Sometimes you want to journal, but you don’t know what to write about. I always find it difficult to find journal prompts I actually care enough about to spend time on them, but it’s really helpful to have a collection of them in case you hit a journaling wall!
Here are 31 journal prompts that I hope will stimulate your writing and help you to get out of the journal rut.
- Your favorite book and why you love it
- Your most outrageous goal
- The weirdest dream you’ve ever had
- Your earliest memory
- Your favorite sound and why you love it
- Your first day of school
- Something fun you used to do with your childhood friends
- A movie you haven’t seen that everyone else has seen
- Your favorite season and why you love it
- Where you see yourself in 5 years
- Where you thought you would be now vs. where you are
- The most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen, and why it’s the most beautiful
- Something you’ve always wanted to try
- Something that’s holding you back in your life
- Your greatest fear and where you think it comes from
- The best day of your life so far
- Someone you always thought you’d be friends with but aren’t anymore
- Your biggest regret
- The thing you are the most proud of!
- At least 10 things you like about yourself
- Something you used to do that you’d like to pick up again
- Your favorite place in the world, and why it’s your favorite
- A word you dislike, and why
- A word you adore, and why!
- An “impossible” dream that you have
- The moment you realized you weren’t a kid anymore
- Your favorite time of day and why
- A smell that instantly transports you to another time/place
- An opinion of yours that’s changed, and why
- Are you happy? Why or why not?
- What have you learned about yourself using these prompts?
Happy journaling and let me know how it goes!
I made a post last week about cultivating inspiration so that you can decrease the number of times when you’re feeling burn out and hopefully boost your creativity! In that post I briefly mentioned journaling and why it’s a really awesome thing to incorporate into your daily life as a writer/artist/business person/student/whatever else you do.
But I know that if you don’t journal a lot (or if, like me, you’re a little inconsistent with it) you might feel like you don’t know where to start and might need some inspiration. So here are 5 tips for getting started!
- Find a journal you really like. Personally I gravitate towards Moleskines, leatherbound journals (like this one), and Paperblanks journals. The paper quality is really lovely and it makes writing in them an actual treat. If you don’t love the journal you’re writing in, you probably won’t use it very often.
- Find a pen you love! I like Pentel’s black liquid gel ink pens, or their ballpoint pens, but that’s just me. They glide like heaven across the creamy pages of a good journal ❤ Stabilo and Staedtler also make lovely pens that are super affordable.
- Let go of the pressure. Writing in your journal is for you. It doesn’t matter how neat or messy your handwriting is, what you write about, or how eloquent you are. It’s just your journal. Write what you want, how you want, and don’t evaluate yourself as you’re doing it.
- Set the stage. Make journaling a nice experience. I light a candle and have tea or hot water with lemon while I do it, and I sit in bed because it’s comfortable. Sometimes I listen to music. I don’t set a timer or anything—I just enjoy the moment and let myself totally relax into the words and into the motion of the pen sliding across the paper.
- If you can, do it first thing in the morning or before bed in the evening. The middle of the day is often too hectic and busy, and you might find yourself pushing it aside in lieu of “more important” things. But early in the morning or late at night you can sit, relax, and get lost in the wordage.
I’ll post some great journal prompts for you next week!
We all know that inspiration can sometimes be an elusive creature. People give you advice and say things like “Suck it up, you don’t need inspiration to write, just write, you’re a pansy” etc. Well, pardon me, Oh Wise Givers of Writing Advice, but I happen to enjoy writing (or anything creative) when I’m feeling inspired. But obviously inspiration isn’t always just there, readily available for you to tap into whenever you choose.
However, I’ve found that there are several things…habits, if you will…that make it much easier for me to stay in an inspiration cloud so that I can draw on it whenever I need it. I’m not saying all of these will work for everyone, but I am saying that you can actually do things to cultivate inspiration in your life rather than always just waiting for it to hit you.
- I start my day by journaling. It’s pretty widely accepted that writing by hand stimulates your brain and stimulates creativity: here’s a cool article on it. Even if I don’t have anything specific to journal about, I just write. But if you need some help getting started, here are a few tips that might help you!
- I read every day! It doesn’t matter what you read – just read. I tend to genre hop because I think it’s important for writers to read widely, and I also stick some non-fiction in there. Even if you can just squeeze in five or ten minutes of reading here and there, you’ll find that it will massively help your creative brain. If you need some suggestions, I highly recommend Kindle Unlimited for finding unlimited (ha, see what I did there) books by well-known as well as indie authors!
- I get outside at some point during the day. Fresh air does wonders for you, and it’s even better if you take a short walk. It’s just basic science, really! Light exercise increases blood flow, and that includes blood flow to your brain.
- I try new things. Part of the reason why we feel like we lack inspiration and creativity is because we get stuck in the same old pattern, the same old routine, and going to the same old places. So try a new coffee place! Take a different route to work/school! Find new music to listen to! There are countless little things you can do to change it up and kick your brain into a different gear.
- Find other writer-people. We’re all over the place – blogs like this one, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook…there are so many places to find fellow writers who go through the same struggles and challenges. Find your tribe, encourage each other, and draw on others for inspiration when you have none left yourself. (I find the hashtags #writerslife and #amwriting are a good start on Twitter and Instagram.)
So, those are my tips! What do you do to stay inspired?
I have maaaaaany books on my “to-read” list. My Goodreads to-read shelf (152 books) reflects some of this, but that’s not even the half of it. So I’m always a little at a loss when deciding what to read next, particularly when I can’t totally decide what book mood I’m in. That said, I made a list of the next 5 books I’m going to read…and I’m going to try and stick to it. I need to simplify my life haha. So here they are, in no particular order except for the first one.
- The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Hello, I’m reading The Name of the Wind right now and I’m freaking out with how much I love this book! I have to read the second one next, and then wait in agony for the third one to be released along with everyone else.
- Wool (Silo) by Hugh Howey (indie author alert!). Post-apocalypse, human survival, dystopia, what’s not to love? Plus I have the cool animated e-book version, so I’m pretty excited about getting into it.
- City of Skies by Farah Cook (indie author alert!). Norse mythology is soooo untouched in fantasy at the moment, and I’m excited to see what Cook will do with this, especially since I’m descended from Vikings myself.
- City of Vikings by Farah Cook (indie author alert!). Hopefully the sequel will be out by the time I’m done with the first 3 books on my list and I’ll be able to read it!
- The African Queen by C.S. Forester. I absolutely adore the movie and I’ve never actually read the book, but I found a copy in one of the many used bookstores in our area. This one is definitely one of the next books I want to read!
I am quite behind on my reading challenge for the year, but I can still catch up! The year is young.
rainy days, clouds in the sky again
my limbs protest but my fingers rage
pen and ink, feathers on the floor
find me something to live for
what pretends but never apprehends
the apathy my soul seems to bleed
pen and ink, breathe life into me
find me something to live for
can you feel me
can i even breathe
pen and ink, sink to the ocean floor
find me something to live for
poor poets crush their hearts on
cement floors, dark halls, blue ghosts
pen and ink, make my words dance
find me something to live for