Journal Writing Prompts

Instructor: Nicky Davis
Journal writing is a great practice for beginning and experienced writers alike. Keep reading for journal writing prompts and advice on journaling to get inspired.

Journal Writing Prompts

Journal writing can be a useful warm-up writing exercise, or just a method for processing the day's events and emotions. Below are some prompts to help you get started on days when you're not quite sure where to begin.

  • Astrological Omen: Read your horoscope for the day, and then journal your response to the events and feelings it predicts.
  • Letters to Yourself:If you could talk to yourself in the past or in the future, what advice would you want to give? What kinds of things would you want to know? Write a letter to one of these selves.
  • Life in Five Years: How do you imagine your life five years from today? What would you like to be doing? Where? With whom?
  • Confession: Is there something you've always wanted to say to someone, or just to yourself, but have never found the courage to admit? Write a journal entry about it.
  • They Always Say: What's an expression or saying that you grew up hearing? Think critically about what that phrase meant to you the first time you heard it compared to now. How does it resonate with your life today?
  • Fill-in-the-Blank and Keep Writing: Choose a fill-in-the-blank from the list below and use it as the first sentence of your next journal entry. See where that first sentence takes you!
    • No one grieves like I grieve for…
    • I love … so much I could write a book about it.
    • I've never been so embarrassed as I was when…
    • I'm my most inspired when I think of…

Journal Writing Tips

Not only is keeping a journal fun and helpful for improving writing skills, but it's been shown to have psychological and academic benefits. The list below offers some tips on journal writing to ensure you're getting the most out of your journaling practice. For more benefits and examples of journaling, watch this journal writing lesson on

  • Write something every day. Even if it's the worst thing you've ever written, something is better than nothing.
  • Set a regular time of day and length of time to do your writing each day.
  • Don't edit or restrict yourself.
  • Don't concern yourself with grammatical rules or spelling mistakes.
  • Keep your journal private. This allows you to write honestly without concern of what others will think.
  • Take your journal with you, in case inspiration strikes while you're out.
  • Save space at the beginning of your journal to add in a table of contents, so you can easily locate entries for future reference.
  • Write in your journal by hand. This will help to keep you from editing and let your thoughts flow more freely.

Be sure check out for lessons in developing as a reader and writer and writing revision and skill development, which cover the basics of journaling, as well as other fundamental tools and practices that can help to further nurture your writing skills.

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