Call him Writer’s Block, call him boredom, but whatever you want to call it, you know that sitting at your desk staring at that sadly emotionless blank page is one of the worst things there is. Chasing writing inspiration is like trying to grab hold of a poisonous jellyfish in the middle of the ocean while being rocked on all sides by huge waves. It’s hard, painful, scary, and you’ll probably get stung.
There are plenty of books out there that promise to fix your writer’s block, and most of them rely heavily on ‘writing prompts‘ – those well-meaning nuggets of potential designed to get your creativity flowing ( yuck). They are very well intentioned, but in my experience most writing prompts tend to UN-inspire: “Write a paragraph in which someone finds something they have lost.” “Write a scene in which you tell your parents how it feels to be their child.” “Write a story that will put your whole workshop to sleep.”
Fortunately, we, the lucky writers of 2014, have immediate access to some of the most fascinating cultural figureheads of our time, all because of a little thing older people call “Twitter.” The next time you do a blank, don’t turn to one of those soporific “how to be creative” books: write a story based on your favorite celebrity’s latest internet crisis. Remember, as TS Eliot once wrote, “Bad poets degrade what they take, and good poets make something better with it, or at least something different.”
1. Kim Kardashian
Write prompt: Explore the following philosophical question and its moral implications: If everyone insists that you are already married, are you ever married?
2. Kanye West
Write prompt: Dream of a world in which not having a social media account is fiercely illegal. What happens to those who dare to “unplug”?
3. Shia LaBeouf
Write prompt: Invent a machine of fame that destroys those it creates. What does it look like? How long are its fangs? Who is he going to eat next?
Write prompt: Create a sci-fi world where everyone has two personalities, the second of which is just an amplified version of the first – and only revealed when they unzip their skin combinations.
5. Martha Stewart
Write prompt: Write a scene in which a group of Stepford wives kidnap all the children in the world to make their flawless work flash factory.
Write prompt: What types of courses does Google University offer? How does the acceptance process work? What dark secrets are hidden in these shiny white walls?
7. Courtney Stodden
Write prompt: Write the story of a girl who scrolls through her iPhone film roll late at night and finds a series of photos she doesn’t remember taking.
8. Ricky Martin
Write prompt: Create a terrifying scene in which a living man comes out of a brightly colored box and talks to children about their future.
9. Pete Wentz
Write prompt: Invent a character who single-handedly takes down an evil business by relentlessly abusing the “reply all” button.
Write prompt: Write a scary story about a group of outcast teenagers on vacation in Europe who attempt to perform black magic in an arena.
11. Tyler, the creator
Write prompt: Write a scene where a guy tries to break the Guinness Book of Records but ends up alienating the love of his life.
Write prompt: Describe the worst Coachella performance in the world.
13. Rainn Wilson
Write prompt: Create a character who has a snake fetish but won’t admit it. What happens when he has to take his ex-wife’s cranky nephew to the zoo?
14. Patton Oswalt
Write prompt: Set a story in the secret womb of Bloomington, Indiana.
15. David Lynch
Write prompt: An eccentric collector decides to spend a weekend alone in the woods with two of his favorite things. What happens?
16. Anna Kendrick
Write prompt: Write a story in list form detailing everything a woman ate in an uneventful day alone.
17. Conan O’Brien
Write prompt: Reinterpret Kafka’s “Transfiguration”, but turn Gregor into a bedbug. How else does the plot change?
18. Miley Cyrus
Write prompt: Create a character who feels everything too much, then goes to a sad movie and then comes home.