Writing prompts: 3 ways to use objects as inspiration

As writing prompts, objects can be great sources of inspiration. They can be everyday and extraordinary all at the same time. We just need a willingness to explore. Here are three writing activities I particularly enjoy that use objects at their core.

Letter to an Inanimate Object

This is a lovely, feel-good exercise from writer and scholar Dr Amanda Morris. It’s quick to do, needing very little preparation. I was delighted by its simplicity, and also its power. I’ve come away with a new affection for my chosen object, which was totally unexpected. As Amanda says, being sincere and heartfelt is key.

Try this letter writing prompt for yourself and enjoy the results.

‘Brown Paper Bag’ Short Story Writing

Sherri, from Sally’s Trove, gives an enticing account of her experiences with this writing activity. It starts with going for a walk to find a collection of five objects – any objects that catch your eye. You then go through a process of examining and responding to the objects, gathering inspiration for your short story. The ideas and characters that emerge may surprise you. They certainly surprised me!

Give this brown paper bag writing exercise a go and see where your objects take you.

‘An Object Lesson’ Poetry Exercise

This writing activity from writer, editor and teacher Esther Morgan is both thorough and inspiring. I particularly enjoyed the variety of approaches, from exploring an object using your senses through to writing from an object’s point of view. It’s a wonderful chance to take something ordinary and gain a whole new perspective.

Have a go at this object poetry exercise and see what you discover.

Do let me know how you get on with these writing prompts. I’d love to hear from you. If you’ve enjoyed them and want to try out more writing activities, then check out the writing ideas category on this blog.

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