For those who like to write journals but occasionally (or often) find themselves stuck for a topic, Wordsmith Deck from BestSelf Co, https://bestself.co/products/wordsmith-deck, offers a way to get out of a rut or to inspire thoughts.
The back of the box provides the following quotation from William Wordsworth: “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”
The Wordsmith Deck contains 100 prompt cards in six categories:
Life, Education & Career, Love & Relationships, Self-Reflection, Random, and World.
The best part about using the Wordsmith Deck? No rules! Writers can shuffle the cards and choose one as a starting point for a journal entry. Perhaps one day, writing about relationships is on the writer’s mind, so he/she selects a card from that category.
As the creators of Wordsmith Deck point out, the prompts are reusable! That is, a writer could write by following a given prompt one time and then still write about that same prompt another time in a different frame of mind.
Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP, wrote “The Health Benefits of Journaling” for PsychCentral.com, https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-health-benefits-of-journaling/. Purcell explains the benefits of journaling on a regular basis. She emphasizes that journaling can clarify thoughts and encourage creativity among other benefits.
Alan Henry wrote “Why You Should Keep a Journal (and How to Start Yours) for LifeHacker.com, https://lifehacker.com/why-you-should-keep-a-journal-and-how-to-start-yours-1547057185. Henry reiterates Purcell’s claims and cites university studies which promote the benefits of regular journaling habits. Henry explains that the “very act of keeping a journal can help you brainstorm.”
When I taught Comp I and II, I had a student who worked in construction while he was attending college. During one of our conversations, he told me he kept a journal. In the journal, he not only wrote about ideas that occurred to him, he also kept track of shipments of construction materials, including dates of delivery and contents as well as condition of the delivered items. The journal had saved his company money when disputes arose over delivered goods because he had a record.
Journaling should not depend upon the kind of notebook the writer uses. Often, would-be writers focus on the materials or getting the right place to write rather than simply getting to the business of writing itself. Use an inexpensive spiral notebook, a blank book from the Dollar Store, or write at the computer, but write.
Some of the prompts from Wordsmith Deck are listed below.
“Where would you most like to live? (And why aren’t you living there already?)”
“Where are you still carrying old pain? How can you let it go?”
“What conversation do you need to have today?”
“What’s the best career compliment you’ve ever received? Describe the situation.”
Try journaling for a week. Then assess the benefits you feel following that week of journaling. Don’t make the journaling a task or chore; make it a delight, something to enjoy. Don’t set the bar too high at first. Decide you will spend 10 minutes (or whatever suits your time limits) a day for a week.
Get busy journaling!