I love it! Anything to help!
I keep lists — at least 10, every day. Names of things I love, names that roll off my tongue, names of writers I adore, names that are just beautiful, words that make lovely sounds, words that make strange sounds when you say them, questions, etc,: today’s list, for everyone to use:
1) unicorn. 2) Nabokov. 3) marbles. 4) liturgy. 5) Tinkerbell. 6) Ark of the Covenant. 7) orangutan 8) snowflakes. 9) puppies. 10) hostilities
Sometimes it’s sentences or quotes or ideas:
1) “She said she’ll stay forever. Instead, she stole my heart, wallet & watch, & was gone the next morning. At least I’ll always have this tattoo to remember her by.”
2) Write about the first time you saw the mountains if you don’t live by them, or the ocean, if you don’t by it.
3) Write about the first time you remember tasting something completely different from your “normal” food, your everyday diet.
4) “My brother is so inconsiderate! He doesn’t call or text for weeks, can’t be bothered at his work or his vacations, then just shows up & expect me to wait on him hand & foot! Well, the joke’s on him! Wait till he finds out what I put in his brownies tonight!”
5) Anna has known Tom all her life, the last thing she had expected was for him to suddenly “turn” gay. That wasn’t how any of life worked!
6) “Sure, birds & wolves mate for life, but let’s face it, they don’t live that long.”
7) Petey is my best friend. He’s mostly all black, except for a few patches of white on his neck, one of his eyes is blue and the other is brown, but he never interrupts me when I talk, he’s always ready for a walk or a nap, and he’s just the friendliest dog in our neighborhood.
8) “I’m a paranoid in reverse. I always suspect people are plotting to do good things for me behind my back.” — J.D. Salinger
9) I’ve always been lucky. That’s why I’ve never gambled or bought lottery tickets — I knew that sooner or later luck tends to run out, & I’ve wanted to hold on to it for as long as I could. You don’t push your luck, it doesn’t push back, it just gives way.
10) Most babies are born loving sugar, but Mabel was born loving salt. Good thing, too, for all her life Mabel went on to suffer from low blood pressure.
These are for everyone. I might use a couple! Writing prompts are excellent for keeping the hand moving, keeping us writing! One of the best books for writers out there is Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones. Another one is Ann Lammott’s Bird by Bird.