So, what will you write about next?
Usually, having ideas isn’t a problem for most writers. Our brains are brimming with them. They come to us in flashes of brilliance, in bits and pieces, in the form of plot bunnies, leading us down the rabbit hole.
But what happens when those ideas just seem to… evaporate? What do you do if you hit an inspiration dry spell?
First of all: don’t panic. You haven’t lost your spark. There’s an abundance of creativity within you—it’s just blocked right now. Whatever is holding you back, it’s not unfixable, and sometimes all it takes is a dose of the strange and unexpected to get your imagination back in business. The best way I’ve found to do that? Writing prompts. And the best place I’ve found to get them from? Pinterest.
(What is Pinterest? Find out in Pinterest for Writers in 6 Simple Steps.)
With Pinterest being such a visual platform, it’s a great opportunity to find writing prompts, whether they’re stunning images or written prompts. It could be a single pin or a whole board centred around a theme or style that gets the ideas flowing again—you just need to find them first.
So how can you find a wealth of prompts on Pinterest?
1. Search for them.
If you’re new to Pinterest or don’t follow many prompt-related boards, often the best place to start is with the search function. Simply type in a few keywords, like ‘writing prompt’, ‘settings’, ‘characters’, your genre of choice, etc., and search away. See any images you like? Create your own inspiration board and pin them to it!
2. Follow themed boards.
If searching for prompts doesn’t turn out the best results for you, the second option is to scout out inspiration-based boards that have been compiled by others. Found a pin that you really like? Chances are, you could like the other pins on the board it’s a part of.
To find the board the image is from and preview the other pins in it, simply click the image and look at the column on the right (highlighted in the image below). And there you have it.
My favourite inspiration-based boards:
- Writing Prompts and Story Starters and Spark Your Inspiration by moi (hey, got to plug my own boards first, right?)
- Daily Writing Prompts by Sarah Selecky
- Prompts by Paige Elizabeth
- Writing Prompts by Robyn LaRue
- Writing Inspiration by J Elizabeth Hill
- Writing Inspiration by Kami Garcia
3. Check out all the pins from a source.
What if you’re looking for pins from a particular source, rather than from a particular pinner? For instance, you really like the images created by a certain artist or writer, but the boards you’ve found only have a few of their many pieces of art or prompts on. What now? Pinterest has you covered.
Every pin has a source, the web address it came from, and if that’s the same source as the artist’s other images (e.g., their website), then you can find them easily. Click on the pin and look at the column to the right of it. There’s the name of the board at the top and the other pins on it, and underneath that there’s a ‘more from’ section. This is the bit we’re interested in.
If you like Sarah Selecky’s writing prompts, for example, you can find one of her pinned prompts, click ‘more from sarahselecky.com’ (highlighted in the image below), and explore all the images various users have pinned from her website.
My favourite sources for writing prompts? Right here:
- Daily Story Seed prompts from maxkirin.tumblr.com
- Writing prompts from promptuarium.wordpress.com
- Visual prompts from theartofanimation.tumblr.com
4. Make use of Pinterest’s suggestions.
As you start pinning prompts to your own boards, you’ll see more of Pinterest’s ‘picked for you’ suggestions, which is a great way to find more incredible prompts and follow boards that collect them too. In fact, that’s where I find the majority of the prompts I get from Pinterest!
You can spot the ‘picked for you’ pins by looking at the section beneath each image, which contains the name of the pinner and the board it comes from. Check out the image below for an example.
So now that you have some prompts to get you over that inspiration dry spell, it’s time to get writing. Enjoy your idea hunting on Pinterest! (But don’t get too distracted—you actually have to write the thing, remember!)
Where do you find your writing prompts?