Inside: Learn how to use journal prompts to help you write more and gain greater insights.

Have you always wanted to try your hand at journaling – but aren’t sure what to write about?

Or maybe you’ve already made journaling a habit, but you’re losing interest because you find yourself writing about the same things all the time, or you’re running out of things to say. 

Journaling is an activity that virtually everyone can benefit from. Regardless of what your current circumstances are, picking up a pen and documenting your thoughts can bring clarity, focus, and joy into your life.

Journaling can help you process difficult events, navigate challenging times in your life, and ultimately improve your mental well-being. 

And once you get started, you’ll find that the actual act of journaling is pretty simple and straightforward – but taking that first step and figuring out what you’re going to write? For some, that’s easier said than done. 

Journaling prompts might be just what you need to energize your journaling practice, spark your creativity, and help you write more than ever. 

how to use journal prompts

Why Should You Use Journal Prompts?

While you don’t actually have to use journal prompts at all to have a meaningful journaling practice, there are quite a few ways they can make the process more engaging and enriching.

Not sure how you might benefit from journal prompts? You can use journal prompts to…

1. Beat writer’s block when you’re feeling stuck.

Writer’s block isn’t a phenomenon that’s strictly limited to people writing novels or volumes of poetry. It can happen to anyone.

And when it does? Coming up with anything to write can feel downright impossible. 

If you’re staring at a blank page and just can’t figure out what you should be writing about, a journal prompt can give you a question to answer or a topic to explore.

You can even find fill-in-the-blank style prompts to kickstart your thought process and help you move past your writer’s block. 

If you’re just beginning to journal, prompts are a great tool to help you get started.

woman thinking

2. Tap into your creativity. 

If you find yourself revisiting the same topics often in your journaling practice, you might feel yourself getting a little bored – which is to be expected. 

By leveraging journal prompts that you wouldn’t typically think to write about, you can push yourself out of your usual boundaries. This can inspire creative journaling in new and exciting ways.

By thinking about topics that are totally new to you, or exploring them from a different perspective than usual, you might be surprised to see just how refreshing the process can be.

3. Encourage self-discovery.

Journal prompts can challenge you to write about topics you never would’ve considered on your own.

By diving into this uncharted territory and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you can increase your understanding of decisions you’ve made in the past, gain deeper insight into your feelings, and see how certain experiences have left a lasting impact. 

Journaling is a great way to gain perspective and discover new insights.

woman writing

How to Effectively Use Journal Prompts to Help You Write More 

Now that you know some of the benefits that journal prompts can bring to your practice, here are a few tips to help you effectively leverage them as you write:

1. Find your prompts in advance.

Searching for a new prompt every single day will take valuable time away from your journaling practice and can be distracting.

Try compiling a list of journal prompts at the start of each month that you’d like to navigate and keep them in an easy-to-find location, like a single page in your notebook or in your notes app on your phone.

If you stumble upon interesting prompts along the way, or come up with a topic you’d like to write about at some point, simply add it to the list!

2. Experiment with variety.

There are all kinds of journal prompts out there to explore – and some might work better for you than others. Sometimes, prompts come in the form of a question to answer in your journaling practice.

Other prompts might feature quotes you can react to, statements to reflect on, or even images to write about.

Some prompts ask you to peer into your past, revisiting situations and memories; others urge you to look ahead, focusing on goals and scenarios that haven’t quite played out yet. 

Find what works for you – and if you learn you love multiple kinds of prompts, don’t be afraid to shake things up and embrace the variety. 

how to use journal prompts

3. Use multiple prompts in a journaling session.

If you want to write more but run out of things to say in response to a particular journal prompt, simply choose another one and allow yourself to explore that idea, too.

That’s the beauty of journaling – there’s no right or wrong way to do it. If incorporating multiple prompts into a single journaling session is the key to helping you write more, don’t shy away from the idea. 

What Are Some Examples of Journal Prompts?

With so many journal prompts to choose from, figuring out where to start might be a little bit overwhelming.

Here are a handful of example prompts you might leverage in your journaling practice:

1. Reflect on your day. What are the three best things that happened to you, and what is one thing you’d do differently if you could relive it?

2. What is something you need to forgive yourself for? 

3. Write about something you hope to accomplish in the next five years. Why haven’t you achieved it yet, and what can you do to help yourself reach your goal?

4. Write a letter to your past self. What advice would you give yourself, knowing what you know now?

5. What are five things you are grateful for, and why?

6. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

7. Who is someone you admire? Why do you look up to them, and what qualities do they embody that you can embrace in your own life?

how to use journal prompts

Want more journal prompts to help with your journaling?

Check out these posts:

Do you use journal prompts when you write? Leave a comment and let me know!

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