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Journal Prompts for Writers to Beat Writer’s Block

journal prompts for writers

Do you have writer’s block? Do you want to write, but that dreaded white page stares back at you? Journal prompts for writers can help beat writer’s block. 

Writers block, white page, pages crumbled in a ball

When I was a kid, I loved to journal. I had an expansive imagination and loved to write stories. As an adult, I often draw on the things I wrote as a child for inspiration in my writing. Whether you are writing fiction short stories or fact-based articles, having a human element to your writing will engage your readers. 

These journal prompts for writers are specifically tailored to nurture your imagination and keep all your ideas in one place. Whenever you have writer’s block, you’ll have your arsenal ready to work for you. 

What is Writer’s Block? 

The dreaded writer’s block hits seasoned, and newbie writer’s alike. Simply put, it’s a condition where a writer cannot think of what to write. This leads to staring at an empty page, followed by lots of procrastination (usually Netflix binges!) followed by some more procrastination. 

Vintage inscription made by old typewriter, HELP!

It’s not a fun place to be when you want to write and can’t come up with a single idea. It’s even worse when this happens with a deadline looming.

Mentally, writer’s block is draining. You question why you even chose to write in the first place. You start to second guess your choices overall, which can lead to a harmful path for writers. If writer’s block goes unchecked, it could lead to abandoning projects and writing altogether. 

The Benefits of Journaling for Writers

You write for a living, or you write because you’re passionate about it. Why do you need to add journaling to the mix? 

Journaling is a great tool to cultivate your writing skills. This is for your eyes only. There are many benefits of journaling for writers: 

  1. Journaling engages you to write without constraints. 
  2. It helps you plan and track your progress. 
  3. Brain Dump” journaling can help you focus as you get your ideas together. 

Now that you have the why let’s look at some prompts to help you slay writer’s block. 

Journal Prompts for Writers

Journal Writing Prompts for Plot Development

journal writing prompts for plot development

  1. Describe a dramatic event that happened recently with your friends/family.
  2. Take the plot of your favorite movie and change it, so it takes place underwater. 
  3. Write a story where a disabled man attempts to rob an older woman.
  4. Take your favorite book and movie and create a plot mashup between the two. 
  5. Write what happens when a kid’s first day of school is interrupted by an earthquake.
  6. Create a story based on a trending topic on Twitter. 
  7. Take two news headlines and write a story.
  8. A character from your favorite childhood movie is drafted to war with another planet. 
  9. Describe the craziest event of your life and replace yourself with a scientist. 
  10. What happens when an unscrupulous teen falls for her wealthy boss?

Journal Writing Prompts for Character Development

journal prompts for character development, different types of characters

  1. Describe someone who you met this week. 
  2. What is your impression of your neighbor?
  3. What mannerisms do you hate about a friend?
  4. What hobbies that someone in your life is doing are you jealous of?
  5. What is the strangest profession you can think of?
  6. What are some tics your family has?
  7. Who is the funniest person you know?
  8. What is the most traumatic thing to happen to someone?
  9. Who is your best friend envious of?
  10. Describe a friend or family member who is held back by their personality. 

Journal Writing Prompts for Setting

beautiful beach setting, colorful sunset

  1. Describe a small town that aliens are buying. 
  2. Where would an undercover botanist go to let loose?
  3. What does a war-torn galaxy look like?
  4. Write about an overpopulated prison. 
  5. Describe an apartment complex that is out of place in a wealthy suburb. 
  6. Where do the homeless live on Mars? 
  7. The first place a wife goes after seeing her husband kiss a goat. 
  8. Where does one hold a wedding between two rival intergalactic nations? 
  9. What’s the backdrop for an epic love story? 
  10. Describe a coastal community after the ocean dries up. 

Journal Writing Prompts for Dialogue

two people talking with a dialogue bubble

Write dialogue based on the following scenes: 

  1. A husband and wife discover one has been lying about their family. 
  2. A concerned parent reprimands a teacher for being an internet-famous social media influencer.
  3. A lonely man talks to his fish as if it was his dead daughter. 
  4. Two siblings get stranded after their car battery dies. 
  5. An estranged daughter gives the eulogy at her mother’s funeral. 
  6. An elderly couple fights: the wife is hysterical, and the husband is overcome with laughter. 
  7. A bridesmaid tells the groom the bride is missing. 
  8. An astrologer shares a bench with a 
  9. A group of co-workers on a train ride to their CEO’s baby shower. 
  10. A parent calls their child after committing a crime. 

How to Use Journal Prompts 

The best way to maximize writing efficiency is to use these prompts daily.  There are two reasons for this. 

  1. When you practice an activity daily, you automatically get better at it. 
  2. You create discipline through consistent habits. 

Try using these journal prompts for writers first in the morning or at night before you go to sleep. You can write freely without limitations or give yourself a time limit for an added challenge. For example, try giving yourself 10 minutes one day and 5 minutes the next. You can play around with what works with your needs. 

You also want to stop yourself from editing your work. Journaling is freeform writing. Don’t get bogged down if sentences are run on or there are grammatical errors. This is not the time to judge your work. 

Text written with a vintage typewriter - That's my story

There are no rules to journaling. It’s a very individual practice. If you’re new to journaling, with time, you will figure out your comfort level. Tailor these prompts to help you with your writing journey. Let your mind take you wherever it wants to go. Don’t stifle any creativity that pours out during this process. 

And lastly, enjoy the process!

Did you like these journal prompts for writers and want to use more prompts? Check out Journal Prompts for Success.