As a writer and writing teacher, I am a fan of the writing prompt to get started. To push yourself to write something outside your comfort zone. To do something different than the usual.
However, certain prompts I have grown to dislike, whether from overuse, or just because they don't "prompt" anything out of me! Here they are - maybe they will work for you!
Write about your most embarrassing experience. This I hate for 2 reasons. 1) If it was "most embarrassing" why would I want to relive it, much less SHARE it with you? 2) For the most part, an experience is embarrassing "in the moment," but over time, loses its "edge." So... I generally can never think of ANYTHING when presented with this prompt.
[Random items laid out on a table] Pick an object and write about what comes to mind. Okay, when you lay out a bunch of YOUR weird personal objects, first I am distracted by thinking "Why does she have THAT!?" Second, I am perplexed at how YOUR personal objects are going to provoke ME to write. Third, if you put out all sorts of weird, old-fashioned items that I have NO clue what they do.... what in the world am I supposed to say about that!?
Write about the most important person in your life. Do you want ALL the other people in my life to be mad at me?
What is the worst mistake or decision you've ever made? Like I'm going to tell you!
Write about a dream you had. I can't remember any of mine. Thanks.
Has anything traumatic ever happened to you? Is this a therapy session? How much am I paying you?
So... what's the worst writing prompt you've ever been given?