Five Personal Journal Prompts

journal prompts

Journal prompts for self-exploration.

Most writers keep a journal of some kind to jot down ideas, scenes, thoughts, and questions.

Journals can be used in many different ways. However, one of the most traditional uses for a journal is to write about one’s own life. Often, this type of journal is also called a diary.

It’s not always easy coming up with topics to write about, and writing about oneself is difficult for many writers (just ask any writer how hard it is to write a bio). Surely, journal entries can be more than simply recounting the events or routine of each day.

Journal prompts provide ideas for topics that you can use to inspire a journal writing session. Today’s journal prompts are ideal for diarists who sometimes get stuck and can’t think of anything to write about. They’re also great for folks who would like to keep a diary, but don’t know where to start. You could even use these journal prompts as topics on a personal blog.

Who knows? If you keep it up, you may even end up writing a memoir.

Journal Prompts

Here are five topics for personal journal prompts:

  1. My earliest memory.
  2. The happiest day of my life.
  3. My greatest goal.
  4. Lately, I’ve spent a lot of my free time…
  5. I love to…

As you go through these journal prompts, give yourself time to thoughtfully explore each topic. The more time you allot, the more you’ll write, and you’ll find that your thoughts crystallize after the first few minutes of writing, once you’ve warmed up.

Looking for more ideas for your journal writing? Here are a few more sources of inspiration that you can use as journal prompts:

  • Look for events or happenings in the news and ask, “What if that were me?”
  • Build a character sketch of yourself and write a story¬†about yourself in third person.
  • Collect writing exercises and turn them into journal prompts by making them about you.

Have fun with these journal prompts, and keep writing!

If you have any journal prompts to share, feel free to post them in the comments.

Creative Writing Prompts

About Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter. She writes fiction and poetry and is the founder and editor of Writing Forward, a blog packed with creative writing tips and ideas.


2 Responses to “Five Personal Journal Prompts”

  1. David M. Dresser Sr. says:

    Just keeping a personnel diary can often serve the same purpose.
    Looking for a story idea? Often looking back in your diary can provide an suggestion that you can adjust to make a story (fiction or non-fiction is your option).
    Some may prefer the separate journal, but I just keep one.

    • I have struggled over the years with whether to keep separate journals and notebooks or put everything in one place. It’s becoming less of a problem since I increasingly write everything on the computer. I haven’t kept a diary in ages, although I occasionally write diary-like entries. I mostly use journals for story ideas, freewrites, and poetry, or to record my thoughts about various topics.