A few weeks ago, my blog covered my many years of journaling (see A Life of Journaling). This past week, I came across an interesting article in a Book Cave newsletter about journaling prompts that gave me new ideas.
First of all, journaling is easy. All it takes is a writing instrument (I recommend a pen of some sort) and paper (any kind). The ability to write is assumed. Since it won’t be graded and probably won’t be seen by anyone other than yourself, it doesn’t matter if the grammar is proper, if the punctuation and spelling are correct, and if it’s not deep and thoughtful. All that matters is you write something that records your thoughts or life experiences.
Sometimes the hardest part of journaling is starting which is where Book Cave’s article comes in. I’m sharing some of the prompts they had to trigger writing:
- What is something interesting that happened to you today?
- Describe how you’re feeling about the strange times we are living through. What long-term changes do you think will come?
- Relate a funny experience from your childhood.
- Have you ever had a broken bone? How did you do it?
- Write about the first date you went on.
- Write about an event that changed your life.
- Write about a vivid or recurring dream you’ve had.
- What is your earliest memory?
- Relate an interesting childhood memory about your siblings. Did you get along with them?
- What holiday traditions did your family have?
- Where is your “happy place” and why?
- When was the last time you made a difficult decision, and how did you make it?
- What is the most painful thing you’ve been through, and how did it change you? What did you learn from it?
- What’s your favorite Bible verse and why?
- Where do you see yourself in ten years?
- Rewrite a fairy tale by giving it a new ending or a fun twist, such as a different setting, time period, or new characters.
These are a few of the prompts given, plus a few of my own. There’s no end of ideas to write about. It’s a good way to get them out of you and move on. Writing them may also make you look at events closely and maybe see them in a different light.
This shutdown has roiled up feelings that we normally overlook or push back into the depths. It’s a good time to examine them and release them on paper. You don’t have to share. Journaling is a personal activity. It’s like telling yourself secrets you don’t want anyone else to know. Or admitting to yourself things you try to keep hidden inside. Letting them see the light of day on paper sometimes helps them evaporate into the air and disappear.
This week, get a piece of paper, pick a prompt, and write about it. See how it feels. If you like it, pick another prompt and do it again. When you’re done, put your writing away for a day or two, then go back and look at it. Make no judgements; rather, let it teach you something. Share the lesson if you want, but remember to journal that too.
If you want more prompts, go to Book Cave’s newsletter.