Whenever you find yourself at the whim of creativity, waiting for your muse to appear, journal prompts can be really helpful to jumpstart your creativity.
Journal prompts can also be a great way to exercise your creative muscles and get them into shape to carry you wherever you fancy takes you.
Table of Contents
- Audio Article – Journal Prompts
- Debate or Do?
- Why Writing Prompts?
- Journal Prompts to Prime Your Prose
- Journaling for Relaxation and Meditation
- Three Tips to the Journaling Habit
- Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages Exercise
- Have Prompts to Add?
Journal prompts or morning pages, done daily, will summon your creative powers at will.
Audio Article – Journal Prompts:
When Your Mind is as Blank as Your Page
How is it you can go from having a million ideas you don’t have enough time for, to a staring contest with a blank page and an equally blank mind? This aspect of creativity can be both frustrating and intriguing.
One thing that’s become abundantly clear from interviewing creatives of all paths, and through our own content endeavors, is that creativity is a readily renewable resource.
Creativity is a readily renewable resource.
~Devani Anjali Alderson
Debate or Do?
You’ll find never-ending debates on whether creative blocks are real or amateur mental myths, but joining that debate doesn’t help you actually make your thing. 🙂 Sure… no question about it; it’s easier to create when the mood strikes you. However, what’s equally true?
The process of practice produces flow.
Your inner muse is always ready for you, sometimes you just need to look for her in another direction. And other times, it’s about training her to your command.
Creativity starts as an intangible source. The more we immerse in it, the more tangible it becomes.
~Devani Anjali Alderson, iCreateDaily.com
Why Writing Prompts?
There are so many ways to journal, and no right way or wrong way. There are no journaling rules to what you write about or how you write it, unless you’re in school following specific teacher assignments.
Journaling is a tool for self-reflection… to get what’s in your head out and down to see. Sometimes you’re not completely aware of what you’re thinking and feeling… and thinking about what you’re feeling until you experience writing and then reading what you’ve written.
Journaling can clear your head, capture capturing ideas, vent frustration and lead you to depths undiscovered within yourself. Journaling is also a way of envisioning and creating your future.
Journal Prompts to Prime Your Prose
1. “If there were no limitations or consequences, what would your perfect average day look like?”
~Frank Kern, Marketer, entrepreneur, copywriter
Listen to a 9-minute clip of this powerful exercise from Frank Kern, who coined the concept.
2. Do you think ideas originate in your brain? Or are ideas an external form of consciousness that exist somewhere and everyone has equal access to them?
3a. Part 1: Which of your personal qualities do you think are intrinsic traits from birth?
3b. Part 2: Which traits do you think you have adopted from your external environment, conditioning, and influences?
4. Imagine you’re over 100 years old and nearing the end of full and wonderful life. What will you want to be sure to have done or accomplished?
5. In The Matrix, Neo took the Red Pill (signifying truth). Have you had “red pill” moments in your life where you woke up to a new reality of realizing something you’d always thought to be true, wasn’t? Write you thoughts, feelings, discoveries and conclusions.
6. Mahatma Gandhi said: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” What is the biggest change you think the world needs, and what can you do toward making that real for you in your life?
7. What is something you’re really grateful for? Expound on your gratitude thoughts around this.
8. Random stream of consciousness: set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and write everything that comes to your mind. These don’t have to be cohesive ideas. It’s whatever comes to mind from words to ideas to sounds… whatever it is, that flits across your mind-screen, write it down.
9. Reconstruct a conversation. But this time, write down things you forgot to say, or thought to say later. You know… that one witty punchline you could have said, but it came to you 3 hours later while you’re making a sandwich.
10. What skill or subject do you wish you had learned at school? Is this still something you are interested in learning?
11. In many cultures, people have animals that represent their spirit – “Spirit Animals.” What animal do you think most represents your spirit? Elaborate on why.
12. Where are places you want to travel? Write about the experiences you would like to have in a different location/s. Then, ask yourself, which part of this can I have now, in the city or town where I live?
13. Journal your response to this lyric from Jana Stanfield’s song If I Were Brave:
“What step would I take, today, if I were brave?’
