Start here. Ideas for jumpstarting your journal entry.

So, you’ve decided to try journaling again. Perhaps my earlier post on the benefits I received from journaling inspired you to give the approach I use a try. But what do you journal about? If you follow the approach I use, you’ll write from your stream of conscious. Which is great until there’s no stream. Then what?

Sometimes priming a small trickle can lead to a river of ideas and thoughts. If you find yourself at a loss for what to write about, try answering some of these questions for starters:

  • What significant events happened since you last journaled?
  • What interactions did you have with others that stirred your emotions in some way?
  • What passage did you read or idea did you hear that stood out to you?
  • What longings do you have? How would you describe your life in three years? Ten years?
  • Who is someone you admire and what question might you pose to them? What would they say in return?
  • What letter might you write to someone to express something you’d like to get off your chest (but will never send)?
  • What are the destructive messages you often tell yourself?
  • What things are you grateful for?
  • How does what you are eating or how you are exercising affect the way you feel and think?
  • What would you say to or ask of a friend or family member if you faced no criticism in doing so?
  • What would you ask of God if He gave it to you today?
  • Who encouraged you with a remark and why was it encouraging?

Of course, this list of questions could go on and on. You may have some of your own favorites to add to it. My personal favorite is to write about the things I am thankful for as a prayer to God. I find that one act lifts my spirits when I’m down and gives me an added boost even when I’m already up. Of course, the nice thing about starting with gratitude is that you never run out of things to be thankful for.

So, go ahead, grab a question from the list above and let your pen and your river flow. Happy journaling.

I’d love to hear from you by leaving a comment: What things do you write about in your journal?

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4 thoughts on “Start here. Ideas for jumpstarting your journal entry.

  1. Leary,
    I always love it when I find a thought provoking list of prompts to run with to keep journaling fresh and relevant. I love the one on asking a question of someone you admire; I’ll bet we would know what they would say! Paying attention to what we are drawn to, whether a video, a book or blog post is a great way to know ourselves better. Emotionally charged interactions are often fodder for the journal page; and we can consider what prompted that emotion. There’s so much we can learn in such a short time just by investing time in a journal entry.

    I have chosen your post, Start Here. Ideas for Jumpstarting Your Journal Entry, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 11/5/13. I will share a link on my website, in Refresh Journal, and on the social networks.

    #JournalChat Live is now on Sundays, 4 EST/1 PST, on Twitter; our topic this week is Your Journaling: Dimensions of Change. Hannah Braime returns as special guest.

    Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for journaling and for sharing your ideas and process.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring

    • Thanks for commenting Dawn and I’m honored again that you’ve chosen one of my posts to feature on your Pick of the Day. Thank you for sharing so generously and for what you do.

  2. I I journal for my children who are adults now, I started when they were 3-4 years old. I like to add pages throughout the journal that I title “Where was I”.
    Examples would be ..”Where was I” when
    – President Kennedy was assanated
    – Neil Armstrong took that One small step for man…
    – the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia accidents
    – 911
    – Ha, when I watched the first color TV 🙂 on my street growing up..
    – the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan (and me)

    I think it is fun to write them about these type of events and tell them what
    I was doing and thinking at these times in my life ..

    Have Fun .. Bob

    • That’s a great idea Bob! Before I started journaling as a habit my kids bought me a book for dads to record their thoughts about such things. I thought it was a cool idea at the time that I’d never likely do — and hadn’t. Now that I’m in the habit of journaling I could see creating a version for their eyes.

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