To my fellow momentarily-inspired procrastinators, the ones who feel random bursts of motivation at two in the morning to get their lives back on track and set a to-do list for the morning swearing that — no, really, I’m going to do it this time! — only to hit snooze, I feel you. We constantly promise that we are going to make all of our necessary appointments tomorrow, then hit the gym, then apply for those internships and scholarships, then cook a healthy dinner, then treat ourselves to a long bath and a good glass of wine, but end up opting out of everything except for the wine bit.
One of those, unfortunately, empty yet continuously created promises of mine, and many other writers is to journal more often. Every year it is my new year’s resolution to write every single day no matter how busy, whether it be a blurb or a novel. Yet every year, I go months without writing until something relatively exciting and important enough to document happens and make the same vow again.
Well, I have a solution for the members of the “Literally What Can I Talk About, My Life Isn’t As Exciting As I Make It Seem” club. For the wordsmiths dealing with writer’s block as hardcore as I do, here are ten journal prompts to get the brain juice flowing in times of need.
- Write a letter to someone you have something to say to.
Dead or alive, take your pick. Many times we, as humans, don’t say what we really need to when we need to. Write to someone that you’ve always needed to share your thoughts or feelings with. Pretend as if you would actually send him/her this letter and feel the reprieve come through.
2. When you think of your life in five or ten years and when you want to be happiest, what do you see?
Goals are important to have and maintain. On days that seem too long and busy, when you want to give up and take a nap for the rest of your lifetime, what vision motivates you to keep going? Describe it.
3. Write what you wish someone would tell you right now.
Advice and kind words are never something to be refused. If you’re stressed or lonely, unmotivated or sad, what words do you wish someone could say to you to help? Or, if the roles were reversed, give your best pep talk.
4. If you could have or own any three things in the world, what would they be and why?
Pretend your identity has been changed to Cinderella or Timmy Turner. You have been #blessed with a fairy godmother. Write down your three wishes… and maybe slip me her number while you’re at it? I could use some fairy dust, too.
5. Your happiest memory and your saddest.
This one is pretty straightforward. Revel in one of the happiest moments of your life. Reflect on one of your saddest and how it made you stronger or taught you a valuable lesson.
6. If given the chance, would you go back in time to fix something you regret? Why or why not?
Congrats! You and your buddies have created a time travelling machine and are ready to give it a go. Do you follow through? Don’t forget about the ripple effect, though.
7. What is fear holding you back from?
We all have fears. Many inhibit us, some motivate us. Fixate on one of your biggest fears and dive deep into how this fear is affecting your life overall and how you can overcome it.
8. Who or what are you most grateful for in your life?
Spread the happy vibes! On a hard day, remind yourself of what makes your life awesome. If you write about a specific person, maybe pass along the message and send a sweet, simple text to express your appreciation.
9. Imagine you are 80 years old, sitting with your children and grandchildren swapping stories from each other’s lives. What is a story you would love to tell?
Perhaps you choose to talk about that one party you went to that ended up becoming a movie called “Project X” or the one boy you fell in love with who had scissors for hands. Give some detail. Make them feel like they were there.
10. What, or who, do you need to let go of?
When you’re really needing a sense of release, this a great topic to go for. I, for one, am a huge advocate for constant self-reflection. Every part of you is a result of something else, someone else, or some experience. What, or who inhibits you from living your best life? Realization is the quickest route to relief.