There’s nothing more annoying than to decide you’re going to journal everyday and then to find yourself sitting in front of an empty page waiting for inspiration to strike. With a hammer.
Since I wrote “Your first step to being a renaissance (wo)man”, many of you have started journaling so I’m posting 13 more prompts — in addition to the 21 prompts mentioned previously to help you discover yourself through writing. Can you guess why I selected the number 13? (Mentioned in the previous post)
If you’re one of those competitive school geeks, give yourself 2 points for each prompt completed and write down how many points you’ve garnered in the comments’ section.
1. Stick a photograph of yourself in your natural habitat. There’s an interesting story behind this prompt. I have a friend who was showing me their personal pictures and when we came across one with them in bed looking rumpled, my comment was, “Look at you in your natural habitat.” The response? “You’re not the first one to make that comment.” So what does your natural habitat look like? Is it hunched over a book in the library? Or with your legs crossed at the knees in a coffee shop? Take a photo, stick it in and write about it.
2. Write a fictional adventure story where you’re the hero and your best friend is the villain. This might sound strange as it would make more sense if you portray someone you dislike in real life as the villain. However, they always say the best villains are those that readers can connect to, and you’re more likely to bring out the positive traits of your friends than your enemies. Change the names, add a conflict, and voila, you’ve got yourself a story.
3. Write down your favorite quote (in calligraphy for 1 bonus point). Now write why it’s your favorite quote and was there any situation where you did something — or didn’t — because you remembered that quote.
4. Imagine you’re upset and crying over the washroom sink. Who’s the one person you would call to help you feel better? Now call them to say hello and write about that conversation in your journal.
5. Write about what you wanted to do as a kid. Are you still following that dream or are you doing something else? Is there a common aspect about the two things? Draw a venn diagram for 1 extra point.
6. Let’s say somebody called you up and said they’ll take you to an all expense paid trip to any city in the world. Where would you go? Write down the places in that city you would visit. Find those locations on Google Streetview and describe them in details. Write down the foods you would order. Finally how does this exercise make you feel? Extra 2 points for photoshopping yourself into that location and sticking it in your journal.
7. Write about an incident that really hurt you. Now tear the paper from your journal making sure the tear is obvious. Now, draw an arrow sign pointing to the tear, and write something like, “The pain was here. Now it’s gone.”
8. Desert walk. Write about the first thing that came to mind when you read those two words.
9. Write about something you really wanted a couple of years back that you don’t want anymore. What changed your mind about it?
10. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Do you even care if that tree made a sound or not? What kind of person do you think came up with that question? Write about their childhood.
11. Write about something that really annoys you about yourself/your job/the people around you. Write ten ideas on how to deal with it. Now close your journal and execute those ideas.
12. If January 2016 was a chapter, what would the title of that chapter be? And why? What about February 2016?
13. Read something on the news and do something about it. A long time ago, before radio waves and the internet, people used to do something about the news they heard because they were within its geographic vicinity. They’d hear that a neighbor’s house caught fire and would come together to donate things to them. However, nowadays we’ve become so desensitized with what’s happening because the news is no longer local. Not only are we geographically removed from the people these news happen to, but we’re also emotionally disengaged unless the news is really big and heart-breaking. Since we’re slowly moving towards a small-village kind of world with social media, it’s about time we start caring again, because part of being human is understanding that we influence one another simply by existing. Think about Newton’s law of universal gravitation which states that any two bodies in the universe attract each other with a force directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. So do something about whatever news you’re reading. Especially the smaller pieces of news. Write an email to the writer to ask more questions about an article. Write an email to a featured hero to thank them for whatever they did. Donate for a cause you’ve just read about. Don’t just sit there. Do something. And then write about it in your journal.
So how much did you score in this journaling exercise? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with your progress.
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