I struggled to come up with a suitable post for this week. Everything I came up with either seemed unexciting or not helpful for writers. Worse, I felt distracted by writing assignments, holiday preparations and a pending snowstorm.
Christmas time can inspire all sorts of stories. So it seemed fitting that I share with you one final gift for this holiday season – holiday-themed writing prompts. If you’re stuck writing and need some inspiration, maybe one of these ideas can drag you out of your writing slump.
Without further ado, here are my 12 Christmas-themed writing prompts. Enjoy!
Write a story about a young woman who invites a friend for Christmas dinner at her parents’ house. But there is something distinctly different about her friend (like exceptionally pointy ears, for example).
Write a story about something that happens during a performance of The Nutcracker, whether it happens backstage, onstage with the performers or in the audience. It could be two people having an argument, a mishap on stage, or a costume malfunction.
Write a story about a dysfunctional family traveling together out of town for the holidays.
Write a story about a couple enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas or out shopping when they unwittingly witness a crime.
Write a story about someone receiving a gift from a loved one that that they either don’t like or don’t want or need. How do they respond to the gift giver?
Write a story about a group of people who participate in some sort of Christmas-themed contest – ugly sweater, scavenger hunt, window decorating, etc.
Write about a character who, amidst running Christmas errands, runs into an old friend, former classmate, or former flame that they have not seen in nearly a decade.
Write a story about a harried store clerk working during the Christmas rush.
Write a story about a good, old-fashioned office Christmas party in which the CEO or a colleague makes an unusual announcement.
Write about a New Years’ Eve celebration when festivities don’t go as planned.
Write a story about a group of strangers that get stranded together somewhere on Christmas Eve due to a snowstorm, a power outage, closed roads, etc.
Write a story about the filming of a Christmas movie – in the middle of the summer.
Most of us are working from home these days, either slaving away on a blog or writing for an employer. We can become so absorbed in our computer screens that we forget to notice – and enjoy – the space around us. That’s why it’s important to create a space that is fun and creative and lifts your spirt. Even more important, you want a space that will inspire you to produce your best work, no matter what type of work you do.
According to Mindspace, an online magazine about flexible work spaces, poorly designed spaces can affect a person’s psychology, motivation and creative output. Mindspace recommends some basic elements to make a positive impact. Start with comfortable seating which can increase your energy level and keep you more alert and engaged.
Emphasize natural lighting if at all possible because it is better than artificial lighting. Fluorescent lights are harsh and can cause long-term eye strain. Let’s face it, natural lighting is simply more beautiful too.
Bring in natural plants which freshens indoor air quality naturally. But if you’re the type of person who forgets to water plants, artificial plants will suffice. The greenery is easy on the eyes and has a calming effect on your mood.
While having a desk, chair and computer are imperative, they’re not enough to inspire creativity and productivity. You need to add elements that not only inspire you to do your best work but also expresses your creative side.
Here’s how you can spice up your workspace and make it more fun and creative.
Rearrange your furniture. Before you add any new accessories, try rearranging the furniture. Switching around furniture pieces can change the energy in the room, say home décor experts. If your space feels stale, try removing one piece and see what happens to your energy level. While you’re at it, it might be a good idea to declutter too. Many of us have one or two pieces of furniture that we really don’t need. By subtracting, you’ll actually be adding to your productivity by creating more real space. When space opens up, it allows more air to move, and more ideas to flow along with it.
Repaint the room. If you feel bored or experience the winter blahs, spice things up with a splash of color to your surroundings. Sometimes all you need is a fresh coat of paint to brighten your mood. If you don’t want to paint a whole room, try doing one accent wall. For example, if the walls are white, try a bold, bright color on one wall. The sudden splash of color can awaken your senses.
Add wall décor. Once you’ve repainted the room and rearranged the furniture, don’t forget to add wall décor. Add a framed print of a famous person you admire, or a soothing landscape scene or a photo with an inspirational quote. If framed prints are too boring, try other options like a colorful handmade wreathe, a woven wall hanging or cut-out words that spell out a favorite quote. Let your imagination be your guide. The last thing you want to see are bare walls, even if the paint colors are more interesting.
Add unique lighting elements. If a desk lamp is too boring, bring in special lighting with different colored light bulbs, though be careful not to work under those lights, which might cause eye strain. Use those lighting elements to spark a creative mood rather than for productivity. For more advice about proper lighting for your space, check out this article from The Spruce.
Switch out accessories. Add new throw pillows on your bed or sofa which can make an immediate impact. A few small votive candles can put you in the mood to write poetry, and a potted plant can bring in some of the outdoors. If you lack storage space, add a few shelves by your desk to hold your supplies.
Create an inspiration board (or mood board). Need something to spark your imagination every day? An inspiration board contains photos, artwork, and phrases that help you focus on your writing goals or a specific project. Inspiration boards aren’t for everyone and they take a lot of time and effort, but they can provide the motivation you seek to be productive. (Some people call them mood boards, though I don’t know why. The boards are meant to inspire creativity, not affect mood. But that’s my two cents.) Check out the Lit Nerds for tips on creating mood boards.
Keep a fun drawer. Who doesn’t love a fun drawer? That’s where you keep small trinkets and toys, your favorite candies and handheld games. I suppose it should be called the distraction drawer instead because that’s what those items are meant to do – create distraction. The fun drawer serves as a reminder that writing is not all work and no play, and that it’s okay to take a creativity break. You never know when one of those little distractions inspires a fresh story idea.
Writers spend a lot of time in their work spaces – plotting stories, doing research, penning that masterpiece. Why not make it the most creative, inspirational place to work? Hopefully, these suggestions will spark some ideas on how to maximize the space you have and turn it into a fun place to work and play.