“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”
—Louis L’Amour

Birthday Writing Prompts

It’s my birthday this week!!

At some point in my life, I realized I get way more excited about birthdays than other people.

writing prompts

I love throwing parties and peer pressuring everyone to go.

I also may or may not have broken up with a couple of people whose gifts clearly demonstrated that they didn’t care about me (it’s not about the money, but the thoughtfulness, you know?).  Hmm, maybe this is more of a quirky trait than a charming one…

Oh well!

I’m using my birthday as an excuse to write an easier blog post this week.  It consists of writing prompts that are (obviously) inspired by birthdays.

Because I provided very little actual writing advice, I have three for you to try.

How do you feel about birthdays? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes to write about one (or more) of the following:

  1. Your fifteenth birthday—you may remember more than you expect.
  2. Imagine a character that either loves or hates birthdays. Write a scene from his or her point of view.
  3. Write about a birthday gift (real or fictional).

Share in the comments section!!

About Monica M. Clark

Monica is a lawyer trying to knock out her first novel. She lives in D.C. but is still a New Yorker. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter (@monicamclark).

  • Sarkis Antikajian

    Well, when I am at my age—very old, the last thing I want to hear is someone reminding me that one year had already passed, and I am getting closer and closer to you know what.

    So personally I don’t want to hear about birthdays and that goes for the new year.

    Of course, I am saying this in jest.

    Happy Birthday, Monica.

  • Yiro Abari High

    Birthdays used to be special to me. In the past, I had always wanted to celebrate it in one remarkable way or the other. But there had always been one hitch or the other that spoiled the show, so that it ended in a way that I never wished. In some instances, it comes when my pouch is so learn that the celebration becomes a luxury I cannot afford.

    On one of my birthdays, I headed to the hospital with dozens of infant toilet soaps. My intention was to share it with children born on that day, make friends with them and continue to locate them each time the day turns up. That way, it will be a great day each time it turns up. I meant it to be a group that will grow. Sadly, the hospital admin denied me entry on grounds that I should have booked for it in advance. At that point, the process became too hectic, eroding my interest.

    The soap, I took them back home, feeling slightly embarrassed. Since then, I worry only about the things I have set on achieving in life. Birthday celebration became something trifling.

    • Susan W A

      What a grand plan; so disappointing when things don’t work out the way we plan, especially when the thought is to help others.

  • I’m with Sarkis, at my age I have mixed feelings about birthdays now. Esp when I have no one to share them with. At my age I am constantly reminded of the things I have not accomplished. When I was younger I didnt like going out with family because they would always make a big deal having restaurant people come out and sing happy birthday. As an intervert that was very embarrassing and uncomfortable. But for my kids sake I always managed to smile and enjoy their efforts. Thankfully those days are past me now, I am just grateful to see another morning.

    May write a fun children’s story about birthdays…. since I’ve found myself watching children shows today….

    • As an introvert, I hope you will pretend to be a child and to have fun when you write your children’s story about birthdays. I hope to be able to read it!

      • Hey Beth, I’ll let ya know when I finish it.I sometimes enjoy stepping away from grown up writing and do something fun…Today is one of those days.

        • Gina Davis

          Yes, sharing is the best part. It is fun and it lightens up all those strange youthful days.

    • Susan W A

      Oh, what a great idea for a children’s book. Have fun with that!

      I love the shift in energy from your first paragraph to the second!

  • LilianGardner

    My parents made a great fuss on our birthdays. We were pampered, allowed to stay in bed until lunch time, and skip school, as a special birthday present. We also chose the menu for lunch, and went to the movies. We were called ‘the birthday boy/girl’.
    It didn’t last long, though, because I went to boarding school just after my eighth birthday and didn’t have another birthday with my family.
    However, my mom sent beautiful birthday cards by post, and a parcel of goodies when she could afford it. She said, ‘Sing, laugh, dance, have fun on your birthday, wear new clothes and put money in your pocket, because it’s how you’ll be for a whole year’. Not a bad thought, is it?
    My fifteenth birthday just came and went as any other day.
    I remember friends birthdays and love wishing people on this, their special day. I’m sure it makes a difference, even if a little.

    • Gina Davis

      I loved this, it reminded me of our birthdays growing up. I still do this with my 28 year old son. his menu, his day, his desires.

