It’s easy to get stuck while writing, especially when what you’re writing has to live up to some kind of quality bar, self-imposed or otherwise. A technique I see a lot to get unstuck again is to use so called writing prompts.

A writing prompt can take many forms. Sometimes it’s a question that you’re supposed to answer, forcing you to start from somewhere. Sometimes it might be a sentence or an entire paragraph that you’re supposed to use as the basis for what you are writing. A somewhat unhelpful, but classic, literary prompt is “Once upon a time”.


Some prompt suggestions stolen from Andy Matuschaks note detailing his morning writing practice[^1].

  • What are the most important unknowns for this project?
  • What new ideas am I excited about?
  • What are the most interesting things I know about this project?