Writing prompts for troubling times that turn uncertainty into author fuel and why this is important. 

“A pen is to me as a beak is to a hen.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

#1: What is the intersection of what’s happening in the world right now and a lesson, story, or perspective from YOUR life? 

#2: How can you translate that intersection into writing – is it a book, an article, a poem, a song, an essay, or another type of work of art? 

#3: What would happen if even a small percentage of people heard your point of view on these times? How would it make them feel? What might they do as a result?

#4: Imagine if you didn’t have the power to write during these times – how would you feel?

#5: Where is the power in these curves? Where does YOUR voice come in? In a sea of generic copy paste memes, spinning wheels, and helpless frustration, what is the power of personal, unique perspectives? 

#6: What do you really want to say about what’s happening? Write it down. 

#7: What do you want someone to say about and learn from your words 100 years from now?

Some of the greatest, most impactful works in history have been created during troubled times. Those authors did not assume that “everyone must feel this way, everyone must have figured this out, everyone must have this story to share.” No, they got to work writing and now we can look back, see what happened, and hopefully learn from it. That’s the power of the written word. It’s why books get banned and why they simultaneously change lives – and societies.   

Troubling times are not the time for writers to go silent. They are the time to raise our pens and contribute to the permanent record. Too many books, too many authors? Can there be too many individual flames flickering in the darkness? Do not fear numbers, fear darkness. Your pen matters. Get to work. There’s not a moment to spare.

Related Articles:

Risking Popularity

Here’s To the Crazy Ones

In Uncertain Times, Speak Up


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