They can be written by hand, or typed on a computer. You might keep yours private, or share it with the world. Some call them diaries; others prefer the word journal; and online afficionados often call them blogs (which evolved as a concatenation of the phrase "Web log.") Finding your voice through journal writing is a skill that improves with practice. Learn how to start with today's site selections.
Delivering on the promise of their title, Creative Writing Prompts serves fresh ideas to get your pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard. "Write a story about an empty glass." "Begin a story with the line, 'The clock winked.'" In addition to the nearly daily online prompts (which are archived back to June), the site offers a free download of Write Sparks! Lite, a Windows program that delivers writing prompts right from your desktop.
"Would you like to be famous?" "What would you do if you found a magic wand?" Written specifically for Canadian elementary teachers, but appropriate for a much wider audience, this long list of more than two hundred writing prompts is enough to keep anyone writing for years. The prompts are organized into questions that ask "Who, what, where, and when?" as well as "I wish," "Describe" and "Miscellaneous."
Personal Journaling is a bimonthly print magazine that publishes some, but not all, of their articles online. August's online features focus on using your journal to overcome personal obstacles, and facing the scariest page of all: the blank first page of a new journal. To read previous issues, visit Archives in the upper right-hand menu. More WritersDigest.com tips and articles can be found in Personal Writing, accessible from the purple horizontal menu across the top of the page.
Start your journey with the free online workshop that explores journal writing techniques such as dialog (between yourself and your other self), timed writing (limiting yourself to a predetermined number of minutes), and the unsent letter (get it out of your system without involving the recipient.) For classroom use, the workshop exercises are also available in printable PDF (see Goodies.) Although the website is no longer updated, and they no longer publish a regular email newsletter, Writing the Journey is still worth a visit.