an open journal with writing, a fountain pen, a small vase of flowers

Questions to Get Your Journal Juices Flowing

Hey there! It’s good to see you here. My name is Lizzie, and I am the redhead who is always wondering! Wondering about life, about this beautiful world, about words and light and colour and form. And mostly about how I can be the best me that I can possibly be.

I am a creator of hand bound books and of art, in the form of cyanotypes and photographs. I am also an avid journal-keeper and I’d like to share some of my journal wonderings with you today ….

How Will I Ever Find Enough to Write About?

You want to start journaling … you’ve heard so many people (including me!!) say how powerful journaling can be, but you just don’t know what to write, how to start.

You look at the blank pages and you think, “how will I ever find enough to write about?”

I get it. Even after twenty-three years of journaling damn near every day, I still get moments when I don’t know how to start my pen moving.

writing in my journal

I’ve talked before about how I start every day with affirmations. These are such a brilliant way to get you going … check out this blog Affirmations and How They Might Help to read more about that.

But sometimes, even writing my affirmations (which are currently three pretty long sentences!) doesn’t get my journaling juices flowing.

That’s when questions can be really brilliant. Asking yourself questions can be a way of diving deep into yourself. What I have found is that I will start by answering the question, then words will come, avenues of thought will open and I will go down them; memories will surface, and I will examine them; ideas will start to spark, and I will follow their light.

I’ve asked myself a gazillion questions over the two- and a-bit decades that I’ve been journaling, and I am going to share some of my favourites with you today. These are questions that I have asked myself again and again, because as you journey deeper into yourself, as you uncover more of your own truths, and start to heal those wounded parts of yourself, you will find that you have simply peeled back a layer, and there are more layers to be uncovered and revealed.

Peeling Back the Layers

This first question is all about those layers, and it is one that I know I shall revisit again and again …

What skins have you shed?

Looking at the skins we’ve shed can be such a good way to see how far we’ve come. It’s all too easy to beat ourselves up for what we’re NOT doing, but it’s harder to acknowledge all the good things we HAVE done, all the good changes we’ve made in our lives and to ourselves.

For we have all shed skins, and if we look, we can see that there are layers of self that we have peeled back, and with each of those skins we shed, we reveal a little more of the true self that has been hidden.

Here’s what can up for me, one of the times that I asked myself this question, because me? I have shed many ….

me, a long time ago
me, a long time ago
The lonely child.
The sad girl.
The downtrodden woman
The I-Am-Not-Enough woman.
The cowed woman.
The people pleaser.
The martyr.
The shamed woman.
The weak woman.
The frightened woman.
a photo of me holding a journal with piles of journals on show
This is me, now!

Those skins, those personas, don’t fit me anymore.

I will no longer be put down.

I am no longer available for any of that.

I am a strong woman, and I’m standing in the skin of my choosing.

Go Back to Your Roots

This next question asks you to look back, way back, to your childhood. I asked myself this question when I was first setting up my bookbinding business, and the answer informed a lot of the things I was writing then, about what I wanted my business to be about (nature, beauty, quietness). It’s amazing where these questions can lead you …

Can you remember a time when you were very young and felt really happy?

This is such a good question to ask yourself, particularly if you’re feel “stuck” … if you’re a creative, but you feel your creativity is blocked; or if you feel as if you want to change something about your life, but you’re not sure what or how or even why … I’m sure you know what I mean … that feeling that there’s something missing, but you don’t know what.

It can be really helpful to look back at your childhood and focus on a time when you felt really happy and think about how you might bring some of that feeling into your life now.

So, when I asked myself this in my journal, here’s what came up for me …

My earliest memory of being truly happy was when we were camping in Glen Etive. I must have been about seven years old, and we were walking up the glen, following the course of the river. 
These rivers that tumble from the Scottish hills are amazing, so clean, so cold, rushing over glacial rocks towards the lochs or the sea.
I remember lying flat on my belly on a smooth rock, with the river roaring around me, and the trees and the hills enclosing me in this secret world and being so incredibly happy that I wanted to stay there forever. (My ambition at that time was to become a hermit, and Glen Etive felt like the perfect place!).
River Etive

Years later, when I was doing the Artists Way, one of the first poems that fell out of my head was about that day by the River Etive.

Writing this reminded me of how much better I feel when I have spent time outside in nature, especially time spent beside water (rivers or the sea work wonders for my emotional well-being). It reminded that I need to make time to just be outside, with no agenda, just letting my thoughts roam free while I just breathe and allow myself time away from the demands of everyday life.

Can you remember a time from your childhood when you were really happy?

How does it make you feel to think about it now?

Is there a way you can bring that into your everyday life?

One Last Question, this time to Get You Looking Forward

My final question for you today is about looking forward, and it is a brilliant question to get you thinking about what you want. I asked it recently in my social media pages, and I love how it sparked some of my friends into thinking about their own potential ….

What would you do if your potential to succeed was infinite?

Here’s what came up for me …

one of my handmade books, showing the inside covers which are handmade of Nepalese Lokta paper in gorgeous turquoise
one of my handmade books
If there were no limitations, what might happen?
Oh, how wonderful and liberating it would be!
If I could believe wholeheartedly in my potential to succeed, I would not worry about being visible. I would not worry that I wasn’t making sales in my biz.
And here’s what I WOULD do … 
I would make art and I would make books and I would charge what they are really worth, because I would trust and know that my perfect people would buy them.
I would write books.
I would write my story and it would inspire other women.
I would try new things because I would not be afraid of failing!

What would you do? Journal it out, my dear friend, ask yourself this question and see what wonderful things you would do, if your potential to succeed was infinite?

I ask questions every week in my Instagram feed and on my Facebook page. Why not come and follow me, and see the Friday Questions that I ask?

If you’d like to know more about me, and my hand bound books, and my journaling journey, and maybe get some tips for your own journaling process, why not sign up for my Wonders out of a Redhead Newsletter. You can sign up here …

2 thoughts on “Questions to Get Your Journal Juices Flowing”

  1. Christy Johnson

    I love this. When I first started journaling, q and a and being curious about myself always helped to find more words. This reminds me that I need to get back into the habit.

    1. Ah, thank you! I have been journaling for such a long time, that I am rarely stuck for something to write, but I still like to use questions to help me dive a bit deeper.

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