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Beginning writers often wonder how to start writing. It's the
worry they get themselves into right away that mostly hinders
them from getting anything written down.

Experienced writers often get stuck in the middle of their novels,
stories or articles. They sometimes agonize and worry about what
to write next and that's how they are delayed.

Beginning and experienced writers and the writers in between can
sometimes fall into the trap of getting themselves "blocked."

So here are 12 writing prompts you, the beginning writer or the
experienced one, can use to start off your writing.

PROMPT # 1 "I write because..." Think of as many reasons as you
can. Any reasons you know and feel you should and could write, and
why you write. Then from your list, see if you can turn your
reasons into an essay, a story or a poem.

PROMPT # 2 Sit still for five minutes. Close your eyes and listen.
Don't think, just listen. What sounds do you hear? Is there music?
Rustling leaves? Is your TV on? After five minutes, write down all
the sounds on a piece of paper. If you can't think of the correct
words for the sounds, write how they sounded (example: "bbbzzztttt"
for something you heard). Now use the sounds on your list to create
"sound poetry."

PROMPT # 3: Use this prompt to start off your story: "When the
dust settled, he saw..."

PROMPT # 4: Quotes are powerful writing starters. They evoke
emotions, insights and inspirations for any writer. What's your
favorite quote? It may be something a famous dead person said, or
a line in a song, or a passage in the Bible. Write the quote on
top of your page and write your interpretation of your favorite
quote. You can inspire, motivate or even impart a lesson.

PROMPT # 5: When was the last time you received a letter? Or a
postcard? Who sent it? What did it say? Did you reply to the
letter? Write yourself a letter. Pretend that you are somebody
else. Put yourself in your neighbor's shoes, or your old friend's
shoes. If you were them, what would you want to tell yourself, or
want to know about yourself?

PROMPT # 6: When you ride a bus or a car in one of your trips,
what do you do? Do you sleep during the trip? Do you stare out
the window and watch unseeingly the view? Or do you take it all
in -- the greenery, the buildings, the people, the colors, the
hues, the clouds? Recall the most recent trip you've had. Where
did you come from and where were you going? Why were you going
there? How long was the trip? What did you see on the way? This
short exercise will help you with your power of recalling details.
The more you recall, the more detailed your writing will be. Do
this exercise on a regular basis and you will be able to write
with good use of details.

PROMPT # 7: Watch your favorite movie. Afterwards, experiment on
giving it different endings. If it's a romantic movie with a
mushy happy-ending, why not re-write the ending and say, have the
guy end up with the other woman? Or if it's an action film, ask
yourself what would happen if the hero got killed. The thing here
is you have to think of a different version for the movie's

Prompt # 8. Imagine you're walking in a mall and all of a sudden,
a woman grabs you by the hair and starts a catfight with you.
What would you do? Would you fight back? If you're a man, think
of what you'll do if another guy punched you on the nose for no
reason at all. Would you punch back? Describe the "fight scene."

Prompt # 9. Recall the last dream (or nightmare) you had. Describe
the dream in detail.

Prompt # 10. If you were an animal, what would would you be? Why?

Prompt # 11. When you were in gradeschool, what was your most
hated subject? Why did you hate it? Do you still hate it? Why or
why not? Did the teacher have anything to do with it?

Prompt # 12. Put on your favorite CD or tape. What music comes
out of it? When you listen to it, what do you feel? What comes
into your mind?

I hope the prompts I have created for you will help you get those
words out of your head and onto the paper.

Drop me a line and share with me your writing if you are inclined.
Until then, great writing to you!

About the Author

Shery Ma Belle Arrieta
Shery is the creator and author of the exciting
new series of ebooks for writers, SEEDS: Ideas for the Everyday
(Non-Fiction) Writer. You can download a FREE sampler at The July SEEDS ebook
contains 82 idea seeds, all based on historical events.

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