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Get Creative with 12 Months of Writing Prompts and Projects

Someone writing in a notebook.

If you’ve been wanting to expand your writing skills and experience, this is a great year to do it. Spend some of your free time creating stories, poetry, and more, one month at a time.

January: Work on Your Handwriting Skills

Jan. 23 is National Handwriting Day, so it’s a great time to get started on your writing adventure. Writing a story by hand allows you to get your creative juices flowing and makes for a good, old-fashioned rough draft.

Unsure how to get started? Well, there’s a good chance you already have an idea for a story floating around in your head—you did open an article about writing after all, no?—so why not start there? Just start writing and see where it goes.

Once you’ve reached the end of your story or have your first chapter written, you can start typing up what you’ve got. As you type, you can start your first round of edits. You might even decide to change a large portion of your story as you go back through and revise.

February: Write a Love Story

With Valentine’s Day this month, it’s the perfect time to try your chops at a love story or romantic poem. Poems can be short and sweet (“Roses are red … “), or long and epic—it’s all up to the writer.

Writing a romance is also a great way to brush up on your dialogue skills. In “How to Write Romances,” author Phyllis Taylor Pianka talks about the importance of dialogue in romance stories as one of the ways readers are drawn into the story. For romance, the dialogue is the key to the reader’s ability to relate to the story—while other genres may rely less on dialogue to get readers the full effect of the story.

How to Write Romances (Genre Writing Series)

"How to Write Romances" is a great starter guide for anyone looking to start writing in this genre.

If you want to learn more about writing romances, Masterclass has a great article about it.

March: Learn More About Poetry

March 21 is World Poetry Day, but more importantly, April is National Poetry Month. This makes March the perfect time to brush up on your poetry knowledge. You can even try your hand at a Haiku and then head to Masterclass for Poetry 101.

There are many types of poetry, and some don’t even rhyme. Free verse allows you to write with no basic meters, and the rhyming can happen any way you’d like, or not at all. Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” are both epic poems, lengthy works of poetry that tell a story.

If you’re serious about learning all of the different types of poetry, you don’t have to be a dummy to enjoy the lessons found in books like “Poetry for Dummies.”

Poetry For Dummies

"Poetry for Dummies" is a great place to start your journey into the world of poetry.

April: Write Some Poetry

Magnetic poetry tiles laid across a white background.

Armed with your new knowledge about multiple forms of poetry, focus on writing some in April in honor of National Poetry Month.

Try writing a poem each day and sharing them on social media. Or, hold onto them until the end of the month, then submit them for publication, publish a poetry book, or just keep them for your own enjoyment.

If you’re not sure what to write about, Writer’s Digest has daily poetry prompts throughout the month. Use these to create poems of varying forms and lengths. Another great way to find poetry inspiration is to invest in some poetry magnets for your fridge—the words will be there, you just have to arrange them into something epic.

May: Write a Biography About Someone You Know

May 16 is Biographer’s Day, offering you the perfect opportunity to reach out to someone you know and write about them. Grandparents, neighbors, or a good friend all make wonderful subjects to write about. Pick someone and start writing their life story.

The best way to learn how to write any specific genre is to read books in that genre. So, grab a biography or two and flip through them to get the lay of the land. WikiHow has some tips on How to Write a Biography, as well.

June: Plan Your Dream Vacation in a Story

June 20 is the Summer Solstice, and the official arrival of summer is an excellent time to focus on a dream vacation. Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Write about it!

Some things you might include in your story are how you plan to get to your vacation destination, and what you plan to do when you get there. Instead of writing it like an itinerary, though, write as if you’re on your way there, visiting there, or are already back home and sharing your magnificent experiences with your friends.

July: Create a Zine

July is International Zine Month, celebrating little handmade magazines. Zines are self-published mini-magazines that are often handmade. Sometimes, they’re very small and created by just folding one sheet of paper in a particular way.

You can make your zine the same size as a regular magazine or smaller. It can have as many pages as you want it to have and stitched or stapled bindings. Include art, poetry, reviews, short stories, or whatever you want inside the pages of your zine. The Creative Independent has all the info you need.

August: Start Your Memoir

An old family photo album with old photos sitting atop it.
Vladimir Volodin/Shutterstock

Aug. 31 is We Love Memoirs Day. Whether you’ve led an interesting life or not, you’ve probably done at least one thing that’s worth writing about. Use this month to write about yourself, a few places to start include:

  • Writing about what you did differently during the pandemic of 2020
  • Writing about your interesting childhood—maybe you grew up on a farm or in foster care and have a tale to tell that not everyone knows or has experienced
  • Write about what it was like leaving home for the first time and attending college
  • Write about having your first child and the emotions of becoming a parent

We’ve all got a story to tell. For a little help, check out The Write Life’s post about writing a memoir.

September: Write About Something Your Grateful For

Not every month has a holiday-related specifically to writing, but almost any holiday can inspire writing. Sept. 21 is World Gratitude Day, a holiday that’s perfect for writing about something you’re grateful for.

Perhaps you can write about when you first bought your home, how long it took to find the right house, and how you turned it into the perfect place for you. Maybe you want to express gratitude for a person in your life by writing the story of how you met and became friends.

If you find you enjoy writing about the things you’re grateful for, starting a gratitude journal is an excellent next step. You can add more joy to your day by taking some time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for.

October: Write a Scary Story

Halloween is in October, so why not spend the month crafting a spooky tale you can read to your friends and family on Halloween night? Horror stories don’t have to have gore, but they do need some kind of fright factor. You want spooky creatures or some psychological scares.

When it comes to spooky stories, there are all sorts of topics to cover. For inspiration, Screencraft has a list of 101 terrifying story prompts to get you started.

November: Hone Your Novel Writing Chops

November is a huge month in the world of novel writers because it’s NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. There’s an official website where you can set goals and track your writing progress. Writing an entire novel in one month isn’t an easy task and takes dedication, but this article on 5 Ways to Make the Most of National Novel Writing Month mighthelp you out.

December: Write a Letter to Your Future Self

December is a busy month filled with holidays, so take this month to write a shorter project, but one that will take you into the next year on a positive note. Write a letter to your future self to close out the year. Include reminders of all you accomplished and overcame in the ending year, and give yourself some helpful tips to make the coming year a good one.

Writing is a fun hobby. It’s a wonderful way to share your stories, real and fiction. By taking up a different writing project each month, you’ll find out which you like best and enjoy a year’s worth of creativity.

Yvonne Glasgow Yvonne Glasgow
Yvonne Glasgow is a professional writer with two decades of experience. She has written and edited for nutritionists, start-ups, dating companies, SEO firms, newspapers, board game companies, and more. Yvonne is a published poet and short story writer, and she is a life coach. Read Full Bio »
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