5 journaling prompts for when you have no idea what to write


Hey friends!

Oh my word it is flipping freezing down here. I know there is all kinds of freaky weather going on around the world so I can hardly complain but phew…someone left the fridge door open because it’s winter all over again. The good thing about bad weather is that it gives you plenty of time to do cozy in-doorsy things. My very favourite in-doorsy activity is writing. Long before my blog came to be, I was scribbling away in flowery notebooks. I am a big believer in the power of words and I think journaling is an excellent way of using words to heal. It’s like self-therapy.

But the thing with journaling, probably something that’s goes through your mind every time you pick up the pen and try to write is it’s tricky to know where to start.

How do you even journal? What should you write about?

I’ve been there. I know it can feel awkward and clompy writing down your thoughts at first so I thought I’d help you out. I’m going share just a few of my favourite journaling prompts to get you started.

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5 journaling prompts for when you have no idea what to write about:


It’s so simple you don’t really need me to tell you it but sometimes to get writing you’ve just got to start.

So do it. Grab a pen and start writing. Dump every single thought that you have onto the page. Don’t pause to think whether it sounds silly or makes any sense whatsoever. For once in your life grammar, spelling and handwriting are not important (go on, live a little.)

Some people like to set a timer and stop after awhile but I say just go for it…open up the floodgates and let it all pour out. You’ll be surprised just how much you have to say once you get started. 


Flip your problems around…

I’m one of those annoying, optimistic people who likes to look on the bright side of life. It makes for an excellent journal exercise. This one was actually inspired by Christina who loved the way I flipped my insecurities around and made them positives in my recent post-the greatest life lesson I’ve learnt so far.

Basically, how it goes is, you write down all of your problems/worries/insecurities and find a way to make a positive out of them. It’s not always an easy thing to do but trust me, with practice you will become a pro. It’s so much nicer to live on the bright side anyhow


How are you…really?

You know when someone asks you how you are and you just automatically respond with ‘fine’ when really you feel so completely not-fine that it is laughable? Well that’s where your journal comes in. Because with your journal you can be 100% totally, completely honest. No one will judge you or feel sorry for you. You can say it exactly how it is.

What I normally do is write the heading, “I am feeling…” and then I just start listing all of the things I am currently feeling and why that might be.

Sometimes you can even take this a step further and try to address any of the mucky things you are feeling. If someone has upset you maybe you can talk to them. If you are feeling anxious about something, maybe you can ask someone for advice.

Once you know what problem is causing the emotion it makes it a whole lot easier to fix it. 


#Goals and reflections…

I have just recently started writing down my goals each month and at the end of the month I decided to turn it into a journaling exercise and reflect on how many I achieved.

I wrote about what went well and congratulated myself a little (it’s like I always say, you’ve got to be your own cheerleader.) And for the goals I wasn’t so successful with I wrote about what went wrong and how I might go about achieving them next month or way way in the future (if I was a little too ambitious.)

It’s so helpful to have concrete goals written out in front of you. It makes you more motivated to try work towards them. And even if you don’t quite get there it’s okay because learning from our mistakes is how we grow.

Related: The most powerful lesson we can learn from our mistakes.


A letter to no one…

I most often turn to my journal when I’m feeling really frustrated or upset about something, so this is an exercise for those moments especially.

Write out a letter and address it to whoever you need to say something to. Maybe it’s to the person who you are mad at. Maybe it’s to a person who you’ve got unexpected feelings for. Maybe it’s to yourself to remind yourself how incredibly awesome you are (you go girl!)

DON’T actually send the letter (I mean obviously not if it’s to yourself cause that would be real weird.)

But I’ve found that writing out a letter is an excellent way of saying what you need to say to someone without actually having to say it. It gives you a chance to read over your words and make sure that when you really do confront them you aren’t being driven completely by those untrustworthy emotions.


So those are just a few of the journaling prompts that I use when I don’t know what to write. Let me know if you’d like to see some more because I’ve got a billion ideas up my sleeve and I’d be more than happy to share them with you. 

M x

Now tell me…

Do you have any great journaling prompts?

Have you tried bullet journaling yet?

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  1. I love ‘goals’ posts, and reflections, but whenever I try and write a letter to no-one or myself I just have nothing to say… If I have the person in mind that is a different story! 😉

    1. If you’ve got nothing to say then I think the braindump method works best. You literally just say everything on your mind. I know what you mean though, when you’ve a specific person to write to or issue to work through it makes writing a whole lot easier.

  2. I love this! Especially brain dumping in my journal. Some days it just feels good to ramble.
    I did just start bullet journaling and absolutely love it. For someone with a ton of lists, its been a pretty foolproof method!

    1. Ooh nice! I have yet to give bullet jouranling a go so it’s good to know that you like it. I definitely love me some lists so I perhaps I should give it a try.

  3. I love the idea of just writing, to let the “flood-gates” open and see what happens. For me, I find that I still get distracted easily, checking my e-mail, facebook, Instagram, answering my phone, unloading the dishwasher…I just want to be able to focus like I used to be ´fore social media has entered our lives.

    1. You should stick your phone onto ‘do not disturb’ mode for a little while and try dedicate the time to writing without distractions. I know it’s hard but it feels really good to unplug every now and then.

  4. I love these prompts! I am a huge fan of journaling as well and have done of few of these things on my own, but I will definitely be saving this list for days when I’m stuck! This could also help with blog post ideas!

    1. Thanks Brandyn! I totally find journaling helps me come up with blog post ideas. I feel like a lot of the things I struggle with will be things others do too so that gives me a starting point to write with.

  5. Yes!! These are great prompts! It’s amazing how just flexing that “writing muscle” for a few minutes can really get you past writer’s block. I journal every day as if it were a letter to God, because I learned I can’t just sit down and write. It has to be like a “prompt.” I’ll keep these others in mind for the days that even that doesn’t get the words flowing. This is in perfect time for NaNoWriMo to start too!

    1. Yes! Journaling helps me so often with writer’s block. I love that you write letters/prayers to God. That’s really nice. I should give it a go because it would probably help me be a little better at remembering to pray!

  6. I’ll get into a journalling rut at time where I have no motivation to write whatsoever. There are all these wandering thoughts but I don’t know where to begin so these are perfect for just that. That braindump one has caught my attention! The biggest thing that I have to remember is to not judge myself and literally let it aaaaall out.
    I like using lists when I jourrnal cuz that’s how my brain thinks but I don’t think I wouldn’t go as far to call it a bullet journal.

    1. I know what you mean, I definitely get that way too sometimes. Journaling really helps me when I get writer’s block too. I become super judgey with myself too and I have to remind myself that, that’s not the purpose of journaling haha!

  7. Journaling about my goals is one of my favorite journal prompts. Another thing I do is simply ask myself “how are you today lyss?” and journal based off that!

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