Write Right Now (For Art’s Sake!)


This week’s creative prompts take inspiration from writing’s ultimate co-conspirator, visual art. Take a few minutes, or more, to explore the intersections between mediums.

  • Use SFMOMA’s Send Me tool to find visual starting points for a piece of writing.Try colors, emotions, and textures to begin.  
  • Choose an excerpt from a piece of writing that you’re working on (or from the book you’re currently reading) and rewrite it as a rebus.
  • Find a piece of representational visual art containing objects and/or people. Imagine, and write about, what happened just before the scene portrayed in the work. Or just after.
  • Create a piece inspired by Banksy-style intrusion. You could take found text and insert a sizable portion of your own words to dramatically alter the meaning, or make small alterations throughout.
  • Take inspiration from the latitude of a mural, either one you can visit in person or find depicted. Write extra long lines in response to what you see.
  • Inspired by Garfield Minus Garfield, remove a key character from a scene (whether your own of from a published work) and rewrite the scene.
  • Imagine you find a stranger’s phone. Write about one or more of their saved photos with precise (even excessive) detail. Consider shapes, sizes, surfaces, tonesavoid narrative or judgement.
  • In Julio Cortazar’s “Graffiti,” two characters develop intimacy exclusively through their street art. Consider visual alternatives to direct written or spoken communication (perhaps secretive) in a blossoming relationship between two people. You could make a list of possibilities or write a scene involving one or more.
  • Experiment with distance. Pick a piece of art to inspire your writingspend five minutes writing very close to it (or with the image magnified) and five minutes far away (or with the image size decreased significantly). Blend the two results.
  • Print a coloring page and fill it with text.

Did you miss earlier prompts lists? Here they are.

Like what you’ve written? Put it away for a week, then revisit, and revise, revise, revise. When it’s ready to go, submit. If you have feedback, or ideas for prompts, please get in touch.

Photo by Václav Pluhař on Unsplash.