Weekend Writing

Sometimes the urge and desire to write isn’t enough. You have a biting sense to get something out there, but you keep asking yourself what exactly it is you want to say. The best way to get your creative juices flowing is to just sit down and write. You may be asking yourself, “That’s great Sarah, but how am I supposed to write when I don’t have anything to write about in the first place?” Now, here’s the real clincher- that’s exactly the point. Sit down and write about anything. What did you see today on your morning run? What crazy question did your child ask you on the way to school? What was up with that absurd dream you had last week? Did someone at the grocery get under your skin this weekend? Write about it.

Writing sparks inspiration. If you want to write, you need to start writing. Just thinking about it isn’t going to get you anywhere. It can be simple or completely out of this world. You just never know when your ‘ah-ha’ moment will strike. I have a sneaky suspicion that it will most likely happen when you are engaging in the very thing you wish to do- writing.

I came across some really fun writing prompts on Bustle today, all drawn from quotes from Harry Potter (gasp!). If you are having trouble free-styling your own writing, you might want to check them out. Even if you already know what you want to write about, these still might be a fun way to take a break from your work and play around with your writing. You never know what will come of it. And plus, who doesn’t like a little weekend homework, right? 🙂


#1: “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”

—Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Writing prompt: Imagine a world where “lost and found” boxes transport people back into their past to find something they lost long ago, like a prized possession or family heirloom.

#2: “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.”

—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Writing Prompt: Create a character who has sworn her life over to a society focused on doing evil in a world of good. Bonus: Create a foil whom she’ll meet and clash with — but end up falling in love with.

#3: “Turn to page 394.”

—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Writing Prompt: A character has just found an old, abandoned library with every single book thrown off of the shelves, but still in good shape. The only thing all the books have in common is each one is missing its 394th page. What could it mean?

#4: “I’m going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed — or worse, expelled.”

—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Writing prompt: Place a boarding school in your hometown and imagine a group of students conducting the most epic prank to start out the year. This prank could be deadly if left in the wrong hands, so what happens next might not be so pretty.

#5: “Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.”

—Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Writing prompt: Imagine a character that has never stepped outside of her small, isolated town. When a group of strange-looking kids show up in her backyard one night, she’s given the choice to keep living the simple life she’s always known, or follow them into the night. What does she choose, and what motivates her decision?

#6: “The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure.”

—Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Writing prompt: But what if it were? Create a world where a controlling government does annual “mind checks” to ensure safety and happiness while looking into human brains. What would happen when a couple of characters rebel against the procedure? Follow them throughout their journies.

#7: “I don’t go looking for trouble, trouble usually finds me.”

—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Writing prompt: Start out with a character who has always had extraordinarily bad luck all of her life. When yet another terrible event happens, explain how she reacts differently for the first time ever.

#8: “Not to be rude or anything, but this isn’t really a great time for me to have a House Elf in my bedroom.”

—Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Writing prompt: Instead of a House Elf, reimagine J.K. Rowling’s quote with a different mythical creature — one that may exist, or one that you’ve created. Why is it a bad time for your character? Is he late to be somewhere, perhaps? Keep the stakes high.

#9: “The prophesy said: neither one can live for the other one survives. It means one of us is gonna have to kill the other in the end.”

—Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Writing prompt: Imagine two young twins are told a similar prophesy, or just as threatening by their older sibling as a joke. Only one of them takes it seriously, and as they grow older, they begin to resent each other. Write the story in both of the twins’ perspectives.

Write On.