Journal writing can help make you a better writer, but what can you write about? Here are 56 journal writing prompts to help you out.
- What is something interesting that happened to you today? Something out of the norm?
- What is your typical day like?
- Relate a funny experience from your childhood.
- Have you ever broken a bone? Write about the (first) broken bone you suffered.
- Write about the first date you went on.
- Write about a significant event, such as moving away to college, getting married, or having a baby.
- What was your favorite toy as a child?
- Write about an event that changed your life.
- When did you learn to ride a bike? Write about the experience.
- What was your favorite game to play as a child?
- Have you ever won a contest? When and for what?
- Write about a vivid dream you’ve had recently.
- Were you in any clubs as a kid? If yes, describe one of them.
- Write about a time when horsing around got you or a friend injured.
- Describe a fight you had with a friend or family member. Then tell it from the other person’s point of view.
- What did your childhood bedroom look like?
- What is your earliest memory?
- As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How does it compare with what you’re doing now?
- Write about a time you felt . . . (lonely, sad, joyful, jealous, angry, frustrated, depressed, motivated, anxious, frightened, selfish, nervous, magnanimous, lazy, supportive, etc).
- How many siblings do you have? Do you get along with them? Write briefly about each one.
- When and where were you born? Have you heard any interesting stories about your birth?
- What is your favorite food? Describe it.
- What is your favorite book and why?
- What is your favorite color? Has it always been your favorite color? How did it come to be your favorite?
- What holiday traditions does your family have?
- What was your first job? Did you enjoy it? Why or why not?
- Who is your hero or someone you greatly admire, and why?
- What does your handwriting tell others about you?
- Where is your “happy place?”
- What culture are you part of, and how does it affect who you are and your actions?
- What parental techniques or philosophies that your parents have do you disagree with?
- Do you have any beliefs or ideas that you used to hold strongly to but have been since convinced to think otherwise? How were you convinced?
- What is a modern-day convenience that you could not live without?
- Do you have an easy or a hard time making friends? Why?
- What makes someone a good friend? Are you a good friend?
- Who do you spend most of your time with, and how do they affect who you are and how you think?
- When was the last time you had to make a very difficult decision, and how did you make it?
- What is the most painful thing you’ve every been through, and how did it change you? What did you learn from it?
- How comfortable are you with talking to strangers? Are you able to speak your mind to waitresses, servers, store associates, doctors, nurses, and others? Why or why not?
- Describe a time when you made a mistake. Did you fully own up to it or try to minimize it? Or did you try to sweep it completely under the rug?
- What are you feeling right now and why?
- Is there something you used to hate but you have come to tolerate or even like because someone you care deeply about loves it?
- How have you changed in the last year? Your character, your beliefs, your personality, and so on.
Dreams and Goals
- Describe your perfect home library.
- If you won $500,000 (after taxes), what would you do with it?
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
- What do you plan to accomplish this year?
- If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
- Invent a new creature and describe it: what it eats, its intelligence, where it lives, etc.
- Describe what a car is and how it works to someone from the past.
- Make up a backstory about a stranger that you saw recently.
- Try a creative writing exercise from this post, or try a writing prompt generator.
- Sit outside and write about the sounds you hear. What is making those sounds and why?
- Describe a gourmet meal, being sure to talk about as many of the senses as possible.
- Describe yourself as if you were someone else meeting you for the first time.
- Rewrite a fairy tale by giving it a new ending or a fun twist (such as a different time period, a different setting, switched characters, etc.).
Do you have any good journal writing prompts to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below!