I belong to a couple of facebook groups to do with journaling, and the topics of discussion of late have been journal prompts. It seems some people really are stumped when it comes to writing in their journal. While I enjoy my 642 Things to Write About weekly exercises, I’ve never been at a loss when it comes to my journal. I just write about my day and experiences I’ve had. And it’s not like I live a James Bond, exciting kind of life. But I think it has to do with how you look at things.
When I was in university taking journalism I remember one of the professors talking about a rookie reporter for the New York Times who was assigned a story about garbage in 1951, from whatever angle he wished. It was actually a test on the part of his editor, to see what he was made of, if you will. That newbie reporter wrote not just one article but a whole series of articles on garbage, from the workers point of view, from the housewife’s point of view (this was the 50s remember), from the homeless person’s who had to live in it point of view, and even imagined points of view from birds and animals who lived on it. His series went on to win a National Newspaper Award the following year.
Now I’m not equating journaling with garbage – far from it! I’m just trying to show that the subject can be ostensibly boring but it’s what you make of it that makes it interesting. Everyone has a fascinating life. I don’t look at my life and think “how awesome!” – that would be arrogant to say the least. But I try to honour my life and the people in it by writing honestly and passionately about it, my interests and my dreams. I try to write everyday and just be as honest as I can. And if journal prompts can ignite that spark within you to write passionately, then use them!