50 Awesome Personal Narrative Writing Prompts


Most of us are at least somewhat fond of ourselves. As a result, we don’t need much encouragement to start writing about ourselves. Instead, the issue would be finding a place to start writing because even the least complicated individual has a story that can fill reams and reams of paper. Fortunately, if you aren’t sure where to start, you can benefit from readily available writing prompts.

If you need some inspiration, you might benefit from these 50 personal narrative writing prompts:

Table of Contents show

1. What Is Your Motivation?

Everyone has a motivation. Sometimes, they have a grand goal in mind. Other times, well, suffice it to say that some people are satisfied with something simpler. Both kinds of motivations are perfectly alright. What matters is that people know what moves them.

2. Name Something You Are Good At

If you care about self-awareness, you need to know what you are good at.

3. Name Something You Are Bad At

Similarly, you need to know what you are bad at. This way, you can get better results by avoiding, changing, and working around these things.

4. What Is Something You Want to Learn?

Learning new things can be an exhilarating experience. Furthermore, if you want to grow as a person, you could do worse than plan out something new you want to learn.

5. What Is Something You Want to Experience?

Verywellmind says making bucket lists helps people live fuller lives. As a result, you should think about something you have always wanted to experience but have yet to have the chance to do so.

6. Are You Good At Taking Criticism?

The ability to examine ourselves for flaws is extremely useful. Unfortunately, we are limited in our perspectives, meaning we can miss things that seem obvious to others. Due to this, the ability to listen to honest criticism is just as good to have.

7. Are You Good At Keeping Yourself Calm and Controlled?

Emotion has a vital role to play in decision-making. The same isn’t true for out-of-control emotions, which can lead people down some very dubious paths. Being able to remain calm and controlled under trying circumstances is something to be respected.

8. Are You Good At Performing Under Pressure?

The overwhelming majority of people can expect to have to perform under pressure from time to time. If you aren’t confident in your ability to do so, Inc.com and other resources have suggestions that can help you improve.

9. How Good Are You At Managing Your Time?

One can make a decent argument that time is the most precious resource in existence. After all, we experience it in one direction, meaning we can’t reclaim it once it has been spent. Thanks to that, time management is one of the most valuable skills you can develop.

10. How Good Are You At Organizing Your Space?

Keeping your space well-organized can give you more comfortable surroundings that make you more productive. This is a popular topic. That means you can get numerous suggestions from Good Housekeeping and other resources.

11. Do You Enjoy Competition?

Some people enjoy competition more than others. This isn’t guaranteed to be either a good thing or a bad thing. Despite that, it is a good piece of self-knowledge to have.

12. Do You Do Better When You Are Competing For Something?

Knowing how to compete in the right way can make you more productive than otherwise possible.

13. Do You Prefer Taking Charge?

Certain individuals are eager for the chance to take charge. If you are one of them, you should at least learn how to be good at such things.

14. Do You Prefer Someone Else Taking Charge?

Other people have the exact opposite inclination. Of course, they can have different reasons for their lack of interest.

15. How Does Being in a Group Change Your Decision-Making?

It is normal for people to change their decision-making when they are in a group rather than on their own. However, different people are influenced in different ways, so it is a good idea for you to think about how susceptible you are to group influence.

16. Name a Challenge You Have Overcome

Most of us take pride in the challenges we have overcome, thus making this a natural choice when writing about ourselves.

17. Was Overcoming the Challenge Easier or Harder Than You Expected?

Our assessments of a situation aren’t necessarily a good match for the reality of things. If we are lucky, we overestimate the challenge. Unfortunately, it is also very much possible for people to do the exact opposite.

18. Did You Learn Anything From Overcoming the Challenge?

People can learn more from difficult situations. Writing about these experiences can help you glean insight from your experiences.

19. Name a Time You Failed

Failure is a normal part of life. You shouldn’t hesitate to think about such things.

20. Did You Learn Anything From Your Failure?

On a related note, failure can be extremely educational. Lifehack and other resources are good sources of information on how you should go about learning from such experiences.

21. How Much Do You Care About Material Things?

There is nothing wrong with caring about material things. Still, it is good to know the extent of it.

22. What Surprises You About Other People?

This is a perfect opportunity for you to write about a memorable experience.

23. What Surprises Other People About You?

Similarly, this gives you another chance to describe something that happened to you.

24. Name Someone Who Inspires You

There are often good stories behind sources of inspiration.

25. What Is the Best Piece of Advice You Have Ever Received?

This writing prompt gives you a chance to tell two stories. One would be the story of how you received the advice. The other would be the story of how you came to realize its value.