~Jana Stanfield, singer, songwriter, entertainer, keynote presenter
14. For any challenge in your life, ask yourself: “If this (problem you’re facing) were simple, what would it look like?”
~Tim Ferriss, author, biohacker, famous for The 4-Hour Work Week
15. Astronauts who’ve traveled beyond the earth’s atmosphere have all reported the transformative experiencing of looking back at the earth. How do you think your perspective on life would change if you were able to see the world from space? Imagine that perspective and journal your thoughts.
16. Picture a time when you were facing a struggle as a kid/teen. What advice do you have for that version of you, now that you’ve accumulated more life experience?
17. There’s always a tendency to pull our focus on the negatives of the world… So instead, write something that you love about the world as it is now.
18. What is something that made you smile today? Or yesterday if you’re journaling in the morning.
19. What are the material possessions that you really want? Feel free to dream! 🙂 How would this enrich your life?
20. How are you feeling right now, in this moment? Anything you’re currently happy about? Or maybe there’s something weighing on your mind you want to get out? Write it all down.
21. Who is someone in your life that helped you through a hard time? Write about your appreciation for them. If you want that could turn into something you share with them… It’d probably make their whole week! 🙂
22. What is something you’ve read, watched, or listened to that inspires you, and why?
23. Peter Diamandis talks about “taking your moon shot.” The idea is about solving a big problem. What is a problem you want to solve, that others have told you is impossible? Here is a YouTube talk to learn more about Peter’s Moon Shot concept.
24. What is a fear that you have overcome? Journal about some of the lessons you learned from overcoming that fear, and how you can use that to overcome other fears.
25. What core values do you stand for? Write them down and then write why they are important to you.
26. If you have kids, or plant to in the future, what are some lessons you want them to know that you’ve learned?
27. Do you have—or have had—a pet? What lessons has it taught you?
What are some of the thoughts and feelings you experience during your creative process?
29. Who or what has influenced your creativity the most? What is it about what they’ve done, or what/who they are, that attracts you?
30. What positive and encouraging things could you tell yourself in moments of uncertainty, worry, fear and doubt?
31a. What is your favorite emotional state? Write about why you like it and how it has served you. E.g., gratitude, joy, peace, serenity.
31b. In what emotional state do you spend most of your time? If you’re not spending enough time in your favorite state, how can you do more of that?
32. Do you struggle with perfectionism? Consider pondering and then writing why you struggle with this.
33. When fear holds you back from sharing your work, what are some affirmations you can use to encourage yourself?
34. Are you going through emotional turmoil such as depression, anxiety, healing from physical pain? Or anything else? Write one page about how you really feel. Pour all the emotions out. Then, if you feel ready to release that, you could burn the paper symbolizing the shedding of that emotional coat.
35. Find a quiet area in nature to sit and breathe for some time, even just 5-10 minutes, longer if you can. Where does your mind wander? What ideas catch your fancy? Write those musings!
36. What does creative freedom mean to you?
37. How does creative freedom feel?
38. Is there an activity you loved as a child but don’t do anymore? Why did you stop? Is it still something you love to do?
39. Superhero stories tend to cycle in our culture every once in a while. If you’re a fan of superheroes, what qualities are you most attracted to? How can you harness some of the positive qualities from the characters in those stories?
40. Write an encouraging letter to yourself that you can anytime you feel low and need reassuring.
41. If you were to write a commencement speech, what lessons, stories, and encouragement would you want to pass on to the audience?
42. Did you hear something on the news or the internet, that’s upsetting? Write away your frustrations with that event.
43. When you think of creativity, what emotions do you feel?
44. “Pry open the portal to infinity.” Write what comes to mind when you read this?
45. Do you have a sacred space where you can create, write, or just think? If so, write about why that space is important to you. If not, write about where you can create a sacred space even if you don’t yet have one.
