Writing Prompts for Journalers of All Ages, Choose Your Favorite Topic from our list of 110 Ideas
Journaling is such a versatile activity—a way to unwind and relax, a way to reflect and work out your thoughts, or simply a way to practice your writing skills. Best of all, it’s an accessible and rewarding hobby for people of all ages. All you need to begin is a few spare minutes and something to write with.
Feeling like you don’t have anything to say? We recommend using writing prompts for inspiration! You can easily find writing prompts for all occasions online, with thousands of options available right here on JournalBuddies.com.
To help you get started, we’ve created this fresh list of 110 writing prompts for journalers of all ages. These prompts span a variety of topics, from silly ways to stretch your creativity to reflective prompts that will help you make sense of your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Writing Prompts for Daydreamers
- Imagine that you are granted the power to do one thing of your choosing perfectly on the first try, every time you try it. What thing do you choose? How does this newfound ability impact your life?
- Think about something in the world that no one can explain—and then write your own fictional story to explain it.
- Imagine you are a spy on a secret mission. What cover do you use? What is the goal of your mission?
- What would you do if you woke up one day and you were suddenly 10 years younger or older? How would you feel?
- If you could live any one day or experience from your life over again, what would it be? Would you change anything about it or would you want to relive it the exact same way?
- Imagine that you wake up one day and a daydream of yours has come true overnight. How do you feel? What do you do first?
- Think about a beloved family item that has been passed down from one generation to the next—and then imagine what happens when you receive it one day and discover its magical properties.
- Imagine that you go to the zoo one day and realize that you can communicate with the animals. How do you use this newfound ability?
- Imagine that you discover evidence that aliens exist—but no one believes you! What do you do?
- If you could build a device to solve one problem in your life, what would it be—and how would it improve your life?
- If you got to take one trip through time, would you choose to go to the past and meet your ancestors or go to the future to meet your descendants? Why?
Writing Prompts for Tough Days
- Make a list of everything you accomplished today (no matter how small it was!). Then, set a goal of one small thing you’d like to do tomorrow.
- Write about a time when you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. What put you in a bad mood? How did it affect the rest of your day?
- Write about a time when you were frustrated with your inability to do or say something important. How did you feel? How did you talk to yourself about the situation? What was the final outcome?
- What is your favorite form of self-care? When did you last practice it? Did it help you feel better?
- What is the greatest challenge in your life right now? Why is it hard for you? Are there any ways in which it is rewarding?
- Write about something that has a negative influence on your mental health—and then consider whether you could modify it or remove it from your life.
- Who is someone you have a hard time getting along with? Why do you think your relationship with this person is so difficult?
- Write about something that happened to you that you are struggling to move past. How does it trouble you?
- Have you ever experienced jealousy toward someone else? What were you jealous about—and did you ever get over it?
- How often do you have hard days? Are there any ways you can make them happen less frequently?
- Do you feel like you have people to talk to when you are going through a hard time? Why or why not?
Getting to Know Yourself Prompts
- Try making a list of 100 things you love. Be as creative and specific as possible!
- What is your favorite thing about yourself? Do you often share that quality with others?
- Write about a time when you did something you didn’t think you could do. How did you feel afterward? Did that encourage you to try anything else in the future?
- Think about the friends and family members you are closest with. What are some things these people have in common? Do these qualities influence your relationships?
- What is something that scares you? What would you do if you had to face it head-on?
- Do you consider yourself to be healthy emotionally and physically? Why or why not?
- What are you good at? Choose one thing and write about it in-depth or make a long list of all the things you do well (or do both!).
- If you could change one thing about your daily life, what would it be? What would you do instead?
- Write about a time when you were surprised by your own reaction to something. How did you react—and how did it differ from what you’d expected?
- When do you feel most confident in your own skin? What makes you feel that way?
- Write about what you like to do when you are feeling down.
Writing Prompts for Stretching the Imagination
- Imagine that you are making a collage or mosaic of your life. What memories, people, and places are included?
- If you were able to fly, where would you fly first? What do you think it would feel like to be up so high in the air?
- Choose a few favorite song lyrics—and then write a story in which one of the characters says those words to someone else.
- Think about a difficult situation in your life and then imagine you could ask your younger self for advice. What do you think Past You would say?
- If you could live on a paradise beach or in a big city, which would you choose? How would your life be different in each setting?
- Think of your favorite humorous scene from a movie, TV show, or advertisement—and then write about what happens next.
- If you could say any one thing to the world (and know that people would listen), what would you say? What would happen next?
- Make an alphabetical list of things you’d like to try someday. Try to include one item for every letter!
- How would your life be different if you were the size of a mouse? Describe what parts of your daily routine would have to change.
- Think of your favorite book character, your favorite movie character, and your favorite television character. Then, write a story in which all three of them go on an adventure together.
- Imagine that you have an “undo” or a “rewind” button for your life. How would you use it?
Writing Prompts for Practicing Empathy
- Describe a fight that you recently had with someone in your life. Then, describe it again as if you were speaking from the other person’s point of view.
- Sit outside and look around at the strangers you see walking and driving by. Choose one person and write a fictional story about what his or her life is like.
- Choose one career path: teacher, police officer, grocery store clerk, or event planner—and write about the challenges you might face in this role each day.
- Write about a time when someone said something hurtful to you. What do you think prompted the other person to say that?
- Think about someone you dislike. What are some qualities that their friends might find appealing in them?
- Write about the experience of going to the zoo from the perspective of the animals.
