365 Of The Best Daily One-Word Writing Prompts

Sometimes, when it comes to writing prompts, less is more.

Otherwise, why would you be here looking for one-word topics to write about

One solitary word can contain a universe of ideas — even small words like “if” and “or.”

So, why not keep it simple this coming year with a daily word prompt?

Who can tell what a full year of using word prompts can do for your development as a writer?

There’s only one way to find out.

And while we’re encouraging you to try, it seems only fitting to share what this practice has done for other writers

Why Use One-Word Writing Prompts? 

One-word prompts give you so much freedom in deciding what to write about. For one thing, a single word can have multiple literal meanings. And besides those, each word has various connotations, depending on its usage and the connections you make in your own mind. 

one-word writing prompt

That’s what we mean when we say one word can contain a multitude of ideas. But it might still help to spell out the benefits of using one-word prompts like the ones in this list:

  • Smaller, less specific prompts = more flexibility
  • One word is sort of like a Rorschach test; write whatever comes to mind. 
  • One word can generate a network of different story ideas.
  • One word doesn’t take long to read and is easier to remember.
  • One-word prompts erase the “I don’t know anything about that” excuse.

Each word on the list below is open to various interpretations, even if you don’t have personal experience with it. Read the word aloud or let it echo in your mind, and see what comes up. 

How to Use One-Word Prompts

Here are some ideas on how to use these one-word prompts:

  • Write each word on a slip of paper and draw one from a jar each day.
  • Draw two or three for an extra challenge, or
  • Keep the same word for multiple days, writing something different each day.
  • Place your memorized word under a candle and light it before you begin.
  • Do a free association exercise with an index card mindmap before starting.
  • If you’re stumped, do a quick image search of your word.

You can easily incorporate any rituals you prefer for your writing time, whether that involves a Pomodoro timer, your favorite hoodie, a particular kind of music, or anything else. 

365 One-Word Writing Prompts (One for Every Day)

Think of the following list as your own one-word prompt generator. With one word per day, you’re all set for a year of inspired writing. Read each word and take a moment to call forth your ideas before you choose one and start freewriting.

Cheeseburger
Moon
Rising
Truffles
Succulents
Candles
Tarot
Nightgown
Crystal
Oily
Sparkle
Glimmer
Jagged
Smooth
Jarring
Melody
Flame
Lantern
Ghost
Evening
Alone
Arrow
Misunderstanding
Tragedy
Unforgotten
Unforgiven
Odd
Heat
Chill
Cloudy
Unkempt
Musty
Cartwheels
Merry-go-round
Swings
Cotton candy
Ferris wheel
Stray
Road
Found
Lost
Invisible
Unnatural
Beauty
Deformity
Unity
Discord
Conspiracy
Anarchy
Extremism
Racism
Fear
Insecurity
Blindness
Clairvoyance
Prophecy
Clairaudience
Pride
Ritual
Loyalty
Betrayal
Hidden
Calm
Worry
Rational
Clicking
Gurgling
Ticking
Thump
Bell
Sand
Wind
Chime
Whisper
Chirp
Spinning
Swirl
Opening
Everyone
Closing
Bracelet
Locket
Moth
Torch
Worm
Spider
Cave
Phosphorescence
Pendant
Wax
Bees
Time
Preservation
Harvest
Hibernation
Chrysalis
Neophyte
Docent
Museum
Maximum
Speed
Locked
Game
Watch
Train
Sofa
Rain
Icy
Coma
Truck
Nightfall
Helicopter
Aliens
Sacrifice
Grid
Window
Walls
Purchase
Debt
Roadtrip
Gasoline
Chandelier
Cloves
Potatoes
Strawberries
Mint
Teapot
Candelabra
Watering
Deodorant
Singing
Traveling
Constrictive
Promised
Quiet
Eleven
Muddy
Floating
Vigilant
Different
Disturbance
Snack
Pet
Rocket
Tower
Chess
Apples
Spoon
Frantic
Kaleidoscope
Reflection
Toast
Glasses
Carving
Removal
Slippers
Following
Musical
Forfeit
Duel
Relentless

More Related Articles

101 Of The Most Clever Dialogue Writing Prompts

108 Engaging And Creative Nonfiction Writing Prompts

11 Of The Best Writing Prompts Books


Paranoid
Green
Leverage
Loser
Disarm
Banished
Fussy
Luck
Voyage
Acceptance
Offensive
River
Mob
Ashamed
Letters
Illegal
Lying
Homework
Decline
Threat
Impulsive
Tyrant
Sleep
Surrender
Curtain
Healing
Irony
Kleptomania
Waste
Convict
Karma
Space
Purification
Profanity
Birthday
Vanity
Uninformed
Shaking
Predatory
Hypocrite
Protocol
Flickering
Hoarse
Gasping
Calling
Crying
Grasping
Reach
Tiny
Helpless
Unseen
Vacant
Climbing
Immature
Skeleton
Remains
Hopeless
Sliding
Gravity
Bounce
Agitator
Runes
Name-cards
Sigil
Protest
Imprint
Cutting
Wage
Nowhere
Stranger
Autumn
Feast
Winter
Famine
Student
Mentor
Balance
Scales
Family
Alienation
Blame
Denial
Telephone
Laundry
Sidewalk
Market
Altar
Innocence
Sanctuary
Violation
Unexpected
Trust
Escape
Warning
Alarm
Catalyst
Unfamiliar
Supplements
Secret
Gate
Crescent
Mystical
Magic
Imaginary
Rage
Anguish
Solitary
Scented
Refreshing
Alignment
Cleansed
Resuscitation
Amnesia
Swallow
Dizzy
Exhausted
Fizzy
Recipe
Underground
Grounded
Autistic
Disoriented
Festival
Sauerkraut
Hinterland
Wasteland
Zombie
Pickpocket
Rags
Polish
Illusion
Miraculous
Melting
Citrus
Jasmine
Curling
Sled
Refraction
Mail
Matches
Trickster
Nautical
Equestrian
Vegetarian
Carbon
Chlorophyll
Random
Frolic
Equity
Nocturnal
Midlife
Saintly
Mischief
Complaint
Manager
Patient
Qualified
Indigenous
Extortion
Prescience
Cybernetic
Roundabout
Flotation
Funeral
Homage
Stovetop
Hearth
Cauldron
Nest
Piemaker
Elf
Forest
Pace
Planner
Map
Painting
Waiting
Conduit
Hose
Portrait
Platform
Hinge
Tissues
Markers
Pills
Stain
Toadstool
Wilt
Croutons
Embarrassed
Takeaway
Scrooge
Secluded
Feral
Flippant
Fracture
Crate
Slippery
Forgetful
Alleviate
Krampus
Nasal
Door
Boat

Ready to use these one-word writing prompts?

Now you’re all set for a whole year of using a single word each day to start a new and potentially life-changing story idea. If you’re thinking, “Well, I’m gonna need a new notebook or journal just for this,” we’re not about to discourage that. 

But don’t forget, as you read another word from the list, to express gratitude for your creative mind, for your writing tools, and for the time you have to devote to your craft. 

With the words “Thank you” as part of your everyday writing routine, you’ll never lack for inspiration.

There are times when you are lost and don't know what topic you should write about. Read this curated list of 365 one-word writing prompts to help your creative mind in establishing your next story.

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