26. Name a Time You Were Proud of Yourself

Curiously, The Conversation points out that pride has been regarded as both a vice and a virtue. As such, there is no shame in writing about a moment in which you were proud of your actions.

27. Name a Time You Were Proud of Someone Else

With that said, it might be more interesting to write about a moment in which you were proud of someone else instead.

28. Have You Ever Done Something You Knew Would Get You Into Trouble?

Sometimes, we do things even though we know it won’t end well. These can make for amusing, educational, and otherwise interesting stories.

29. Why Did You Do It Even Though You Knew It Would Get You Into Trouble?

As always, motivation can make even the driest narrative come alive.

30. What Is the Strangest Thing You Have Ever Encountered?

You might not think you have ever encountered anything strange. If so, it is worth remembering that strangeness is a matter of perspective.

31. What Is Family?

By default, family means people who are related in a biological sense. However, it isn’t uncommon to see people with more flexible definitions.

32. What Is Your Role In Your Family?

The straightforward way to answer this would be to write about your relationships with your family members. Alternatively, you have the option of how you influence your family’s internal interactions, though that requires a good understanding of the relevant dynamics.

33. What Do You Know About Your Family’s History?

Every family is as old as every other family. The issue is whether you know your family history or not. National Geographic offers some tips if you aren’t sure how you can go about looking up these things.

34. Is There a Story Behind Your Name?

Names are often imbued with meaning. Due to this, this can be a surprisingly fertile topic.

35. How Well Do You Get Along With Your Family?

Even the most common interpersonal interactions can be a rich source of interest.

36. Have You Ever Faced an Ethical Dilemma?

How we resolve ethical dilemmas says much about us as people. Furthermore, how we reason our way through these situations reveals a great deal about our general beliefs.

37. Have You Made a Sacrifice For One of Your Loved Ones?

Love makes people do things they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. Sometimes, that means making sacrifices for loved ones. These don’t have to be big things. Oftentimes, small choices accumulate to have the greatest effects on our bonds.

38. When Was the Last Time You Did Something Nice For a Stranger?

This is a good chance to share a heartwarming story about yourself.

39. Is There a Time When It Is Alright to Lie?

Some philosophers think that it is never alright to lie. Most people are a bit more flexible than that. Still, your criteria for when it is and isn’t alright to lie says much about you as a person.

40. Do You Consider Yourself a Trustworthy Person?

You might find it interesting to choose a position on this writing prompt before using anecdotes and other stories to defend it.

41. Do You Save or Spend Your Money?

Some people like to save their money. In contrast, others are much readier to start spending. Either way, there are stories worth describing.

42. Where Did You Learn to Manage Your Money?

Money management is a critical skill. Despite that, a lot of us come by our knowledge in a very haphazard way. There is narrative potential in that.

43. Do You Think Money Can Buy You Happiness?

This is a popular question that has been much debated. Funny enough, if you care to look into it, CNN and other publications have reported much on the relevant studies. Supposedly, money can buy people happiness up to a certain point.

44. What Do You Think Is Best in Life?

Answering what is best in life is something that reveals as much about the answerer as the topic itself.

45. Do You Think These Things Can Be Bought Using Money?

Of course, you should follow up by asking yourself whether you can buy these things using money. If nothing else, that can give you some insight into how you can go about getting these things for yourself.

46. What Do You Look For In Your Friends?

Friendship is extremely beneficial for people. Still, this is only true if you are getting what you are looking for from your friends.

47. Are You a Good Friend By Your Standards?

It is a good idea to examine ourselves from time to time. Doing so is essential for enabling our growth as people.

48. What Is the Most Meaningful Relationship in Your Life?

Most of us can name several individuals who are important to us with minimal difficulty. That changes when we are asked which of them matters to us the most, which is a much more complicated question without an easy way to answer it. Indeed, some of us might find the idea of ranking relationships that way downright offensive, a response that is legitimate as any other.

49. How Do You Feel About Pets?

Generally speaking, people see pets as beloved companions that offer uncomplicated affection. Even most cat owners seem to feel this way despite their fondness for making jokes otherwise. Still, different people can have very different responses, if only because it is either impossible or next-to-impossible for humans to come to a universal consensus on anything. Interested individuals should have no problem finding alternate perspectives from their cultures. Never mind other cultures elsewhere in the world.

50. How Do You Feel About Zoos?

Zoos are becoming controversial in some quarters. Essentially, people are becoming more and more sympathetic toward animals for a wide range of reasons. As a result, keeping animals in captivity is seen in more and more negative light because that has a very noticeable impact on them. Of course, this is limited to more charismatic, more intelligent species for the most part. You might have had a personal experience that has influenced your views on this topic in one way or the other.

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