Monday, April 10, 2017

J is for Journaling Jar – Make a Journaling Jar and Always Have Something to Write About

There are tons of benefits to journaling.  It can help you perceive and manage you emotions improve health through decreasing the effects of stress.  Creativity is often sparked through journaling and recording goals makes you more likely to achieve them. Journaling can even improve IQ through the exploration of language and building your vocabulary. Yet many people who consider journaling hesitate to take it up due to fear they won’t know what to write about. 

Creating a journaling jar and keeping it filled with ideas is a great way to ensure you will always have something to write about.  Find or make a beautiful jar.  You may have a canning jar, a mason jar, or another type of attractive jar around the house you can use.  If not, try craft shops, antique stores or online sites to find a jar you love.  You can also take an ordinary jar and decorate it with decopage, cover in sheet music or book pages, create a stain glass effect with clear paints, or try distressing it  Here are some ideas for decorating your jar 

I have included some prompts below to get you started as well as ideas for coming up with more.  
  • Print out the prompts then cut each into a separate slip of paper. Place the slips of paper in the jar. Add other objects, pictures, photos or things you find that make you think, lead to different emotions or remind you of something.
  • Reach into your jar each day as you prepare to write in your journal and take out one of the prompts.
  • Some people find the necessity of wring for a short period of time with no preparation freeing.  Try telling yourself it doesn’t matter what you write all that matters is to keep going. Don’t look at your prompt until you set the timer.
  • Some people have a hard time writing without any thought.  You can take five minutes (set the timer) to think about what you want to write about.  Then set it again for the amount of time you intend to write.
  • Set your timer for at least 10 minutes.  You can set it for longer depending on how much time you have and the ease with which you write. 
  • Write anything that comes to mind as you read the prompt and elaborate on each point as much as you can.  Some days you might have an idea for a piece of fiction, prose or a poem.  Don’t restrict yourself to the form in which you express yourself.  Journaling is about the freedom to voice your inner thoughts and feelings in whatever way you choose.
  • Do the best you can to continue writing until the timer goes off.
  • If you are in the “zone” and your writing is going well when the timer goes off, you don’t have to stop.  Continue writing until you come to a natural ending place

Starter Ideas for Your Jar


  • What scares you? Is there a reason? When have you been scared?
  • Do you have a plan? Do you need a plan? Have you had a plan fall spectacularly to pieces?
  • What is your take on soul mates?
  • Are you a worrier? Is there a particular worry that you can’t shake? How do you cope with worry?
  • Dear Past Me . . .
  • Dear Future Me . . .

Lists – Elaborate on Each Item Using Where, What, Why, When and How

  • Places you’ve enjoyed visiting.
  • Places you’ve always wanted to visit.
  • Things you’ve done that you previously thought you could never do.
  • The people you most admire.
  • Your favorite books.
  • Your favorite movies.
  • Your favorite songs.
  • Your top five short term goals.
  • Your top five long term goals.
  • People who have influenced you the most.
  • Your favorite holidays.
  • Your favorite foods
  • Your favorite hobbies or activities
  • Your favorite sports
  • Your favorite bands.
  • Your most treasured memories.


  • Nobody knows that I . . .
  • Dear ____, it weighs on me that I never told you . . .
  • The biggest lie I’ve ever told is . . .
  • I feel guilty about. . .
  • I want to be forgiven for . . .
  • The worst thing I’ve ever done is. . .
  • My most secret desire is . . .
  • The most outrageous thing I’ve ever done is . . .

Ideas for Creating Your Own Prompts

  • Favorite quotes or passages from your reading
  • Lyrics to songs
  • Images from magazines (Paste on index cards and cut to size)
  • Expressions – cut out pictures of people with different expressions
  • Colors – use art magazines to cut out colors.  You can also search pinterest by color for some intriguing options
  • Things you hear as you go about your day that sparked a thought or emotion
  • Personal photos or parts of letters
  • Found items around the house
  • Matchbook
  • Unusual website names
These are just ideas to get you started.  Anything can serve as a prompt.  Collect things that can serve as ideas from places you visit regularly or special places you go to once.  As you add more ideas and items, you jar will become a valuable wellspring for any kind of writing you choose to do in your journal.

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