      • LilianGardner

        Thanks Wanderer. I’m glad we have something in common.

  • We used to celebrate a special dinner out for each birthday child when my brother and I were the only children in our family. I loved lobster, which he always made fun of, and he loved steak, even at a seafood place. Once another child, my sister, arrived 10 years after our family was established, she was too little to join our dinners out, but we had fun birthday celebrations at home, I think. You may notice a mood of melancholy in my memoir. You would be correct, because I still miss that special, teasing brother who died at age 50.
    After I was married, I started celebrating all the May birthdays in the family at Mother’s Day. It was a special day to honor the moms and the daughters and the sisters. When my own lovely daughter was born on Mother’s Day, it added to the specialness of our annual celebration. My birthday in January is a cold day and not as memorable.
    Still, maybe I can eat lobster once again this year to memorialize all the other birthday parties through the years and to be thankful I am still alive to read and write and join this writing community.
    (Sorry, Monica, that I didn’t follow your prompt suggestions. I am happy for you that birthdays are pleasant memories that you continue to enjoy.)

    • ruth

      Happy January birthday, Beth! By all means, have the lobster and remember the good times! As years advance, the day is a mixture of happy/sad remembering the ones who made it special and savoring the moment. I guess it really is what we make it. Wishing you the best!

  • Lauren Timmins

    1. Happy Birthday!
    2. Practice:

    I turned 15 the day before school last August. I woke up, and as always, nothing felt any different than when I was 14. I came downstairs and my poor mother was busy trying to keep my siblings from tearing each other to pieces while simultaneously putting the recycling out. I, being a 5-star procrastinator, had a large chuck English paper to finish (gotta love summer work), and it was due in less than 24 hours. Hence, I spent the first hours of my 15-year-oldhood with my eyes glued to a computer screen. I listen to music when I work, and this led to an existential crisis when that song about only having 100 years to live came on.
    Now, one line of said song is, “15 there’s still time for you,” which is perfectly fine. However, that verse also kindly led me to believe that my clock was ticking. A few other songs with fifteen-year olds mentioned in them came to mind, and I convinced myself that this day marked the beginning of the end of my life. Farewell, me. It was nice knowing you.
    My existential crisis and English assignment kept me occupied until it was time to have the traditional family birthday party, which includes a desert of the birthday child’s choice accompanied by a dinner from a fast-food restaurant of said child’s choice. I chose Wendy’s accompanied by a chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice-cream. After we finished eating, I opened my presents (my major present had been tickets to Warped Tour, which was given to me earlier in July), printed off my English paper, and went to bed.
    Whilst in bed I decided to test my skills as a philosopher and contemplated how I am a mere, insignificant speck living on a rock hurtling around a ball of gas located in the Middle of Nowhere in regards to the entire universe. This merged with the thought of my 85 year long impending doom and the realization that I would spend about a quarter of my life trapped in brick buildings only to spend another two quarters being compensated for being trapped in buildings made of other materials.
    Moral of the story: Do not procrastinate or else you will have to do summer work on your birthday and never listen to songs that specifically mention your age or else you may find yourself in the midst of an existential crisis.

  • Ruth

    I remember a special birthday not too long ago, one of those senior “round numbers” which had me a little anxious. Our family had gathered at the beach and it became a surprise celebration for me! I watched a three year old granddaughter ice the birthday cake with great care, our daughter had made a slide show of photos of our week at the beach, then they presented me with a “jar of memories”, tiny slips of paper saying what memory of me each one treasured. I was so overwhelmed I dissolved into tears. Still makes me smile.
    Happy Birthday, Monica, and thanks for all you give us writers!

  • DiyaSaini

    Meaning of Birthdays kept changing for me, as I grew up in height, weight & all the other dimensions you can think off. Where from last few years the meaning & my thought pattern seem to play in tandem. The golden materialistic lining has turned to selfless humanity lining. But inspite of so many years flipped by, can never forget the 7th grade gift which I gifted to my dad. Some memories can never fade & especially when you have a family to poke you with it, makes it more worthwhile. My small sized gift, which I painstakingly went on wrapping till it sized a 4″4 cushion. Gleefully tucked under my arm on the first sight of my dad with a hug & kiss handed over to him. Rest participants in the room faded in the background for me. My dad carefully playing the game of unwrapping sure had already got everybodies attention. We were at the last round the tiny box had seen the light of the day. My dad admiringly unopened & slipped it on his palm. The entire room burst into laughter, making me blush then go red on my gesture. It was a small lock with keys, on which I will always be teased till my end.

