Journal Writing Prompts

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What is a Journal Prompt?

A journal prompt is a simple statement designed to inspire you or offer you an idea of what to write about. It doesn't matter how much you love to write, or how often you write, there will be times when you just don't know where to start. Prompts are also great for helping beginner writers get into journal writing.

Basic journal prompts can be used by anyone to help get past a temporary block. The best journal prompts inspire you to look deep inside yourself for inspiration, and to discover and capitalize on some of the hidden thoughts and ideas you hadn't previously recognized or even considered. With practice, you can develop the ability to find inspiration in everything you see. But, when you're just getting into journal writing, or when you're really stuck, these suggested journal prompts can be very helpful.

Journal Writing Prompts

Here are some examples of journal prompts to help you start a journal or to inspire a dedicated journal writer:

Write about the Past

  • Write a letter to your older self.
  • Write about your childhood.
  • Write about lost friendships.
  • Write about your school life, your grades, what you wish you had done differently.
  • Write about turning points in your life – what would be different now if you had made a different choice.
  • Write about regrets you may have.

Write about Yourself

  • What frightens you?
  • What brings you joy?
  • What makes you sad?
  • What worries you? Is there a pressing problem you need to work out?
  • Write a letter to someone that upset you, but you aren't ready to confront in person.
  • Write down the things you wished you had said to your parents, or other loved ones before they passed away.
  • Write down confessions of your deep down secrets that you can't tell anyone.

Write about the Future

  • Where do you want to be 5, 10, or 15 years from now?
  • What line of work do you plan on pursuing in the future?
  • Write down how you can improve your life.
  • Write about children you plan to have, and what you wish for them.
  • Write letters to your future children and grandchildren that you can give to them when they are older. These letters will help them understand the type of person you were at their age.
  • Write about places you wish to see, vacations you plan to have.
  • Write about home improvements you would like to make.
  • Make a bucket list.

Write about the Present

  • Write letters to friends and family members about things you can't say to them in person.
  • Write letters to your boss or coworkers.
  • Write about your friends, coworkers and family members, describing what they are like, what you like and dislike about each one, etc.
  • Write about your job, pets, your home, etc.
  • Write about your daily activities so you can look back and remember each moment.
  • Add photos to your entries to make them more special.

Online journals are private and confidential, so you can write about anything you like. Unlike paper journals, you never have to worry about your secrets falling into the wrong hands. If there are parts of your journal that you’d like to share, you can easily do so. You can grant access to anyone you wish, and still maintain strict control over your thoughts and your writing.

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