1. Write down the words: I want. It can be one huge thing, or many little things, or many huge things, or something you don’t want, or anything at all. See where it takes you. Write for five minutes. If you get stuck, just return to the prompt: I want.
2. Write down the words: I remember. It can be something from childhood, something that happened this morning, one big memory, or lots of memories. See where it takes you. Write for ten minutes.
3. Pick up the nearest poetry book or novel. Flick to a random page. Close your eyes and point at the page. The line you land on is your writing prompt. Start a story from there. If it doesn’t make any sense, that’s fine. Make it dialogue. Have your character frustrated and confused. Write for ten minutes.
4. Find the nearest newspaper or magazine. Flick at random and choose an image. Flick at random again and choose maximum four words of text from a headline. Write a story that uses the image as a setting/character and the text as a title/theme/piece of dialogue. Write for ten minutes.
5. Picture yourself in twenty years time. You’ve achieved everything you wanted to. Write a letter to your current self telling you how you did it. Write for five minutes.
6. Write about your memories of childhood food. Write for ten minutes.
7. Describe yourself as you are right now, how you look, where you are, how you sit, what your body feels like, what’s going on emotionally – but do it all in the third person. Write for five minutes.
8. Think about something you hate. Why do you hate it? How does it make you feel? Persuade us how bad it is. Write for five minutes.
9. Take that thing that you hate, and write about it like you love it. Persuade us that you really do love it. Write for five minutes.
10. Write about a first. It can be a first anything. First job, first kiss, first great loss, first day at school. Write for five minutes.
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