A Dozen Ways To Jumpstart Your Journal
By: Abigail Beal
Keeping a journal is a great way to gather your thoughts, capture creative ideas and also to release stress by expressing your emotions. But sometimes when keeping a journal, you can wind up coming to the page feeling like you have nothing to say at that moment. You really have a lot to say, deep inside of you, all of the time. Lots of dreams, daydreams, memories and goals that you want to achieve are inside of you - that you can put in your journal. People keep journals for different reasons, at different times in their lives. Sometimes using a "jumpstart" can help you get to a deeper issue, or to a creative brainstorm that is just waiting to happen. Whether you already keep a journal, or are interested in starting one, here are a dozen ways to "jumpstart" your journal writing.
- What's in there? -- What has been catching your eye over and over? What song can't you get out of your head? We all pick up on outside images and words around us. Explore why you are focusing on something in your world at this time, what it could mean to you, or what you already are aware that it means to you.
- What trend do you love? -- What new style, technology or entertainment trend appeals to you? Is there an object that you would love to own, something that you are saving up for? Is there a television show, or technology that fascinates you?
- Envision your future -- What will your life be like five years from now. What will it be like a year from now? Be as descriptive as possible, using words and images to picture your family, career, hobbies and personal goals. What issues or goals does this future vision bring to your present day for you?
- Childhood lessons -- Not all of our lessons come from a classroom. What did you learn as a child? Who motivated and inspired you? Who challenged you to do things differently -- and made your life better for it? What talents developed during your youth? Delve into your childhood and explore its gifts.
- The season -- Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer... the seasons are always changing, always subtle shifts around us. Each has its gifts and its challenges. What has the current season brought to you? What have you treasured from other years from the same season? What do you love about this season, and what rituals do you return to each year for this season (apple picking in the fall, building a snowman in the winter, planting new bulbs in the spring, going to the beach in the summer).
- Presents and Presence -- What was the best gift you were ever given? Who gave it to you and why? What was the most memorable gift you received? What gifts have you given that were special?
- Home Sweet Home -- How do you feel about your home? If the rooms could speak, what would they say to you? What would you say to them? What would you like to change about your home? What is the most powerful memory that occured in your home?
- Pages and Screens -- What books and movies have motivated you to think differently, or inspired you to take action? What are you reading or viewing now and how does it make you feel? What books or movies would you give a child? An adult?
- Beautiful Music -- What songs did you love as a child? As a teenager - what songs remind you the most of this time? What songs have great meaning from your adult life?
- Dreams -- What are your dreams telling you? Dreams are full of their own language, imagery and words and sensations. The more you practice remembering your dreams, the more you are able to remember them.
- Clothing & Jewelry -- What clothing and jewelry remind you of important times in your life? What did your mother wear for a special occasion? What did your sister wear? What was the first piece of clothing that was bought for you that meant you were "growing up"? What clothing did you like the most from your teen years?
- Planes, trains and automobiles -- Write about memorable trips you have taken -- whether by car, air or rails. Where did you go? What was unexpected about the trip? What did you love/hate about travel? Where do you want to go in the future?
Abigail Beal is a journal writer and publishes the ezine Journal Seeds, an ezine that offers monthly journal prompts, exercises and articles about journal writing. To subscribe: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/journalseeds/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.