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Instructions by Neil Gaiman: Writing and Healing Prompts


Each sticky note below leads to a writing prompt drawn from the poem, “Instructions,” by Neil Gaiman. You can read more about the process below the graphic.

These writing prompts are a kind of experiment. I’ve linked the prompts here to forms with the notion that any writing done on the form will not be used in any way for sharing or publication (which can become, so often, a kind of barrier to writing). Please note that it will also not be linked in any way to one’s email address or identifying information. The writing is primarily for the sake of the writing itself—and goes into a vault—a vault which might also and eventually become a source of information and research—so that I can learn better what kinds of poems and writing prompts are the most inviting and lead to useful and rich writing.

Please feel free to use or share the writing prompts in any way that you wish.

I’ve written more about Neil Gaiman’s “Instructions” and the idea of an interactive poem here.

Thoughts? Suggestions? I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me here.

See also:

The full text of Neil Gaiman’s “Instructions.”

An article on the potential benefits of fiction writing from this site.

A writing prompt on “entering the tale” from this site.

The image is from Neil Gaiman’s picture book, “Instructions,” illustrated by Charles Vess