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 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.
Here are ten topics for personal journal prompts:
- Your earliest memory.
- The happiest day of your life.
- Describe how you spend your free time, as of late.
- A decision you made that changed the course of your life.
- The scariest thing you ever experienced.
- Your greatest goal and what you did (or are doing) to achieve it.
- A person who has influenced your life in a meaningful way.
- Your favorite place and what you experienced there.
- An experience that was sad, embarrassing, or painful, but that you learned from.
- Something you love to do.
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.
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.