Journal Prompts

Here are some ideas to get you started writing in a journal or notebook:

  • Make a list of your current Preoccupations. Persons, places, things, activities that have a hold on your mind, body, spirit, and/or imagination. Update the list once a month.
  • Make a list of 30 things you love right now. Big or small or in between. The first 30 things that come to your mind. Update it weekly (or more often than that). PS: This is a good place to go mining for your Preoccupations.
  • Interview yourself. Write out the questions and the answers. Make it a back-and-forth, where the interviewer (you) works off the responses of the interviewee (also you) in an organic, extemporaneous way. Keep it going over several sittings spread out over several days, weeks, months.
  • Draw the cartoon version of said interview. Or a portion of it.
  • Draw a functional map in your notebook. A real or imagined place. Write labels and a key that references a character (real or imagined) and suggests a narrative. Leave some stuff out.
  • Fill a page — the WHOLE page — in your notebook with the names of places in the world you’ve NEVER been. Be imaginative and specific. Peru is a place. So is Lima. So is the inside of a blue whale’s ear. Write big. Write small. Write in all kinds of different directions on the page. Maybe also in different colors. If you feel like it.
  • Fill a page — the WHOLE page — with the names of places in the world you HAVE been. Be imaginative and specific again. Etc.
  • Erasures!
  • Fill a page or two (or ten) of your notebook with pictures of one of the objects or places on your list of Preoccupations. Draw. Trace. Cut-and-paste. Whatever.
  • These are things that you might want to put in there on a regular-ish basis: song lyrics; quotes (from famous people and/or your friends and family); whole passages of books you love and/or hate; language you happen upon: in stores, driving down the highway, at temples and churches and mosques, in classrooms and doctor’s offices, on the boob tube, the interwebs, etc; color copies of family photographs; black and white copies of family photographs; (copies of) copies of black and white copies of family photographs; stencils; and/or etc.

4 thoughts on “Journal Prompts

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