100 Themes Writing Challenge

Need some inspiration? (Or maybe a kick in the pants?)

Over at my favorite creative forum, deviantART, there’s a “100 Themes Challenge” going around. As the name suggests, you get a list of 100 themes (I like to think of them as points of departure) that you turn into 100 new creations. I think it was originally intended for visual artists, but it’s easily adapted for poetry and prose writers of all stripes.

Just be warned: it’ll effectively disqualify the excuse that “I’m not writing because I don’t have any ideas.”

You can set your own rules as you like, but I recommend NOT setting a time limit. Rather, try doing them all in a certain order, or in a certain style, etc. Do something that will challenge you creatively but won’t stress you out. As for me, I’m limiting myself to poetry and short fiction, and I’m doing all the themes in numerical order.

Anyway, here’s my list, with titles of completed poems next to each theme. I’ve chosen Variant #2 from the Challenge’s deviantART group, but there are several more 100 themes lists if this one doesn’t do it for you.


1. Introduction  –  I Am Your Muse
2. Love – A Litany of Non-Loves
3. Light – The Irrlicht’s Song
4. Dark – Soul’s Night
5. Rot – Empty Pods
6. Break – Ángelos
7. Heaven – On Metros, Eternity and Mozart
8. Away – The Hill-Top Exile, Dreaming Still
9. Cut – Diptych: A Line in the Snow
10. Breathe – One Last Thing (A Song From the North Country)
11. Memory – [untitled short story]
12. Insanity – Self-Portrait, Spinning
13. Misfortune – In a Field Between Two Suns
14. Smile – The Lime-and-Tequila Love Song
15. Silence – Death-Dance in the Coffeehouse
16. Spit – The Magdalene
17. Blood – Look, My Bones
18. Under – Notre Dame de Paris
19. Gray – Death and Pigeons at Dawn
20. Fortitude – [short story] The Old Man in the Dome
21. War – This Is All I Know of War
22. Mother
23. Distasteful
24. Want
25. Lurking
26. Europe
27. Foreign
28. Sorrow
29. Urban
30. Rain
31. Flower
32. Night
33. Wrath
34. Moon
35. Walk
36. Precious
37. See
38. Abandoned
39. Dream
40. 4:29 PM
41. Citric Acid
42. Still
43. Die
44. Two Roads
45. Two Guns
46. Drop
47. Dirt
48. Young
49. Preservatives
50. Breaking the Rules
51. Sport
52. Old
53. Desecrate
54. Tower
55. Need
56. Biohazard
57. Sacrificial
58. Kick in the Head
59. No Way Out
60. Desert
61. Fairy Tale
62. Voodoo
63. Do Not Disturb
64. City
65. Horrorific
66. Snow
67. Drum
68. Hero
69. Annoyance
70. 67%
71. Obsession
72. Mislead
73. I. Can’t.
74. Confrontation
75. Mirror
76. Broken
77. Testament
78. Drink
79. FUCK [if this theme offends you you may do the alternate theme “Balk”] 80. Words
81. Pen and Paper
82. +
83. Heal
84. Cold
85. Sick
86. Seeing Red
87. Hunger
88. Pain
89. Through the Fire
90. Triangle
91. Drown
92. Rape
93. Iron
94. Soft
95. Advertisement
96. Storm
97. Safety
98. Puzzle
99. Alone
100. Gone


Now it’s your turn! Pick your variant … set your rules … and tell me about it in the comments. Don’t forget a link to your challenge. 🙂

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