As writers, we all struggle with coming up with new ideas and new methods of sharing them. It may be tempting to either give up entirely or wait until you feel inspired. However, if you’re tired of being paralyzed by your fears and just being mediocre, you shouldn’t allow yourself to do either of those things because it’s vital for you to feel discomfort in order to grow, or you’ll never get anywhere. You don’t necessarily have to create all the time, but if you would love to create more and you hate feeling stuck, it’s time for some serious self-evaluation.
Here are some journaling prompts that can help you be more conscious of all the things that are holding you in place:
1. Take a look what you do in a typical day. What’s working and what isn’t? What are some habits you’d like to start incorporating and what are some habits you’d like to eliminate?
2. What are some major events from your past that still make you angry, sad, and fearful today? How are they affecting your ability to create genuine content?
3. Identify ten people you look up to the most. Answer honestly: are you trying too hard to be like them and not allowing yourself to be as you are? If so, why? And what can you do to channel your inner voice into your work more?
4. Do you read a lot of success stories? If so, how do they make you feel? Do they inspire you to create or make you feel bad about yourself?
5. What compels you to create and what is your purpose?
6. What kinds of expectations are holding you back from creating what you actually want to create? What makes you hold onto these expectations? What makes it hard to let go of everything you expect from life?
7. What do you love best about your art form? What do you hate the most?
8. How do experts and successful people make you feel? Why do you keep consuming their content if they don’t make you feel like you’re good enough?
9. In what ways are you resisting change? What are you spending too much time thinking about that prevents you from taking action?
10. What is your stance on passion? Do you think passion is unsustainable and childish? Or do you think passion is essential for doing work that is meaningful? What shapes your views on passion?
11. List all the reasons why you keep beating yourself up for not doing enough?
12. Make a bucket list with all the things you want to accomplish over the next six months. Next to each item, list every single motivation behind it without filtering yourself (it helps to be brutally honest, even when it makes you embarrassed and uncomfortable).
13. Do you want to be remembered? If so, in what way?
14. Design your ideal day. If you’ve already done so in the past, are you doing everything you want in a day? What causes you to “not have enough time” and why?
15. Make a list of 50 things you’d like to change about your life and yourself.
16. Now, make a list of 50 things you hate about your life and yourself.
17. What are your honest thoughts on writer’s block and do you honestly think frequent writer’s blocks disqualify you from being a writer?
18. Is your current life situation conducive to creativity? If so, why? If so, why not? Can you do anything (no matter how small) to change it?
19. What are the core reasons why you feel stuck so often?
20. What are some deep, dark fears that keep forming a large mental block in your mind? How can you break them?
21. What kind of content would you like to see that you don’t read about very much? What else can you add, even when the content market is oversaturated?
22. Make a list of headlines and/or topics that you can realistically write about within a week. Next, put it on your calendar and schedule a good time to finish each of these.
23. What kinds of writing would you like to experiment with? What are your thoughts on “personal branding” and do you think you need to stick to one or two niches? Why or why not?
24. Besides writing, what else are you good at and what else do you enjoy? Think of some creative ways you can combine your love for writing and your love for some other type of work. (This can be helpful when you don’t know what makes you stand out yet).
25. What are your thoughts on innate talent, hard work, quantity vs. quality, and likability? How do they affect your views on success? Where are you excelling and where are you falling short?