46. If a friend asked for your advice on writer or creative block, what would you tell them?
47. Have you had a negative thought about yourself today? Write down encouraging words you can remind yourself instead!
48. What does “owning yourself” mean to you?
49. Struggles can break us or help build us. What is a struggle that helped you grow in life?
50. Today… I am free to create. What inhibits my creativity? What releases my creativity?
51. What legacy would you like to leave?
52. Flip through something you’ve written in the past and either edit it or expand on that thought with fresh eyes.
53. Describe your spiritual self and/or relationship with spirituality.
54. Share your thoughts on life beyond this one.
55. Continue this sentence: “Joy in my life looks like…”
56. Write a note of gratitude and appreciation to yourself!
57. What 3 questions would you ask your favorite creators (alive or dead) that would help you in your own aspirations?
58. Write the story you want to live. Leave off the villains and sorrows for that story is the past, and does not belong in the story of your future, beginning now.
59. What is the mindset of the life I want to live? What do I need to adjust, beginning today, to come closer to that way of being?
60. Write about who inspires you to be a better person?
Journaling for Relaxation and Meditation
So, confession time, I’m not a regular journaler. *I know! What the heck are you doing writing a journal article, woman? The nerve. The audacity.*
However, I do write something daily, and I keep a goals journal. Beyond that, I’ve been most inclined to journal during emotional dips where writing has helped me sort things out and become more aware. I also find that journaling helps to release tension and clear my mind.
Journaling is a form of reflection and reflection is a form of meditation.
The basic rules of creativity apply to anything you wish to do: The best way to start anything is to just start doing it.
~Devani Alderson, cofounder-iCreateDaily.com
Three Tips to the Journaling Habit
Below are a few tips to help us get going in our journaling aspirations.
- Commit to a time each day to write, no matter what. It doesn’t need to be longer than 5-10 minutes. It’s about setting a commitment to show up for yourself. The intention of committing to something alone can kick your mind and creativity into gear.
- Set a timer and don’t stop writing until it blares off. If you’re someone who works well under the pressures of a ticking clock, this method could be applied to many creative projects. It’s creating a self-induced deadline which can break the cycle of a creative block.
- Keep it Simple. Don’t overthink it or try to make it perfect. All journaling is basically practice and exercising your word muscles.
Journaling doesn’t need to be a complicated activity. It can help either stimulate creativity or be the perfect release of tension that you need to go and create more work. Seeing your thoughts on paper (or screen) can help you grow in discovery and self-awareness.
Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages Exercise
Julia Cameron is a well known prolific artist, creator, and author. Many creators cite Julia’s work for helping their journey. In her book The Artist’s Way, as well as on her website, Julia has a practice called “Morning Pages“, which is about jumpstarting the creative writing process through journaling.
When it comes to creative blocks, sometimes it’s not the lack of ideas but too many ideas that stop us from getting started. Morning Pages can help with that. As Cameron states, there is no “wrong” way to do this. You just write from mind to page, no editing and it doesn’t have to be about anything important.
This quote by Julia Cameron sums up the importance of creating daily:
As you move toward a dream, the dream moves toward you.
~Julia Cameron, American author, artist, poet, playwright, novelist, filmmaker, composer, journalist and teacher
The goal is to declutter your mind of anything that could interfere with later work and art. If you would like to learn more about this practice, check out this video from Julia Cameron.
Have Prompts to Add?
If you want to send us any responses to any of the prompts, we’d love to read them. They are meant for your personal writing, but if it’s something you want to share, we’re all eyes! Or if you have other journal prompt ideas. Shoot us an email.
We may publish some of them here along with a link back to your website, blog or social media page.
Start. Sustain. Succeed. iCreateDaily!™
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Hey! I’m Devani, a multi-passionate creator who enjoys honing the craft of writing (mostly;)), photography, cooking, podcasting, learning about business, and growing brands. I co-host the iCreateDaily Podcast with LeAura Alderson (my mom), and co-own the iCreateDaily brand. I hope through the content and products we produce, you will be inspired to start, sustain, and succeed in your goals.
My non-business and artistic hobbies include: enjoying a good movie, discovering obscure but epic music, obsessing over The Beatles, and developing fictional stories in my head. My Maltese dog, Caspian, provides an insane amount of creative inspiration by just being his adorable self. #HeWokeUpLikeThat. 😉
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