Beginner's Guide to 15 Minute Prompts

5 Step Guide to 15 Minute Prompts

This guide is for creatives of any skill-level. If you are unfamiliar with using prompts, then you'll enjoy the tips below. If you already use prompts day-to-day for inspiration, you may learn how to manage your time better.

The Writing Prompt Crusaders, founders of 15 Minutes of Creativity struggled with prompts.

They struggled with the time constraint, condensing their overcomplicated ideas, and being consistent. By encouraging each other to take part every week in doing a new prompt, these struggles got easier.

This 5 Step guide will give you structure in making the most out of your 15 minutes.

Step 1: Brainstorm

Regardless of whether you use 15 minutes to tackle the prompt, you need to take time to brainstorm. We recommend that you take 3-5 minutes to ponder over the prompt that you want to tackle.

  • Outline what events you want to include.

  • Scribble concepts inspired by the prompt.

  • Hum a melody

This pre-production can make a drastic difference to your final result. Yet don't spend more than 5 minutes on brainstorming since you still want time to actually do the prompt. Quickly think about your ideas and then execute.

Step 2: Do Over

If 15 minutes pass and you aren't happy with the results of your prompt. That's not a problem! Reset your timer and give the prompt another shot. 15 minutes can feel like an eternity, other times in a blink of an eye your timer is already ringing. But, once you do your prompt a second time, you'll have a better idea of how long your idea is going to take to achieve.

  • Did you feel like you were rushing? Then use fewer adjectives when you write.

  • Don't mention that background character that didn't impact your story. Condense your ideas a little.

  • Did you run out of things to write before time was up? Then slow down and spend more time setting the scene.

Use your second go-around to expand on your ideas from your first draft. We suggest not to do more than three drafts. These prompts are to be quick bursts of creativity meant to jumpstart your mind.

Step 3: Skim

Do not spend hours proofreading or refining your prompt. If you must, spend a 1 to 5 minutes to correct any major spelling errors or mistakes. This is only if you feel that your work is unreadable or indistinguishable otherwise. Remember, if you feel inspired, you can refine your work later. Set some extra time aside and really work on your craft.

Step 4: Save

This is the most critical step. Whether you have created a short story, a sketch, or a song, make sure to save your work. Paste your text into a word document and create a folder to store all your prompts. You'll see with time how much you grow as an artist if you keep on expressing yourself in a short time span. Also, you never know when these quick prompts may inspire something greater. If you draw something, try to keep a folder in your room with your sketches or scan them into your computer. Services such as Google Photos, Google Drive and DropBox are useful to save your work on the cloud.

Step 5: Share

Feedback will make you grow as a creator. If you want to become better at your hobby or craft, then you should share your work. You can post your work online or simply show your creation with your friends.

Tweet at us or post in the comments what prompts you come up with or were inspired by. We want to encourage you to do our prompts and post them up, even if it's in response to a prompt that was posted weeks ago. After all, you never know when we'll do a Throwback Thursday and round up old prompts to showcase.

We hope with this guide you will feel confident, motivated and inspired to join us on our artist journey. Feel free to share this with your friends if you want them to get creative.