Perhaps you are thinking of starting a journal but don’t know where to begin. The answer: anywhere! The first page, or the second page, or in the middle of your notebook. You don’t need to start a new journal or notebook. I’m sure most of you have already figured out the logistics to that.

In any case, here are some journaling prompts:

  1. Write about the food you’re eating. I’m certainly not advocating for a food log in the sense of counting calories, I’m talking more about describing the new things you’re trying out, whether you’re baking bread, instant pot-ing yoghurt, being creative with your pantry, experimenting with new recipes. What’s at the grocery store. Ideas for what to do with the six cans of coconut milk you have in your cupboard.
  2. Write about some of the things you are reading or watching. It could be as simple as a few lines about a movie, or writing about what you think of a TV show you’re watching. It might give you a bit of a break from constantly taking things in, and allow you to process a bit. I keep a reading journal normally, which I need to get back on track with.
  3. Make a list of things you are grateful for (health, books to read, hot coffee, open windows...).
  4. Make a list of things you could do in your current situation that might be nice (sitting on your balcony, dancing, reading a book, taking a bath, ordering some cupcakes). Consider setting an arbitrary number (I like 100, which seems extreme and undoable, but actually unearths quite a bit), and then allowing yourself to repeat ideas that seem nice, have crazy ideas or bad ideas or unrealistic ideas, and then looking over your list.
  5. Write about things to look forward to. Consider the starting line: “When this is all over, I’m going to...”. No one knows when things are going to “end” or, rather, how things are going to look on the other side of this, but writing about things to enjoy again can give you something to look ahead to, whether it’s walking into a library or a park picnic. And perhaps it will give you some motivation to do things you’ve been putting off, like finally going on that overnight camping trip, or picking up the supplies do that at home project.

If you’ve been thinking that I’ve been sounding a little manic and unhinged here on the blog, you should see my journal. Things are wild. But it’s always nice to get things out. Julie Cameron has a creative practice called morning pages, where you write three stream of consciousness pages every morning, to clear the cobwebs as she says. If you have the time, I totally recommend it—I wrote a blog post about it a while ago. Clearing the cobwebs, and getting your brain a bit more orderly to get things done and onto the day.

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April 19, 2020 — wonderpens



Anonymous said:

Thank you so much for writing and sharing. Morning pages also really helped me take off a bit of my self-consciousness in remembering that no one is looking, and that these pages don’t “count”—the point is just to fill them up. And you’re also so right about how the three pages do fill up, even when you don’t think they will!


Gertrude said:

I have gone back to the practice of Morning pages and am finding it quite helpful in giving me a broader focus to get me through the day. I’m a Moleskin fan and with those lovely big pages I throw on lots of stickers and washi tape for colour and fun. I usually work through the book sequentially but I absolutely love the idea of starting anywhere!


Anonymous said:

Yes, the practice of Morning Pages is so fantastic for clearing mental clutter, and getting everything out so you can see what’s important and what you’d like to focus on in the day. How fun! I love when I get a chance to use my favourite supplies, which I don’t get around to often enough. Happy writing!

Katie Maksym

Katie Maksym said:

My morning pages helped me solve problems. By writing 3 pages each morning I found by the 3rd day I knew how to resolve any issues I was dealing with. And if you think you won’t have enough to fill up 3 pages you will be
surprised that once you start writing how much you can unload. Also, remember not to hold back, no one will see what you’ve written.


Sol said:

I don’t need to start journaling (is that even a verb?). What I need is to fix my god-awful penmanship. I feel as if I’m violating the lovely Life and Rhodia notebooks I get from you. Such nice paper, and look what I do to it. With all these dreamy Noodler’s, TWSBI, and Waterman pens.

These pens and papers deserve better. Every time I look at handwriting samples on your site, I despair.

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