100 Journaling Questions and Prompts to Spark Your Creativity

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In the midst of our busy lives, it can be easy to lose touch with our creativity. Fortunately, journaling questions and prompts are a great way to reignite our childlike imagination and unlock all the creative potential inside of us.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your new artistic project, trying to solve a complex problem at work, or simply bring more creativity into your life, here is the truth:

The answer is probably already somewhere inside you.

Journaling can be extremely effective to help you fish out all those creative ideas from your subconscious mind—all you have to do is ask the right questions and use the right prompts.

How to Use Journaling Questions Effectively

There is a journaling practice that I use every single day and which has completely changed the way I think and create.

It’s very simple: every evening, I write down my most important question of the day. Then I let it go, allowing my subconscious mind to relax as I sleep on it.

Then, first thing in the morning, when the brain is at its most creative, I write down the answer. This practice has allowed me to come up with some of my best ideas and solve some of my most challenging problems.

You can use your journal as a cue to give you the answers you need in your life by asking it the right questions in certain key moments, such as:

  • Just before starting a new creative project
  • As a part of your weekly or monthly review
  • When you’re too deep into a problem and need perspective to find a solution
  • When you’re facing a creative block
  • When you’re unsure about your next steps in life
  • In the morning or in the evening as a part of your daily journaling reflection

In this article, I will share with you a list of journaling questions and prompts that will help you tap into your creativity in all sorts of different ways—just choose the ones that feel right for you!

[See some deep questions to get to know people better!]

The Ultimate List of Journaling Questions and Prompts

Journaling prompts and questions to unlock fresh ideas

  • What is your favorite work of art, and why do you love it?
  • Think of a dream you had recently, and write or draw something inspired by it.
  • Choose three random words from a book or dictionary and write a flash fiction that includes all of them.
  • Start writing whatever comes to your mind and don’t stop until you reach the end of the page.
  • Without thinking too much, answer the following question: What is the most present thought on my mind right now, and what does it mean?
  • Write a letter to a childhood friend.
  • Sit in a coffee place with your journal open and write down interesting snippets from other people’s conversations.

Creative lists for your bullet journal

  • 10 things about myself I never told anyone.
  • 10 things I would like to do before this year ends.
  • The 10 things I love the most about my life.
  • 10 titles of books I could write.
  • 10 things I would love to say yes to.
  • 10 new things I learned this week.
  • The 10 biggest gifts I have to offer to the world.
  • My 10 happiest memories.
  • 10 ways in which I have helped others in the past.
  • The 10 most beautiful things I have ever seen.

Journaling questions and prompts to uplift you with inspiration

Journaling questions and prompts for when you're facing a tough challenge

  • What solution have I not tried yet, no matter how ridiculous it may sound?
  • Mindmap the problem at hand.
  • What am I avoiding to ask just because the answer might be painful?
  • What would [person you admire] do?
  • What angle am I not currently seeing?
  • How can I gamify this problem so it becomes fun instead of challenging?
  • Take a break and go for a walk, and then come back and brainstorm the problem with fresh eyes.
  • What is my current bottleneck, and how can I fix it?
  • What would the ideal solution look like?
  • Impersonate two conflicting parts of your personality (eg. The Perfectionist vs The Free Spirit) and write a dialogue where they discuss a solution.
  • What emotions is this situation triggering for me?
  • What negative thought patterns am I getting caught up in?
  • What is the opportunity the universe is giving me by presenting me with this situation?

Succeeded in facing a tough challenge? Here are 120 gratitude journaling prompts to spark your imagination.

3 words to describe…

  • Your current mood.
  • Your current project of passion.
  • The last book you read.
  • How you feel about the world right now.
  • How you would like the world to be like.
  • How you feel about your most intimate relationship.
  • How you deal with difficulties in life.
  • Your core values.
  • How other people see you.
  • How you see yourself.
  • Who you would like to become.

Journaling prompts to shift your perspective

  • What would I do if I knew I only had one hour left to live?
  • What would I do if I were alone in the world for 24 hours?
  • What would I do if money was no object?
  • If I could be anyone else in the world for a day, who would I be?
  • If I could talk to my future self, what would I say?
  • If I would be my own loving parent, what would I do for myself today?
  • Write a love letter to someone you dislike, or who has treated you bad in the past, where you express your forgiveness.
  • Write about how it feels to do something for the first time (eg. play in the snow, see the ocean, fall in love, etc.)

Journaling prompts to engage your senses

  • Make a drawing with your left hand or with your eyes closed.
  • Rip out a page from your journal, fold it several times in different directions, and then write or draw something taking advantage of the different folds and layers to gradually unravel your creation.
  • Make a collage with pictures from magazines or natural objects such as dried leaves and flowers.
  • Close your eyes and tune in to what you feel, then draw it in your journal without lifting the pen from the page.
  • Explore your fear: describe the scariest thing you can possibly imagine.
  • Draw something using an unusual drawing material (such as coffee, ashes, or candle wax).
  • Put on some music and draw as if your hand was dancing to it.
  • Paste in pictures from a recent event or trip and write a caption for each of them.
  • Draw something that’s in your house but that you’ve never paid close attention to until now.

Write a fake letter to…

  • Your parents, telling them what you never had the courage to say.
  • The beautiful stranger you saw on the bus or subway.
  • Your child (if you have one), telling them about their childhood years.
  • An alien, explaining life on Earth and human behavior.
  • Your best friend from childhood, telling them the story of how you came to be who you are today.
  • Someone or something you never had the chance to say goodbye to.
  • Someone to read at your funeral as your last words.
  • Your community, town, tribe, or audience as if you were giving a speech about something you’re passionate about.
  • God, if you believe in one.

Journaling questions and prompts for tapping into your deeper wisdom

  • If my life was a book, what would be the chapters?
  • What do I want my epitaph to be?
  • What is my deepest fear?
  • What question would I most like to know the answer to?
  • What would the complete opposite of me look like?
  • If I could have something written on a huge billboard over the city where I live, what would it be?
  • What is the most important thing I’ve ever learned?
  • Create a vision board.
  • Write down your personal mission statement.
  • What would change about my life if I loved myself unconditionally?
  • What’s a dream I've always had since childhood?

Journaling prompts and questions for reviewing and optimizing your creative work

  • What is currently holding me back from creating my best work?
  • Create a morning routine chart.
  • What have I accomplished this past week, and what could I improve to make the next one even better?
  • What are my creative strengths?
  • If I could master any skill, what would I choose?
  • Where and how do I get my best ideas?
  • Start a Bullet Journal.
  • Do a brain dump of all the ideas and to-dos stored inside your head.
  • Create a list of things you can give or throw away of to declutter your office and create more space.
  • What are the activities that spark my creativity, and how can I make them more frequent in my life?
  • How can I include more collaboration into my creative routine?
  • Describe what a perfect day would look like to you: what would you do and when, who would you be with, what would you eat, etc.

Final Thoughts on Journaling Questions and Prompts

Building a journaling habit has many benefits, and getting your creative juices flowing is just one of them.

Getting unstuck and coming up with new ideas can be just one journaling prompt away. Whenever you need a boost of inspiration, simply pick one of the questions or prompts above and allow yourself to explore the hidden corners of your mind—who knows what treasures you might find!

Now, if you're ready to get started in journaling, these resources might help:

Finally, if you don’t know the “right” way to journal, then check out this seven-step process for building a journaling habit that sticks.

About the Author: Silvia Bastos shares journaling tips and exercises at JournalSmarter.com. As a writer, a coach, and an artist, she helps people around the world become happier, healthier, more successful, and improve their relationships with themselves and with others.

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