Journaling is a great way to relieve stress and improve your mental health, but getting started can be tricky. Luckily, we've compiled a list of thirty-seven prompts for creative writing and personal reflection to get your thoughts flowing.
1. Draw the last dream you had.
2. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish this week/month/semester.
3. Make a list of everything you’re grateful for.
4. Tell the story of the strangest thing that has ever happened to you.
5. Glue an entire page full of tickets from movies, concerts, shows, etc.
6. Write out all of the lyrics to your favorite song without any punctuation.
7. Draw your family tree as far back as you can remember. Bonus points: call your relatives and ask if they know anything else.
8. Paint your favorite quote in watercolors.
9. Fill an entire page with stickers.
10. Make a list of all of the places you want to travel to before you die.
11. Draw a map of your hometown.
12. Describe your hometown as if you were a tourist.
13. Tell a story in reverse order, from end to beginning.
14. Write a diary entry of a fictional character of your own creation.
15. Describe the three best days of your life.
16. Describe exactly how you’re feeling right now.
17. A character has just died. Write how your other characters respond.
18. Why is your favorite book/movie/TV show your favorite?
19. Draw the town/country where your character lives.
20. Your main characters encounter a character who has been away for a very long time. Why are they back? How do your other characters react?
21. Your character receives a phone call/letter that changes everything. What happens next?
22. Paint something using nail polish.
23. Write or draw something using eyeliner (pick a cheap one that you don’t regularly use).
24. Tell a story entirely in letters and text messages.
25. What are you angry about?
26. Design a magical creature. Draw it or describe it.
27. What are you happy about?
28. What are you looking forward to?
29. Who is the most important person in your life? Why?
30. Make a collage of your favorite pictures.
31. Write a poem as a bulleted list.
32. What are you most afraid of?
34. Character study: what do your characters order in coffee shops? What are their hobbies?
35. Write a letter to your past self.
36. Write a letter to your future self.
37. Write a letter to someone you wish you could talk to filled with things you wish you could say.
These prompts are just the tip of the iceberg — the beautiful thing about journaling is that the possibilities are endless. Write whatever comes to mind, and don't feel pressured to stick to specific types of prompts. Happy writing!
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