Creative writing is one of the best ways to get your mind in a different gear, and there are an abundance of creative writing journal prompts to provide some direction.
Journaling is not just for 'writers'. It's for anyone who wants to challenge themselves and expand their mind. I love journaling as a way to set my mind free from concrete thinking.
Expressing yourself creatively through experimenting with journal prompts can help you become more inventive across other areas of life.
Below are some interesting creative writing journal prompts to get you started, because really, you never know where you'll end up!
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It's inevitable that while we watch movies and follow strangers on the internet, we will at times feel connected and similar, even though we've never met these people before. Have a go at this challenge, maybe think of someone in real life and then a fictional character.
Why did you pick them? Do you have a similar situation to them? Do you relate to decisions they've had to make?
This could even be about that person in high school who you never spoke to yet you feel like you might have made good friends with...
If you're feeling a bit like escaping to a world with no problems, this could be the perfect journal prompt for you. I've done this prompt a few times, and I always find it to be quite relaxing.
Would you travel? What would you eat and drink? What would you do or not do? Here's an interesting one - what would the people around you be like?
This is one of the more personal and reflective creative writing journal prompts, but it is a very insightful exercise. This prompt is actually one from the BestSelf WordSmith Deck, which is a really cool deck of 150 writing prompts to help you focus your thinking and inspire journaling.
Sometimes you feel lonely in a room full of people. This could be a very powerful setting for a creative writing piece that expresses the emotions you feel in such a situation and how you might look on the outside.
With this sort of creative prompt, you could write as an onlooker or just write solely from your viewpoint. Just imagine the vivid metaphors this journal idea could prompt!
I think creative writing journal prompts are great because they can help you be more reflective while sharpening your storytelling skills at the same time.
Think about someone you're close too, such as a bestfriend. Isn't it a little crazy to think that there was a time when you met that person for the first time?
There was a moment when you first made eye contact, when you first spoke, when you told them your name and they told you theirs.
For a creative writing prompt, I challenge you to write a short story about two people meeting each other for the first time. Describe everything in detail, including the thoughts that were running across the minds of each individual.
Early memories make some of the most fascinating creative journal prompts. I actually asked my sister this question and I was shocked at the things see was able to remember about the kitchen in our childhood home.
Although this question seems quite random, it can be like stepping back into a time machine, and going back to a room with memories that actually had a huge impact on your younger self.
Have you ever watched a movie with a disappointing ending?
It's time to put your director's hat on.
You can be as creative with this one as you want. Maybe you like the beginning of a particular movie, but you think that everything goes downhill after the first 10 minutes.
I've definitely seen films and thought, "it would be much better if they took the storyline this way instead..."
Or maybe the movie is great but they mess up with an ending that is really bizarre or just plain terrible. Do they kill of all the characters within the last five minutes? Is the ending just too cheesy? Is there a massive lapse of logic? You decide.
Take the story into your own hands and perhaps share your ideas with a friend.
This is another thought-provoking question from the WordSmith Deck, and it's powerful because it's almost like a taunt.
It points a finger at your habits and makes you realize how much they could be hindering you from everything you've ever dreamed of doing.
I find this question inspiring though, because it also makes me realise that everything I personally want is within my reach as long as I continue to develop key habits.
I think you'll gain the most fun and insight from this challenge if you spend some time applying the question to various aspects of your life.
You could complete this writing prompt over a few days and build up a grand picture.
We've all been there: we sense what's going on long before the truth is even revealed.
Take a moment to do some detective work. Try to figure out the signs that always give away when someone is lying and hiding something from you.
You might describe a specific time when you knew someone was lying to you. Or you could write in general terms, and describe how you feel when someone is hiding the truth.
This is one of the best things about journaling - the ability it gives you to develop your emotional intelligence and strengthen your intuition. And while we're on the subject of knowing when someone is lying to you, here is a very insightful interview on that from a former secret service agent.
Have you ever stopped and thought about what it feels like to wake up in the morning?
Maybe you're a morning person. Or maybe getting out of bed is like a battle you must confront everyday. Describe it.
This is one of my favourite creative writing journal prompts because it forces you to think about something we often take for granted, yet something we have experienced literally every day since birth.
Here are some thoughts you could explore with this challenge: What's the first thing you thought of when you woke up today? Is this reoccurring? Do you like the time you wake up? If money wasn't a problem, would you still get up at that time?
You could twist this exercise and instead write about someone else's morning routine, or at least what you imagine it'd be like.
This is a topic I expect has come up in all of our minds over the last few weeks and months. Perhaps you already have had conversations about it.
The funny thing is that as I write this, I know this will still be a relevant creative writing journal prompt even in the years to come, because this pandemic has changed all of our lives in one way or another.
Perhaps this prompt will bring back good memories, make you feel a sense of gratitude, or even just remind you of sombre truths. Whatever the case, it's a good exercise for reflection!
Hopefully these creative writing journal prompts have given you some ideas on what to journal about next. Journaling can help you find closure on some topics and express yourself in such a way that helps refresh your creative energy.
One thing that's great about the WordSmith deck is that it contains writing prompts in six categories: life, self, education, world, relationships, and a random category, so you never run out of ideas.
You can get 15% off the WordSmith deck using the code 'ROLIEDEMA' here.
Once you get started with a few creative writing journal prompts, you find that there is an endless list of topics to reflect on, and you get to sharpen your writing skills at the same time!
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