples of 13 words. Each week, participants are encouraged to read and comment on each other’s submissions, then vote for their favourites.

3. Friday Fictioneers

A great weekly photo prompt from Rochelle. Every Friday authors from around the world gather here to share their 100-words and offer constructive criticism and encouragement to each other. The new photo prompt goes up on Rochelle’s site on a Wednesday.

4. Carpe Diem


Carpe Diem Haiku Kai is the place to be if you like to write and share haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry forms such as choka and kikobun. It’s a warmhearted family of haiku poets created by Chèvrefeuille, a Dutch haiku poet.

5. d’Verse Poets

d’Verse Poets Pub is a place for poets and writers to gather to celebrate poetry. Lots going on all through the week and a great following. Every Tuesday they have a post called ‘Poetics’ this is all about inspiration. You will invited to write about a provided prompt, whether music, art, photography, quotes or other challenges. Again you are invited to post your poems to your blog and then link through the Mister Linky list.

6. Sunday Picture Fiction

The idea of Sunday Photo Fiction is to create a story / poem or something using around about 200 words with the photo as a guide. It doesn’t have to be centre stage in the story, I have seen some where the placement is so subtle, the writer states where it is.

Once you have written and posted your story to your blog, you add a link so that it is added to the collection and everyone can have a read.

7. Twitter Fiction

I love writing Twitter stories. It’s the challenge of having to create something with so few words to play with. At the moment two of my favourites are:

#haikuchallenge – a daily prompt where a word is given and you are invited to write a Haiku containing that word.

#microprompt – another daily word prompt. This time you are encouraged to write either a story or poetry.

8. Nailpolish Stories

Another great blog. You are asked to write a 25 word story with a nail polish colour as the title (Title doesn’t count in the 25 words.)  Until I tried this I didn’t realise how strange and varied nail polish colours were, with names like ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’, or ‘Trophy Wife’ or ‘I’m Not Really A Waitress – the list goes on. They make great story titles.

9. Visual Dare

Every Wednesday Angela posts a photographic challenge (sometimes called a “VisDare”) that writers can use to help kickstart their work-in-progress, or use as an individual exercise to get the creative juices flowing again. The challenge is to craft a story based on that photo – in 150 words or less.

The photos are carefully selected black-and-white stills, with credit always given to original authorship.  The dare stays up for a week to give ample opportunity for participation. (Posting time is from midnight Tuesday EST to the following Tuesday midnight).

10. Three Word Wednesday

Three Word Wednesday gives writers, poets and those who journal a mid-week jolt of creativity. Each week, three words are selected; you create something with the words. Put your  story on your blog and then post a link to your contribution. Everyone  is encouraged to check back often to read and  comment on other contributions.
I hope you find these links handy. Maybe I’ll bump in to you one day as we read one another’s stories on one of these prompts.
Mike Jackson


  1. weebluebirdie

    A timely post for me to come across – the gaps between my posts are now embarrassingly long! I’ve come across most of these through other bloggers, and it’s always interesting to see the diverse takes on the same prompt. I haven’t come across Nailpolish stories – I love the idea of the Raymond Carveresque titles. Carpe Diem will be worth a look too – I haven’t come across kikobun or choka before. I enjoy writing to the discipline of tanka and haiku – makes you say what you mean!


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