  • Gina Davis

    I watched as he walked up the steps to the porch, wrapped
    package, clearly visible in his hand. Drat, I silently said, a birthday gift
    for me and I really hate gifts. I find people never really think about the
    gifts they give, it is usually something they want themselves, never
    considering the other person.

    I decided not to say anything about the gift and walked to another
    room in the house, so I could let it be a secret. My birthday was a few days
    away and I had to muster up excited energy for something I knew I was going to
    hate.

    The next day, I looked out and was puzzled. He was walking
    up those porch steps, with another gift in his hand. What the heck is going on?
    Two presents for me. Drat, this meant I had to really think of something to get
    him for his birthday, or should I break up with him a week before, so I don’t
    have to think about what I have to get. I am horrible at gifts and gift
    certificates do not demonstrate thoughtfulness unless they are requested.

    Five thirty the following day he rolled up, nothing in him
    arms, but his hands so tight in his pocket, with his knuckles bulging, I knew
    he was holding something in his hand. He was hiding something and to make it
    easier for him, I walked into the next room so he would not know I saw him
    coming up the steps.

    I am unaccustomed to gifts. What I want, I tend to get
    myself. Not that I don’t appreciate anything, I just don’t know what to say
    when I get things, especially things I hate.

    My birthday rolled around and I decided to bake a cake, cook
    dinner, so I can give him the gift of friendship, you know, do something for
    someone else on your birthday, when the phone rang.

    “Hey,” he said in that cool sultry voice. “Want to go out
    for dinner since it is your birthday? You don’t have to cook. Let’s just chill.
    Be waited on.”

    Why not I figured, dinner and a gift. Cute! He is a
    romantic.

    I sat at the table, eating my meal when he bought out three
    different sized gifts. “Pick the one you want to start with,” he said.

    Always start with the biggest box, because the smallest never
    disappoints. I opened the big box and my mouth dropped open. Then I opened the
    next gift and it opened even further. When I opened the third gift, I had to
    ask the waiter to pick up my jaw, I was so stuck.

    The first present was a stuffed dog wearing a Superman Cape
    and a silver Superman medallion around his neck. The second gift was superman
    work bag and inside it was a Superman tee shirt and a superman action figure and
    the final gift was a superman ring with my name carved in the S.

    He knew, the one thing I loved more than anything was
    Superman. This was the best birthday gift ever. He is a keeper.

  • Michele Movius

    Have a great birthday, Joe!

  • Godfrey Coppinger

    Ah, my fifteenth birthday. The night before, I went dancing to Bo Diddley. What a night it was. I had made business cards with my name and address on it and as I danced, I passed them out to EVERYONE! I was going to have a great party – it was potluck of course, so Mama and Daddy wouldn’t have to pay for everything. They had given me permission to invite as many people as I wanted. They had no idea what I had in mind. So that night I danced and twirled and had the most wonderful time. The music was wonderful, I was hot and sweaty. You must understand, of course, that this was the 60s and I was the happy little hippie girl. I was wearing bellbottoms, and a braided yarn headband, with a sparkly rhinestone brooch pinned to the front of it. I danced alone. While other girls were standing on the sidelines waiting to be asked to dance, I JUST DANCED! I had arrived early and was the first one on the dance floor. Then… The night was over. I went home and took a long hot bath in the claw foot bathtub, dreaming of my wonderful party. Then tomorrow came. Even though I had been out late and I was tired and sore, I got up early and helped Mam prepare for the party. There were balloons and cake and I had all my record albums laid out – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Donovan, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, the Temptations, and of course – Bo Diddley. It was almost time. My friends, and all the strangers, would be arriving soon. I went to sit on the front porch, watching the traffic, eying each car as it drove by. waiting. And waiting. And waiting. But no cars stopped. Not one. I waited. No one came. No one came to my party. No one. No one. I sat on the porch, for a very long time. But. No. One. Came. Happy birthday.