From my bookshelf, The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron, published in 2000. [Note: There is also a 10th Anniversary Edition.]

It’s broken down into four sections: Bending and Stretching, Exploring, Finding Form, and Assessing and Developing.

To quote the author: “…the tone of the book will vary, from high-minded to playful to downright crabby.”

I really haven’t come across the crabby parts, which sound well worth tracking down.

Heffron–an accomplished writer and editor [Writer’s Digest Books, Story Press, and currently copy director at Barefoot Proximity in Cincinnati] provides over 400 different prompts to nudge, shove, cold-cock the reader into some fertile writing territory.

Some examples:

  1. A Day in the Life of a Writer. In this mindfulness exercise, “Your goal here is not to develop material for a single piece, but to plump your notebooks with ideas and details.”
  2. “You’re very old. You’re on your death bed…Family and friends gather around you. What do you tell them about life? What advice about living do you offer them?”

Apologies to the ‘absolutes’ police: With this book, you’ll never have nothing to write about…ever.


Writer. Former teacher. Baker. Spoiler of dogs.


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