An essential part of being a writer is daily practice—even if that practice is only a few minutes.
And even when the results are less inspired than you hoped.
As long as you’re committed to building a writing habit and practicing your craft, you’re a writer—not just an “aspiring” one.
Sometimes, all you need is a generous supply of fun writing prompts for adults to get you started.
We’re happy to help with that.
What Are Some Interesting Writing Prompts?
The best, most effective writing topics for adults are those you enjoy. They should stimulate your memory and imagination and create connections in the mind. All you need to do at that moment is to let the words flow onto the page.
Writing prompts can do this in one or more of the following ways:
- Remind you of a significant event in your own life;
- Trigger a powerful emotion about a particular event or relationship;
- Connect to a meaningful experience you’d like to dwell on for a bit;
- Connect to other disjointed details in your memory;
- Relate to universal themes you’d like to explore.
How You Can Use Daily Writing Prompts for Adults
Here are a few ideas for using adult writing prompts:
- Start a creating writing journal using these as daily prompts;
- Take one prompt and break it down into smaller installments;
- Start a creative writing group and share 1-3 prompts per week;
- Play music that fits the mood of a particular prompt;
- Set a timer and commit to writing for at least five minutes straight.
The best ideas for using the list of prompts below are those you’ll actually use and enjoy.
51 Creative Writing Prompts for Adults
Read through the following list of adult writing prompts and let your imagination respond to each one. Some will get your mind going more quickly than others. Some will have a stronger effect at different times.
You’re welcome to keep this whole list handy or make a smaller list with your favorites.
1. You’ve just been jolted out of a dream you’d give all your worldly possessions to return to. What was it about?
2. Someone you look up to makes an unexpected and hurtful remark about your body. What goes through your head, and how do you respond?
3. You’re alone at night in your apartment in the city, and the doorbell starts ringing repeatedly. You look through the peephole and…
4. You write an anonymous advice column and one day discover the unintended consequences of advice you thought was helpful.
5. By day, you’re a responsible, if reclusive, college student. By night, you fly over your city as a dragon.
6. On the advice of her therapist, you write about a character from her dreams, and they show up at your door.
7. Your significant other interrupts your work one day to say, “I need to tell you something.” What goes through your mind?
8. You don’t really want a pet, but when a friendly stray follows you home, your tender heart wins out and you let it in.
9. You meet someone with whom you feel not only safe but wanted and cherished. One day you catch them with someone else.
10. You wake up in a different place lying next to someone else and, for some reason you feel more at home. But which life is real?
11. You’re a few short hours away from facing your worst nightmare. What is it, and how do you prepare?
12. You wake up with a headache in a coffin-size box and hear voices outside it speaking a different language.
13. What comes to mind with the words, “What were you thinking?”
14. For some reason, everyone is giving you strange looks and tip-toeing around you.
15. Figures. Just when you get good at coding, the internet shuts down — everywhere.
16. You were digging in your yard when you found it. And you fully intend to keep it secret.
17. You’re comfortable with anonymity, so it’s unsettling when, one day, everyone you meet acts as if they’ve known you all your life.
18. Your spouse thinks you’re leaving for work, but you know the truth. Maybe, one day, you’ll tell them—if you survive today.
19. Someone slips a note underneath your apartment door. You unfold it to find a phone number and a brief, urgent message.
20. Your spouse asks if you’re interested in trying something different with your marriage. And it’s not fantasy role-play.
21. You wake up one day, and everyone seems shocked to see you alive. You look in the mirror and understand why.
22. You wake up in the body of a famous historical figure you’ve been studying. How does your day go?
23. Ever since the accident, you’ve been hearing voices—not all the time but often when it’s least convenient.
24. You show up alone at an old friend’s funeral to pay your respects, but when you reach the coffin, the face you see is your own.
25. You’ve always taken comfort in the presence of your own shadow, but it’s started taking on a life of its own.
26. You have one day to do whatever you want without any consequences. What do you do?
27. You’re visited one night by the disembodied spirit of someone you know (still living). Why do they visit you?
28. You’re on the worst vacation ever. And you’re about to do something crazy to change it for the better.
29. An evil genius hires you as his personal assistant. Your first day on the job is life-changing.
30. Your life is the subject of a favorite TV show. Describe your character and write about an important scene of your own making.
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31. You find a high-paying job doing something you love. But when your devoutly religious relatives ask what you do, you lie.
32. Your parents have just revealed a family secret they hoped they’d never have to tell you. You’re about to share it with your partner.
33. You’re in couple’s therapy, and the therapist suggests something you initially consider outrageous but are then… surprisingly open to it.
34. Write about a time when you had to hide from someone. Were you protecting yourself—or them?
35. Write about an animal you identify with and describe the traits you share with them—or wish you shared.
36. Describe a moment when someone you were once attracted to tried to intimidate you, and you turned the tables.
37. Write about how different your life might be if, back at a pivotal moment in your life, you’d taken a different turn.
38. Write about a relationship that taught you an important lesson and what you would tell that person now.
39. You inherit a house and discover a secret door leading to a surprise your deceased relative clearly knew about.
40. You meet and become friends with someone who’s the living equivalent of a favorite character from a novel you’ve read—or written.
41. You become famous, and your life changes overnight. Write about how it happens and what it leads to.
42. Create a powerful antagonist character and describe them. What kind of relationship would you or your protagonist have with them?
43. “She looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. When she finally spoke, she said… “
44. You did or said something that has left your family and friends speechless with shock. What is it, and what are the consequences?
45. You have this eerie feeling someone or something is following you home. You’re right. What or who is it, and what do they want?
46. You make a birthday wish, and it comes true. Describe what happens as a result.
47. You stand up to a bully, and the results are mixed. What happens?
48. You finally get your dream job (or gig), and then you learn something about it that changes everything.
49. For the first time in your life, you feel free to express your thoughts and see them as worth expressing. Why?
50. You write a book that becomes a bestseller, and someone you meet tells you it’s their new favorite. Describe the book and your fan.
51. You get a dream job, and your boss turns out to be something other than human. The problem? You’re falling hard for them.
Now that you’ve looked through all the above writing prompts, which ones stood out for you as favorites? And which will you use today?