Questions were the heart of Uncommon. Each email dispatch included a prompt and the next edition the responses. The magic was found in the honesty and thoughtfulness of the replies.
The prompt made me realize: I think the reason I don't write more is that I don't feel like anyone is asking. Maybe that's the secret to this whole thing. It's over-sharing when we never asked for it in the first place.—@mattt
Questions are one of my favorite things, so here is the treasure trove of community prompts, ready for your next dinner party, campfire conversation, or long walk with a friend. If you'd like to incorporate these into an app or community project, drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When was the last time you couldn’t stop smiling?
What question started your favorite dinner table conversation?
Do you have a favorite ice cream?
What inspires you to create?
What defines a great city?
What is your favorite month and why do you love it?
Who was your favorite teacher or professor and why?
What sorts of things do you love to collect and why?
What is the most memorable birthday gift you’ve received?
What is your favorite thing that you’ve received in the mail?
What was your last breathtaking, all-consuming read?
What is your favorite memory of a long walk?
What’s your favorite way to give thanks?
What is your absolute favorite holiday recording?
Which of your favorite things would few others understand?
What is your favorite family tradition, holiday or otherwise?
What book or article have you read that you wish everyone could read?
If you could wake up anywhere in the world on Jan 1, where would it be?
What three things would you take with you to your cabin in the woods?
What movie do you wish everyone would see?
What is one of your favorite memories of being cold?
What’s your food of choice for celebrations?
What three words describe your city?
What is your favorite song that features a color in the title?
What is your funniest first date memory?
What is one of your memorable encounters with poetry?
If you could teach any class, what would be the topic and title?
What would you love to cross off your list?
What is your favorite day of the week?
What is your favorite way to get up and go?
What have you loved learning?
What are your favorite memories of making a mess?
Have you had or been a mentor?
Where is home for you?
What are your favorite games to play with friends?
Which living author would you most like to meet?
What was the first website you loved?
Do you have a favorite memory of an impromptu trip?
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
Which books do you identify with where or when you read them?
Do you have a favorite memory of camp?
What are the first three things you would do with a week free of responsibilities?
Is there a word that defines this moment in time for you?
Do you have a favorite way to peruse the past?
What do you wish you could experience again for the first time?
What was the last idea you fell in love with?
What’s the title of the film about your life?
Is there something you’ve lost that you’ve never forgotten?
Who would you love to interview?
What’s your wish for the rest of this year?
What could a new friend listen to, read, or watch to better understand you?
What’s your most memorable concert experience?
What dessert puts the biggest smile on your face?
Who was the first friend to help you see the world differently?
When was the last time you were on a stage?
Do you have a favorite story of hospitality?
What are three of your favorite words?
What is the first thing you like to do in a new city?
Is there a moment or person you’re especially grateful for this year?
Where are you a regular?
What is your favorite thing you’ve listened to this year?
What is your favorite thing you’ve watched this year?
What is your favorite thing you’ve read this year?
What would you like more or less of in the new year?
Do you have a favorite story of serendipity?
What album do you know best?
When was the last time you were lost?
What three words would others use to describe you in high school? What three words would you use?
Who was your first best friend?
Which three people would you invite to join you around a campfire?
Have you witnessed or been part of a memorable helpful act?
Digital or physical, is there a tool you can’t do without?
What is the most memorable flight you’ve experienced?
What is your most uncommon spring break memory or destination?
What is the best laugh you’ve had online recently?
Do you have a favorite line from a film?
What is your favorite time of day?
What is the strangest job you’ve had?
When was the last time you were truly surprised?
Do you have a favorite library memory?
What was your dream job growing up?
What do your favorite communities (online and offline) have in common?
What have you changed your mind about recently?
What was one of your most memorable meals?
What is one of your guilty pleasures?
Is there an unusual list you keep?
What defines a great coffee shop for you?
What was the first magazine you loved?
Is there a failure you’re grateful for?
On a dark and stormy night, do you run to the window or pull the covers over your head?
From feet to flight, what is your favorite form of transportation?
Which films have altered your perspective?
What’s been your most memorable move?
What’s your favorite room, past or present?
What are some of your favorite names from life or fiction?
Do you have a recipe for inspiration?
Do you have a favorite memory of meeting someone for the first time?
Who has opened doors for you?
Is there a memorable doorway you’ve passed through?
Do you have a favorite story about mistaken lyrics?
What are your favorite organizations that do the hard work of making things better?
What’s the best thing you read this year?
What are your favorite local businesses?
What are your wishes for the new year?
What memories do you have of your first pet?
What class had the biggest influence on the person you’ve become?
Do you have a favorite poem, song, film, or book about love?
What do you wish people would ask you, but no one ever does?
What advice are you glad you didn’t follow?
What was the first sport you loved to play?
What‘s the story behind your favorite piece of clothing?
Fiction, non-fiction, or somewhere in-between?
Who is the best storyteller you know?
What’s your favorite amusement park ride?
Which shows do you love to recommend?
Which notable people have you crossed paths with?
What’s the longest, strangest trip you’ve taken?
How many places have you lived?
What do you love about what you do?
What would you love the chance to learn?
What’s your favorite morning routine?
What were your favorite toys growing up?
What food and drink do you love to share with friends?
Which Halloween costumes will you never forget?
What’s the last museum you visited?
Which talks are your favorites?
What are you giving thanks for this year?
Which of your early wishes do you most remember?
What’s your most memorable New Year’s Eve?
What memorable invitations have you sent or received?
What are your best tips for making friends?
What’s the most surprising question you’ve been asked?
Do you have a favorite team, past or present?
What’s your favorite way to enjoy a sunset?
When was the last time you were out of your element?
What makes a great neighborhood?
What is your favorite part about a rainy day?
What song do you have on repeat?
What’s your favorite season?
What was your first car?
What was the first trip you took by yourself?
If you could share a porch with anyone, past or present, who would it be?
If you could be famous for one thing, what would it be?
Who’s the funniest person you know?
What’s the last book you read more than once?
In what way are you most like your parents?
Where did you grow up?
Which introductions have been the most significant for you?
When have you experienced a narrow escape?
What tool (digital or otherwise) have you used the longest?
What is your favorite space to be yourself?
I waited for him to ask, “And what are your interests?” but he never did. A disappointment bloomed within me, but I refused to start talking about myself without a prompt.