Happy New Year, writers! January is a great time to start fresh and get those creative juices flowing. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of 30 writing prompts to help you jump-start your creativity this month. Whether you’re looking to write a poem, a short story, or just some ideas for your blog, these prompts will give you plenty of ideas to work with. So grab your pen and paper (or open up a new document on your computer), and let’s get started!
30 January Writing Prompts
- What are your New Year’s resolutions? How are you planning on keeping them?
- What was your best memory from last year? Why was it so special?
- What are you most looking forward to in the new year?
- Write about a time when you had to start over again.
- What does a fresh start mean to you?
- What are some things you want to leave behind in the new year?
- What makes this new year feel different from all the others?
- Write about your goal for the new year and how you plan on achieving it.
- What do you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months?
- Reflect on the past year and write about what you’ve learned.
- Write about a time when you had to let go of something (or someone) important to you.
- Describe what it feels like to start a new chapter in your life.
- Write about a new opportunity that has come your way.
- Write about how you’re mapping out your future.
- Write about a time when you thought you’d never get through the hard times.
- Write about a secret you’ve never told anyone before.
- What new experiences are you most anxious to try in the new year?
- Write about what you wish you could leave behind in the past.
- Write about the first day of a new job.
- What are you looking forward to doing most in the new year?
- Write about the moment you felt on top of the world.
- What are you most thankful for in your life?
- What are you most looking forward to?
- Write about something you’re trying to get over.
- What’s something new you’ve learned this past year?
- Write about a time when you took a risk and won or lost.
- What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?
- Write about a time when you tried something new and how it changed your life.
- Write about what you’re most excited about for the new year.
- Write about a time when you found a new level of happiness.
The Best Time of Year for Writers
For many people, January is a time to reflect on the year gone by and set resolutions for the year ahead. But for writers, January is the best time of year to hunker down and get some serious writing done. Here’s why.
January is the best time for writers because it’s a blank slate. A new year means a fresh start, which can be very motivating when starting (or finishing) a new writing project. Whether starting with a fresh idea or picking up an old project that you never quite got around to finishing, January is the perfect time to get the ball rolling.
The second reason why January is ideal for writers is that there are fewer distractions at this time of year. With most people back at work after the holiday break and kids back in school, there’s less socializing and more time at home to focus on your writing. If you find writing difficult during the busier months of the year, January is the perfect opportunity to get some quality writing done.
Now is the perfect time to focus on your writing because there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in writing-related events and activities. From writer’s retreats to online courses and local workshops, there are plenty of ways to learn more about your craft and connect with other like-minded individuals this month. And what better way to start the year off than by investing in your development as a writer?
January Tropes to Help You Start the New Year Right
January is a great time to get your creative juices flowing by using some tried-and-true tropes in your writing.
- A New Year’s Resolution trope. This is when a character resolves at the beginning of the year to change something about themselves or their life. This trope can be used for comedic or dramatic effects. For example, in the movie “Bridesmaids,” Annie resolves to lose weight and be a better person. But her efforts are often thwarted by her bad habits. This leads to some hilarious moments in the movie but also shows how difficult it is to stick to a resolution.
- The Mid-Winter Slump trope. This is when a character’s energy and motivation slump in the winter after the busy holiday season. This can be due to several reasons, such as the weather, post-holiday blues, or just plain old cabin fever. This trope is often used for comedic effect, allowing characters to get into all sorts of mishaps while feeling low.
- The Groundhog Day trope. This is when a character relives the same day repeatedly until they get it right. This can be used for comedic or dramatic effects, depending on how it’s written. The movie “Groundhog Day” is a prime example of this trope done well. Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, is stuck reliving Groundhog Day until he finally learns to be a better person.
- The End of the World As We Know It trope. This is when disaster strikes at the end of the world or post-apocalyptic setting, and everything changes forever. This can be used for dramatic effect and is often used in dystopian fiction. In Suzanne Collins’s “Hunger Games” trilogy, this trope is used when Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister’s place in the Hunger Games, essentially signing her death warrant. But her act of selflessness starts a rebellion that changes everything.
- The Winter Wonderland trope. This is when everything looks magical and beautiful in winter, often due to snowfall. It can be used for both comedic and romantic purposes. In “Elf,” Buddy finds himself in New York City for the first time and thinks everything looks like a winter wonderland. Of course, his innocence leads him into trouble, but it makes him so loveable.
It’s Time to Think Afresh About the Story You Want to Tell
We’ve all been there. We have an idea for a story that we’re dying to write, but when we sit down at the computer (or open up our notebooks), the words just don’t come. The story played out so vividly in our minds now feels flat, uninteresting, and downright force-able. Trust me. I know the feeling. But what can we do when this happens?
One thing that can help is to take a step back and think about the story you want to tell from a different perspective. Yes, having a clear idea of your plot, characters, and the setting is important. But sometimes, you need to think about your story differently to bring it to life.
For example, if you’re struggling to write an action scene, try thinking about it not as an action scene but as a character scene. What is your character thinking and feeling amid all the chaos? What does this moment mean for them in the broader context of the story? By approaching the scene from this angle, you may find that the words start flowing a bit more easily.
It can also be helpful to think about your favorite scenes or moments in stories and ask why they’re your favorites. Is it the suspenseful build-up? The clever dialogue? The surprising twist? Once you identify what it is that you love about these moments, you can try to replicate that feeling in your work.