JumpStart Jars

Once upon a time there was a writer who was struggling with a project. In order to inspire his thoughts, and inject some creativity into his work, he devised a strategy: create a series of random words and phrases, pick one, then write about whatever came to mind. It worked! He shared his success with other writers who asked for copies of his idea.

Thus the JumpStart Jar was conceived.


While reading poemcrazy: freeing your life with words by Susan Wooldrige (Three Rivers Press 1997), I became enchanted with her chapter about word tickets. I went out to OfficeMax and bought a roll of them and began writing my own words on them… but the tickets were small and my handwriting too hard to read, so I began collecting words by cutting them out of newspapers and magazines and gluing them to the tickets. I added in provacative phrases, and in no time at all, I had filled an old Reebok shoe box full of tickets took them to a writing class and they became an immediate hit.

Not satisfied with a shoebox, I went out on eBay and found a buisness that sold rolls of tickets in many colors, so I bought rolls in every color and continued to glue words and phrases onto them with no rhyme or reason, and soon had over 10,000 tickets in several large clear containers purchased at the Container Store.

Who Can Use a JumpStart Jar?


Writers, Teachers, Students, Designers, Artists, Moms, Marketers, Poets, Screenwriters, Retirees, Publishers, Lawyers, Screenwriters, Accountants, Soccer Moms, NASCAR Dads, Children, Grown-Ups, Sales Representatives, Scrapbookers, Librarians, Grandparents, Essayists, Apprentices, Professors, Masters, eBayers, Customer Service Workers, Journalists, Government Officials, Public Relations Professionals, Volunteers, Administrators, Graduate Students, Politicians, Gurus, Ministers, Dads, Short Story Writers, Foreign Exchange Students, Dog Trainers, Astronomers, Actors, Dentists, Football Players, Webmasters, Directors, Pilots, Technical Writers, Managers, Basketweavers, Cynics, Physicists, Believers, Experts, Specialists, Doctors, Copywriters, Inventors, Clock Winders, Bloggers, Waitresses, Graphic Artists, Instructors, Producers, Computer Geeks, Book Lovers, and many, many more!

Basic Brainstorming

The JumpStart Jar that started it all! This jar includes over 2,100 different nouns, verbs, modifiers, and provocative phrases to use in hundreds of different ways.

Brainstorming Boost

More of what made the Basic Brainstorming Jar great. 2,100 new, unique nouns, verbs, provocative phrases and more to add fresh content to an existing JumpStart Jar or as a standalone to get your creative juices flowing.

Fabulous Fiction

The Fabulous Fiction JumpStart Jar is a bit different than the other JJs. Designed specifically for fiction writers, the word tickets have unique categories suited to specifically for their needs. With Characters, Problems, Complications, Storytelling Styles, Secrets and Provocative Lines, the Fabulous Fiction JumpStart Jar can help work through a stubborn bout of writers block or allow you to create an entirely new story from scratch, by selecting random tickets to get the story started.

The combinations that you pull out of this jar are guaranteed to stretch the limits of realistic story telling, so have fun with them.

Now introducing the next generation of JumpStart Jars: Each with a unique theme that contains language and fictional elements unique to that particular theme. The first release of the new concept is the…

Fantasy / Sci-Fi Edition

Packed with all new nouns, verbs, adjectives/adverbs, and provocative phrases that evoke ancient magical kingdoms under siege by overwhelming dark forces and the gleaming distant future with unbelievable technology combined with new Characters, Situations, Story Elements, Secrets/Complications and the new Wild Card category with a new speculative fiction twist. Space armadas, flame-spouting dragons, galactic empires and far reaching ancient monarchies co-exist in one collection of new color-coded tickets.

So whether you are starting a new fantasy epic, or just kick starting your current science fiction story, the Fantasy and Science Fiction Edition of the  JumpStart Jar is a fantastic tool for warming-up your writing sessions, shattering writers block, or just playing with ideas and language.

JumpStart Jar Links

Need more information?  Check out these links:

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