"Look and you will find it – what is unsought will go undetected." ~ Sophocles
These journal writing ideas will help you bring out feelings that may never otherwise get expressed. Sometimes writing your thoughts is hard. It takes courage to dig into your private life. Expressing emotions even on paper can be embarrassing. We might feel that our writing is silly when really it's deeply personal.
1. Write three morning pages every day— Julia Cameron’s recommendation.
2. Follow the program outlined in The Artist’s Way: a Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron.
3. Use journal writing prompts.
4. Use journal writing topics.
5. Follow reflective journal writing prompts.
6. Create lists. Here are a few examples —
i The people you most admire.
ii Places you’ve enjoyed visiting.
iii Your favorite books.
iv Places you would love to visit.
v Your favorite books, songs and movies.
vi Things you’ve done that you previously thought you could never do.
vii Your five top short term and long term goals.
viii Create some list ideas of your own.
7. Have a look at the benefits of journal writing for more journal writing ideas.
8. Use quotes as journal writing prompts for a gazillion ideas. Check out quotation themes.
9. Cut interesting images from magazines. Glue them into your journal. Write about your perspectives on the image. What does it say to you? How do you feel about it?
10. Write letters. Here are some ideas:
i Write a letter to someone who believed in you even when you didn’t believe in yourself.
ii Write a letter to be read by each of your loved ones after you’ve passed away.
iii Write a fan letter to your favorite actor/actress.
iv Write a letter to the editor of your favorite magazine telling them what features you would like to see included in the magazine.
v Write a letter to a politician about one of your biggest concerns. Suggest actions our political leaders can take to solve the problem.
vi Is there something you’re reluctant to tell someone? Write a letter to help you organize your thoughts.
vii Write a letter to someone you need to forgive.
If you are feeling stuck with journal writing, here are some exercises and techniques using drawings, collage, artwork and dreams that can jump start your creative thinking.
1. Create an image or picture journal. Collect magazines from friends or ask your library for discards. Select images you’re attracted to. Paste these into your journal, one image per page. Date the entries and perhaps write a brief caption that will jog your memory later on when you return to the image.
Take note of common themes in your selections. At this point, you don’t need to do any writing. The more challenging part can come later when you are ready. By finding images, you will feel that you are progressing. Moving forward will increase your confidence because you are taking action.
2. Create a collage on a page larger than your journal. Arrange the images into themes and topics. Consider colors, shapes and textures. Notice common themes that you might write about later on. Date your collage.
3. Take and print a number of photos. Glue these into your journal or into a separate book for images. Write your feelings and attitudes about these photos later.
4. Go for a walk. Collect three items that interest you. These could be a rock, a leaf, a bug, or a flower. Arrange these on a table and create stories about them or if you are not in a writing mood, perhaps give each item a caption and write about it later.
5. Draw an image of a dream.
6. Read the journal of an author. For example, May Sarton, Anne Frank, Henry Millar, Anais Nin. Your journal entries might reflect their thoughts.
7. Choose a day not to write. This might be a liberating decision. On this day, simply reflect. If an idea for a journal entry comes to you. Make a note of the idea for your future writing.
Reflective Journal Writing Prompts.
Use these powerful writing ideas to help get to know yourself better. The more we know and accept ourselves, the higher your self-esteem. Journals are also an important way to solve your problems and face our challenges and fears. Enjoy your journey and these ideas!
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