Journaling prompts to be more creative and reflective

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Creative writing coach Molly Ovenden has a few prompts to boost creativity and reflection through journaling in 2023.

She says journaling helps her stay on track and focus on things that are important.

“Journaling can really offer an opportunity to consider the themes or common threads that occur in your writing and your life that you maybe wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t been journaling,” Ovenden said.

She suggests thinking about journaling through the lens of three categories.

Category 1: Seasonal or reflective journaling

“This can be really simple,” Ovenden said. “It can be in the changing of seasons in weather or changing of life seasons and having a new job or moving to a different city or even to just a different type of home.”

As she has made the transition from 2022 to 2023, she has asked herself three questions:

  1. What are you proud of?
  2. What surprised you?
  3. What will you take with you?

Category 2: Practicing gratitude and staying inspired

Ovenden uses five questions as prompts in this category, and she likes to answer them in her journal every other week.

  1. Who is in your life?
  2. What are you listening to?
  3. What are you reading?
  4. What are you eating?
  5. What are you creating?

Category 3: Observational writing

“If you simply want to introduce more creativity into your life and just open up to new opportunities in that way, this observational writing could be really helpful,” Ovenden said.

She recommends setting a timer and dedicating 5-10 minutes to this practice.

“To also just bring yourself to be present in the moment can be so freeing and so joy-bringing,” she said. “So recording what you’ve seen, what you’ve heard, what you’ve touched, what you’ve tasted, what you’ve smelled. And especially if you can bring yourself to the moment of literally writing what you’re experiencing as you’re writing in that moment. It can be really fun. You realize a lot more is going on.”

Molly Ovenden offers more creative writing prompts and coaching opportunities on her website.