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Putting Pen to Paper

July 25, 2022

by Kelly McCandless

I recently struggled with something many writers fear: writer's block. I had great topics; I’d completed interesting interviews… I just couldn’t get the words to flow. I tried all kinds of things to get the creative juices flowing: writing at different times of day, in different places, dictating the interviews, and trying to free-write without any structure or goal in mind. Nothing worked. Finally, I simply stepped away from it. I stopped focusing on the topic at hand and Googled some writing prompts to help me just start writing. 

Not only did it work, but it took my brain in dozens of different directions and helped me create a list of fun blog and story ideas. I shared some of them with my kids as well with the goal of getting them to tap into their imaginations and put their summer-logged brains to work for a little while. The results were much more fun than we expected! My family used the prompts not only to share stories we wrote, but to start conversations with one another. Around the dinner table it’s become something of a game we all seem to like. 

Since we enjoyed it so much, I thought I’d share a few of our favorites with you. Check them out to use for yourself or share with your own kids, students, friends, or family. 


  • Make a list of everyday things you’re grateful for.
  • What do you like about yourself? 
  • What qualities do your friends or family have that make you feel grateful? 


  • What is the most intriguing dream you can remember having? 
  • What kind of car would you absolutely love to drive and where would you take it? 
  • Imagine you have a superpower. How will you use it to change the world?


  • What would you go back and change if you could? 
  • If you had one extra hour each day, how would you use it? 
  • What makes you feel loved? 

Just for Fun

  • What kind of animal would you want to be and why? 
  • If you had to eat one food every day for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? 
  • What skill do you think you could teach others? How would you teach it? 
  • Write about your day from the perspective of your pet. 
  • You have three wishes. How will you use them? 

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