- Have you ever had a bad day and taken it out on someone else? Think about the last time someone was rude to you and make a list of things that might have been going on in his or her life that day.
- Do you ever struggle to feel or show empathy for others? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when two people you cared about were fighting or didn’t get along. How did you feel being stuck in the middle?
- Think about the three most important people in your life. Do you think they know how much they matter to you? If so, how? If not, how can you show them?
- Write about something that you wish other people knew about you—and how their perceptions of you might change if they understood it.
Writing Prompts for Writing Practice
- Write a short story about a fictional character who breaks down in tears on a crowded public street. What happened to him or her? How do others respond to the character?
- Write a poem about your favorite hobby. Try to use some form of vivid imagery to convey what you love about it.
- Write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a long time.
- Write a personal essay about a time in your life when you failed at something.
- Write a short story about a weekend vacation that doesn’t go as planned.
- Write a sensory poem about your favorite meal. Describe the taste, smell, and look of the food in detail.
- Choose a work of art (a painting, photograph, TV show, song, etc.) and write a poem about it.
- Think about an issue you feel strongly about and write a letter to someone who disagrees with you.
- Write a poem about your childhood bedroom. Describe what it looked like and how it made you feel.
- Write a short story about a character who has a big secret.
- Write a personal essay about the best feeling in the world.
Exploring Your Emotions Prompts
- Write about a time when you felt at peace with yourself. Do you consider that a feeling to strive for or is it your default state?
- Write about a time when you had to grieve a person, a dream, or an expectation. What were some of the things you felt? Did anything help you move forward?
- Write about a time when you weren’t sure what you felt—and what you did to get clarity on the situation.
- Write about a time when you felt overwhelmed. How did your own expectations of yourself contribute to the problem?
- Write about a time when doing something for another person gave you a good feeling. How would you describe that feeling—was it pride? Happiness? Fulfillment?
- Write about a time when someone truly surprised you. How did you react? Do you think you ever surprise other people in the same way?
- Write about a time when you felt giddy, joyous, or celebratory. What made you feel so light and carefree that day?
- Write about a time when you were afraid to try something new—and how you managed to do it anyway.
- Write about a time when you were disappointed and felt like someone else let you down. What is one thing you could have done to improve the situation for yourself?
- Write about a time when you felt confident and prepared for a challenge you had to face.
- Write about a time when you were angry—and what you did with that energy. Did you dwell on it? Express it to someone? Use it to motivate yourself? Describe what happened.
Writing Prompts for Opening Up to Others
- Who is the first person you call when you have big news? Why do you reach out to him or her first?
- If you could make your parents understand one thing about you that has never made sense to them, what would it be?
- Write about something that you’ve wanted to say to someone in your life (but haven’t been able to say). Try to get all your feelings out on the page.
- Do you consider yourself to be approachable? Why or why not?
- Write about a time when you had a memorable interaction with a total stranger.
- Are there people in your life whom you love, but don’t trust enough to share your feelings with? Why or why not?
- Do you know the people in your neighborhood or community very well? What could you do to get to know them better?
- Write about a time when you told someone something personal about yourself—and then later wished you hadn’t.
- Do you find it easy to share your feelings with others? Why or why not?
- How do you feel when you make a true connection with someone?
- Write about a time when someone shared something with you (such as a book or television recommendation) that you truly enjoyed. How did that make you feel?
Writing Prompts for Looking Toward the Future
- Make a list of questions that you would like to have answered in the future. Then, think about what you might be able to do to find some of the answers.
- How do you think the world will change in the next 30 years? What kind of impact will those changes have on society?
- What aspect of your future do you worry about the most? Why?
- Picture your life in 10 years. What do you hope to be doing? How will you know if you’ve achieved success?
- What part of the future are you most excited to see?
- Think about a goal you have. What can you do now to work toward it? What additional resources could you use to further your progress?
- What is your most important goal for the future? Why does it matter more than all your other goals? Are you working harder toward achieving it?
- How do you think your life would be different if you had the ability to see the future?
- What type of legacy do you wish to leave behind? How do you want people to remember you?
- Write about some of the ways you imagine your kids’ and grandkids’ lives may be different by virtue of living in the future.
- Take an inventory of your life by breaking things down into sections (work, school, relationships, health, hobbies, etc.) and evaluate what is working well and what isn’t. Then, brainstorm ways you could improve each area of your life moving forward.
Reflecting on Your Past Prompts
- What was the best day of your life? Did you know it was the best day when it happened? Do you think you’ll ever top it in the future?
- Write about one of your scars—either a physical or an emotional one.
- What memory from your childhood stands out most clearly in your mind? Why do you think this particular memory is so distinctive?
- Write about a time when you made an important promise to someone.
- Think about one key event that happened in your life—and then imagine it turned out completely different. What type of impact would that have had on your life?
- Write about a person who played a small role in your life but had a large impact.
- What (or who) was your first true love? Write about what it was like to love something or someone for the first time.
- How did the city where you grew up affect the person you are today?
- Write about a defining moment in your life—an experience that changed everything that came after.
- What have you wanted to hear or feel your whole life? Write about the words or feeling you’ve been striving for and how it has impacted your choices.
- Write about a piece of advice you followed or a principle you’ve lived your life by—and how that has affected where you’ve ended up.
These writing prompts for all ages are great for students and adult writers alike—and with so many to choose from, you’ll have journaling inspiration for months to come!
Until next time, write on…
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