20 Self-Reflection Writing Prompts


Frustrated Student

I don’t know what to write about!

Every writing teacher is familiar with that complaint, so  here’s a list of writing prompts designed to give students something to write about.

They all require some self-reflection, maybe a little soul-searching. I imagine these would be effective for journal writing, but there’s lots of creative writing potential here.

I don’t claim that all of these are original, by the way. Some are oldies but goodies.


Self-Reflection Writing Prompts

  1. What would you do if you had $100 to spend today? What if you had $10,000? How about a $1 million? What does this say about you?
  2. What’s one thing you’d change about your appearance if you could? What’s one character trait you’d change?
  3. Take a reader through your idea of a perfect day.
  4. If you were King of the World for a single day, what would you do?
  5. If a magic genie gave you one wish (with the rule that you can’t wish for more wishes!), what would you wish for?
  6. What’s your idea of the perfect job?
  7. If your life had a soundtrack, like a movie, what songs would you include? Why?
  8. If you could instantly be the best in the world at anything, what would you choose?
  9. If you could change places with anyone for a single day, who would you pick and why?
  10. What are the top five qualities you would look for in a spouse?
  11. If your house was on fire and you could only save three possessions, what would you take?
  12. If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have three books, what books would you choose and why?
  13. If you knew you had only year to live, what would you do? What if you only had one day? One hour?
  14. What would you attempt to do if you were guaranteed not to fail?
  15. If you could go back in time two or three years, what advice would you give yourself?
  16. What is your mission in life?
  17. If you could go back and relive one day of your life, which day would it be and why?
  18. Describe your alter ego — someone who is your exact opposite.
  19. If you could be any superhero, who would you be and why?
  20. If you could get the answer to any question, what would you ask? 

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About the Author

Brian Wasko

Brian WaskoBrian is the founder and president of WriteAtHome.com. One of his passions is to teach young people how to write better.View all posts by Brian Wasko

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      Thanks, Rigby! I think I speak for all bloggers when I say that nothing is more encouraging than engaged readers who take the time to comment. (I check for comments several times every day!) :)

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    I am not sure if it is POSSIBLE to actually TEACH someone to write well, and the writing I often see out there in the world – in business, in my DH’s college students, in actual publications – often fills me with such despair that I lose all my faith in humanity for a day or two. Sometimes even a week.

    However, in order to write well, I think people have to READ. Plenty, and often. One must get a FEEL for how a sentence is constructed: when it works, when it sounds awkward or lame. And without reading GOOD BOOKS (i.e. well-written books of *various* genres – think National Book Award, Pulitzer, Booker Prize, Nebula, Newberry, and other award-winners), and MANY of them…I don’t think that important, innate sense of Good Writing can develop. Sure, there are editors, but there is a lot of just-plain-crap that seems to get past these editors, so I wouldn’t advise looking to that profession as the gatekeepers at the Halls of Good Writing.

    Thank you for the thoughtful and interesting blog. I have added it to my feeds and will read it as often as I can. I’m a homeschooling mama, a writer, and a (radical usage) linquistic prescriptivist by nature. Oh, and I LOVE commas – my pet peeve (one of them) is writers who think that you DON’T need commas to set off a dependent clause…rrrrrrrrggghhh! The wholesale annhilation of proper comma use in our world today is a crime against language (right up there with using the word “utilize” every time you would ordinarily say “use”). Stop the comma genocide! And now I’ve stepped off my soapbox and am walking away.

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    • Brian Wasko
      Brian Wasko11-14-2012

      Well, now you know! Every blogger struggles to trust that someone is out there reading. Comments are often the only way of knowing.I never scorn the “great post!” comments. Comments like yours, however, are enough to make my day. Plus, part of the joy of blogging is the idea of community. I prefer having conversations to giving lectures. Comments make that possible.

      I am sure it is possible to teach people to write well, but only, of course, if they are interested in learning to write well. Teaching, I’ve always said is merely leading horses to water. The drinking is always up to the horse…er…student.

      I’ve written before on the importance of good reading to the development of writing skills. It’s an important factor, but it can sometimes be exaggerated. Here’s the article. I’d be interested in your opinion: http://bit.ly/KrSvdV.

      I am a former (dare I say reformed?) strict prescriptivist. I consider myself a moderate descriptivist, or perhaps a non-dogmatic prescriptivist. And I can tell you that it has been quite a relief. I almost never have to write rrrrrrggghhh! anymore and language quirks strike me as interesting and never drive me crazy anymore. :) Keep reading here — I hope to win you over!

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