Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Art of Writing in a Journal

My earliest writing memory is of keeping a journal.  My Young Women leaders encouraged us all to write and I just took to it. It has been a great stabilizer for  me over the years since then.  Many who would love to keep journals are intimidated by this idea. One day I did a class for the Young Women at Girl's Camp to pass along the same encouragement for them as was done for me. This next part is what I taught them in the class. I hope you can revitalize your writing dreams from some of these ideas.  I really like some of the prompts below as it helps me to remember things I can write about.  Happy Writing!!!

 What kinds of things might be included in your journal?
·         1. Important events, impressions, and personal feelings
·         2. Personal counsel, promises, and blessings received and the circumstances surrounding them
·         3. Deaths, births, marriages, baptisms, and endowments
·         4. Personal triumphs, failures, and struggles and how they are met
·         5. Current local, national, and world events that impress you or influence your life
·         6. Simple occurrences in daily life

     We Can Choose How to Keep Our Journals

·         1. Date each entry; the day of the week or even the time of day may be important to note.
·         2. Number the pages.
·         3. Set aside a block of time either daily or weekly to write (perhaps a Sunday afternoon).
·         4. Keep the journal nearby or take extra loose pages on trips and to special church meetings.
·         5. Use first and last names when writing about individuals.

Ideas or Prompts for writing journal entries:
1.       Write about a memory that you associate with your favorite holiday.
2.       Create a journal entry that details the one aspect of your life that you would not want to change.
3.       Write down the worst thing that can happen to you today.
4.       Create ten reasons why the worst thing may have been a blessing in disguise.
5.       Write about a difficult challenge you went through in your life.
6.       What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
7.       What is the most memorable moment from your childhood?
8.       What is your favorite love song and why?
9.       What is your most cherished possession?
10.  What is your favorite childhood memory?
11.  If you could have any care—what would it be?
12.   What is your dream job?
13.   What is your favorite music band?
14.   What person do you admire the most and why?
15.   What’s the most memorable historical event to you?
16.   If you had a million dollars—what would you do with it?
17.   What was the happiest day of your life so far?
18.   If you could write a book—what would be the title and what would it be about.
19.   If you could have any super power—what would it be?
20.   What was the last time you helped someone?  What happened?
21.   If you could be anyone in the world for one week who would it be?
22.   If you could have lunch with anyone –alive or not—who would it be?
23.  What’s your favorite meal and why?


  1. What a great idea, Valerie! I need to do so much better at journaling. As someone with a degree in history, I'm always thinking, "I wish so-and-so had kept a journal--and their sister hadn't burned it after her death . . ." :D

  2. Wonderful post! I have a blog that I use as a family journal, but I don't spend much time writing about my own personal life. I love the suggestions and ideas for writing topics and how to keep a journal. Thanks for the motivation to get me started up again. :)

  3. Thanks for the positive words!!! Journals are so helpful. When I was at BYU--(1980)a girl had taken a test at the testing center but because of a computer glitch --it was erased. She had written about it in her journal and the administration used that as evidence that she took the test. Pretty cool!!!

  4. These are awesome prompts! My journals are almost exclusively filled with challenges, so it would be a good idea to add something unrelated to my personal struggles! Maybe make them a little less depressing, lol.

  5. Curse Cassandra Austen for that one, right Ranee'? ;)

    Okay Valerie, I think your BYU story successfully proves that it pays to keep a journal.