If you have the urge to write, but have trouble getting started, these writing prompts might provide the inspiration you need to get going. Choose a prompt that inspires you to write that story that has been lurking in you for so long.

An inspiring writing prompt can get you started.

These prompts may also help begin meaningful conversations, or inspire a new song, poem, or other artistic creations.

The Proust Questionnaire edit

The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust, and often used by modern interviewers.

The (slightly edited) questions are:

  1. What is your favorite virtue?
    1. What are the principal aspects of your personality?
  2. What are your favorite qualities in a man?
    1. What is the quality that you find most desirable in a man?
  3. What are your favorite qualities in a woman?
    1. What is the quality that you find most desirable in a woman?
  4. What is your chief characteristic?
  5. What do you appreciate most in your friends?
  6. What is your main fault?
  7. What is your favorite occupation?
  8. What is your idea of happiness?
    1. What is your dream of happiness?
  9. What is your idea of misery?
    1. What would be your greatest misfortune?
  10. If not yourself, who would you be?
    1. Who do you most admire?
  11. Where would you like to live?
  12. What is your favorite color, flower, and bird?
  13. Who are your favorite prose authors?
  14. Who are your favorite poets?
  15. Who are your favorite heroes in fiction?
  16. Who are your favorite painters and composers?

Alan Alda’s 7 Questions edit

Alan Alda ends each episode of his Clear + Vivid podcast by asking the guest to answer seven questions, chosen from this list:

  1. What do you wish you really understood?
  2. What do you wish other people understood about you?
  3. How do you tell someone that they have their facts wrong?
  4. What's the strangest question anyone has ever asked you?
  5. How do you stop a compulsive talker?
  6. How do you strike up a real, genuine conversation?
  7. Is there anyone you just can't feel empathy for?
  8. What book changed your life?
  9. What gives you confidence?
  10. How do you like to deliver bad news? In person, on the phone, or by carrier pigeon?
  11. What, if anything, would make you end a friendship?

Socratic dialogue topics edit

A Socratic dialogue reveals how different our outlooks can be on concepts we use every day.

This list of Socratic method prompts can inspire your imagination and writing.

This list of questions to classify can also stimulate and clarify your thinking.

Personal Inventory edit

This personal inventory can prompt reflection about yourself or others and suggest various writing topics.

Moral issues edit

Describe your well considered views on one of these moral issues.

General knowledge edit

It can be thought provoking to examine this list of general knowledge questions. Questions with surprising answers may be good candidates for writing about.

AI Generated Prompts edit

The Artificial Intelligence chatbot chatGPT was prompted to generate a long list of writer’s prompts. Here are the resulting AI generated writer's prompts, and AI generated story prompts.

Other Candidate Resources edit

Many sites on the Internet suggest writing prompts.

Here is a sample of them:

  • Weekly writing prompts.[1]
  • 365 Creative Writing Prompts.[2]
  • 50 Writing Prompts for all levels.[3]
  • 251 FREE Creative Writing Prompts for Kids.[4]

Recommended Reading edit

These books can provide further inspiration.

  1. Ginsberg, Laura B (October 11, 2022). Poetic Emergencies: writing prompts to spark creativity. Inspired Girl Books. pp. 384. ISBN 978-1737316350. 

References edit

  1. Weekly writing prompts, reedsy prompts.
  2. 365 Creative Writing Prompts, Thinkwritten
  3. 50 Writing Prompts for All Grade Levels, Edutopia.
  4. 251 FREE Creative Writing Prompts for Kids, journalbuddies.