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Writing Prompt: Helplessness

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Important note

This prompt is not an easy one. Please take care of yourself. If this is something you feel you can’t handle just now, you absolutely don’t have to. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know who to talk to, here are a few helpful numbers:

UK: 116 123 (Samaritans)

USA: 1-800-273-8255 (National Suicide Prevention)

Israel: 1201 (Eran)

International: find your number here.


It’s hard to watch the craziness in the world and not feel helpless. I certainly have, and I don’t like it. I don’t even like to admit that I feel helpless. I find myself jumping to action: How can I fix this? How can I make sure I don’t ever feel like this ever again?

Nevertheless, I believe that as writers and as people in the world, it’s essential to sit with our feelings and deal with them rather than ignore them. Yes, it’s difficult. Yes, it’s unpleasant. Yes, I’m privileged to have the mind space to even consider doing it.

So here’s my prompt. If you can, sit with the helplessness for as long as you can. How does it feel, physically? Yes, unpleasant. But how, exactly? If you can, sit with it until it passes. What happens when it does? What do you feel, physically? What kind of thoughts are prompted by this process? Write everything down. Think about other situations when you might have felt helpless. What happened? Can you remember the details? What did you do?

Bonus for writers: do any of your characters feel helpless? Why and in what situation? What can they do to fix it?


Hey there! I would love to hear whatever you're willing to share that came from the prompt. Please comment below or click on the chat window, even if it's only to tell me that you've found this prompt useful.

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