Are you looking to start a journal but unsure of how to get started? Journaling can be a powerful tool for self-discovery, creativity, and personal growth. However, many people struggle to get started. That’s where journal prompts come in. In this post, I’ll explore how you can include them in your daily life to start writing.
What are journal prompts?
Journal prompts are questions or statements that help by giving you inspiration or a focus. Reasons to use them include:
- you don’t know what to write
- you want to challenge yourself with different topics
- you want more structure or guidance
- you want to explore a topic deeper
Benefits of Journaling with Prompts
Journaling prompts can be a great way to jump start your writing and provide new ideas for what to write about. They can help you get past writer’s block and explore new topics or new perspectives on familiar ones. Some of the benefits of using them include:
1. Reduces Writer’s Block: they help you get past writer’s block because you have a specific topic or question to focus on instead of a blank page.
2. Encourages Creativity: they can help you think outside the box and explore new ideas. By providing a new lens through which to view a topic, prompts can help you break out of old thought patterns and generate new insights.
3. Supports Self-Reflection: they can also help you reflect on your life and experiences in a deeper way. By asking thought-provoking questions, prompts can help you explore your values, beliefs, and goals.
How to Get Started with Journaling Prompts
The only correct way is your way. However, you may want to consider the following to give you a starting direction.
Why do you want to keep a journal? What do you want to achieve with journaling with prompts — are you using them to help you embed a journaling habit, for personal growth or to help you achieve a life goal such as your dream job.
Choose Prompts that Resonate with You — once you start looking you’ll find an abundance of lists of journal prompts. You don’t have to use the whole list, start by selecting ones that speak to you. You’re more likely to engage with a prompt if it’s relevant to your life and interests.
When and how often will you write — knowing how journaling sessions will fit into your daily routine will help you choose topics for your journal entry. For example, if you write in the morning you may want to look ahead for the coming day and if you write in the evening you may want to look back on the day. Of course many prompts don’t depend on the time of the day, but having a dedicated time to write will help you develop a consistent daily journaling habit.
Mix it up — use different types of prompts, both their style and ones that focus on different areas of your life.
How to write with prompts
Journal prompts help you get started by getting pen to paper, so don’t overthink it. It really doesn’t matter how you use them, the key is to find a way that works for you, and supports journaling becoming part of your daily habits.
You could use them in your existing notebook mixed in with other journaling techniques; or on a computer or in an app. If you’re exploring a specific topic you may want a dedicated notebook, such as your dream life journal, as it will be easier for you look back on what you’ve written so you can identify actions.
Where to find prompts for journaling
There is no shortage suggestions and you can quickly find a variety of prompts.
The quickest way to find some is to do an internet or Pinterest search for List of journaling prompts or Journaling writing prompts. Or you can be more specific and add words such as list of journaling prompts to support mental health or Ideal life journaling writing prompts. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you narrow down the journal entry ideas.
There are plenty of books about journaling. Some include lists of prompts, others have creative exercises and some take you on a journey through the year. Pick one that works for what you want to achieve and your style.
You can use an oracle or question card deck to give you a topic. These decks come in many different themes, so you’ll be able to find one that works for your goals or just appeals to you.
Prompts are nothing more than a question, statement or quote, so you easily create your own. You can collect them in a document, notebook or on slips of paper in a journal jar. You can often get ideas for prompts by reading your previous posts; if you were talking to your past self now what questions would you ask them?
Look in my journal prompts section. I’m creating prompts to help embed ideas in the personal development books I read. I read personal development books to identify opportunities for learning and opportunities for growth. Incorporating this into my journaling is a valuable tool for my personal growth and help me achieve my personal goals.
How to select a journal prompt
Now you have an abundance of prompts, how do you select one to use? Remember these are just a jumping-off point, so you can start with a prompt and end up somewhere completely different. That is absolutely fine, so you shouldn’t worry too much about picking a prompt. You could consider:
- looking down a list and picking the first idea that catches your eye
- picking a random piece of paper out of a journal jar
- draw a card from a deck
- use the prompt from a month or year guide or book
- use a prompt generator such as The Journal Wheel Guide Book* which generates a prompt based on the date and your mood.
How I use journal writing prompts
I usually free journal on week days and incorporate prompts at the weekend when I tend to have time for a longer journaling sessions. I use a mix of prompts, usually one of the following:
- Suggested by a journaling community I’m part of
- an oracle card draw
- one of my prompts sets, when I’m working on a specific topic, for example I’ve been using the ones to change my thoughts frequently
- prompt ideas inspired from a book I’ve read andv I want to test; are they a helpful tool
Journaling with prompts can be a great way to explore new ideas, reduce writer’s block, encourage creativity, and support self-reflection and personal growth. They are useful if you’re new to journaling or if you’ve been journal writing for years. Remember to choose prompts that resonate with you so you enjoy writing in your journal, and it encourages regular journaling.
How do you use prompts? What are your favourites?
*Disclosure – this post includes affiliate links which means if you buy something after using it I will earn some money from the seller for suggesting you visit them. However, it will not cost you anything extra.