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Handmade New Year Journal Prompts


Photo credit: Jackee Holder 2014

How about some paper therapy to take you into the new year?

Make your own hand made journal writing prompts or inspirational writing quotes to get you started and to keep going so you won’t run out of things to write about in the new year.

You will need:

Photo credit Jackee Holder 2014

  • Pile of old magazines
  • Packet of brown or coloured luggage tags (12-24  individual tags)
  • Glue stuck and pair of scissors
  • Print off the list of writing prompts or inspirational writing quotes at the bottom of these instructions.
  • Pen if you are going to hand write the journal prompts or quotes

How it works:

  • Leaf through your magazines and tear out pages with images, pictures and words that catch your attention.
  • You might also like to tear out pages with colour as these make contrasting backdrops for some of your images.
  • Bear in mind that one side of the tag will include the words of the journal prompt or quote and the other side will focus more on the image.
  • If there are images you like photocopying the original and keeping the original as a master copy.
  • Collage your luggage tags using the images and words collected from your magazines.
  • Hand write or paste each of the writing prompts or quoted on one side of the luggage tag. Use a permanent pen or marker like a Sharpie if hand writing your prompts.
  • If you are gifting your journal prompts bundle them together with string or ribbon.
  • Alternatively place each journal prompt or quote in-between the pages of a blank journal. Keep them in an envelope or a special box.

Hope you’ve noticed these also make great personalized gift tags!

Journal Quotes

  • What I really, really want?
  • Things would have been much better had I …
  • The thing that stood out from today?
  • What I didn’t do that I could have done?
  • The feelings and emotions I am noticing …
  • If there was nothing holding me back the things I would be trying out, doing or saying would be …
  • When I was a child I dreamed of becoming a …
  • 10 things I’ve learned from my life to date?
  • The things I know I’m not writing about are …
  • What I know for sure …
  • A time in my life when I was really powerful? How could I transfer my way of being from that moment into now?
  • What advice would your inner mentor give you right now?
  • Describe your year twelve months on from today.
  • The holiest memory of your life so far? What contributed to this feeling?
  • The bravest thing you have ever done …
  • If you could go back and change one thing from your past what would it be?
  • Who made you feel good this week and why?
  • How do you feel about where you live?
  • What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  • What’s your wildest dream of achieving in this lifetime?
  • How can I bring more joy into my life?
  • What do I want more of in my life?
  • What do I want less of in my life?
  • What is my secret ambition?
  • What do I want to be remembered for at the end of my life?
  • What are my top three strengths?
  • Where do I want to be a year from now? Five years from now? Ten years from now? Twenty years from now?
  • What does my ideal living environment look like?
  • What can I do right now that would make the greatest difference in my life?
  • What am I tolerating/putting up with?
  • What childhood dreams have I been neglecting?
  • Where have I been giving my power over to others? What do I need to do in order to regain my power?

Journal Writing Inspiration Quotes

Therapeutic journal writing implies the conscious intent and deliberate attempts to write in ways, which will produce change, healing and growth.

- Kate Thompson

Ink runs in our veins and tells the world what we are like.

- Phillip Hensher

Writing remains unchanged until revisited – Gillie Bolton

By writing and honouring the contents of your journals you become the guardians, historians and creators of the self on and off the page.

- Jackee Holder

Journal writing is my new paper therapy. It is one of the most inexpensive and accessible therapies around.

- Jackee Holder

Writing changes lives and lives, are changed by writing

- Jackee Holder

Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.

- Mina Murray (Dracula)

Letters are marvelous vehicles whether they are sendable or not.

- Gillie Bolton

For nearly 30 years I’ve had the same therapist. I’ve called on my therapist at 3am, on my wedding day, on a cold and lonely Christmas, on a Bora Bora beach. I can tell the therapist absolutely anything.

- Kathleen Adams

I couldn’t trust a therapist the way I would a piece of paper. Paper’s always there to re-read or re-write. Once you’ve said something you can’t unsay it, but with a piece of writing you can. You don’t ever have to share it. You can burn it if you want.

- Kathleen Adams

“The small interior voice that keeps urging me “ Physician heal thyself” and (that) as a result (I’m) committed to this journal, this ongoing prescription for self regeneration.”

- Gillie Bolton, p39 Write Yourself (2007, p125)

A journal siphons private fears and dramas onto the page, allowing others to focus their emotional energies on the patient. Long term it provides an invaluable reminder of human resilience. – Alexandra Johnson

Trust that the bore bending your ear on the plane or the ranting taxi driver on the ride home never kept a journal. Their egotism leaks out publicly instead. You become their journal, a live blank page, held hostage in a seat. Think of journals as a safe, private way to have it siphoned of, rethought, vented

- Alexandra Johnson

Catch the censor off guard. Write at odd moments in even odder spots. This week I filled pages while waiting for gas – full tank and oil check – (cheap spiral notebook kept in my handbag); while stick on hold index cards near the phone); in a grocery line (back of bank deposit slips)

- Alexandra Johnson

Sometimes there are tears, sobbing even, but with this comes emptying. It is really all about emptying. And then renewal. This is what we miss when we don’t empty.

- Jill Longfield

The journal serves as a place to off load anxiety, a verbal repair shop when my internal writing machine breaks down.

- Sue Grafton

As I write I create myself again and again.

- Joy Harjo

Sometimes in the writing the pens leads, returning us back to the past, in order to retrieve the things we left behind often in the form of our power or to throw new light on the experience or the situation.

- Jackee Holder

In our journals we are in search of the real self – of what really moves us, what we really think, what we really feel.

- Elizabeth O’Connor

Writing by hand forces you to slow down, and slowing down acts as a kind of compass, aligning you to what’s good and real and right and true. Only when you write what’s important to you can you really get to the truest version, the best incarnation.”

- Heather Sellers

“Clearly the writing had information for me. It had something to say to me, rather than being something I had to say, which was the case for the poems I had been working on. “

- Elaine Trevitt

Had it not been for the non-judgmental, forgiving pages of the journals and notebooks that have been home to my thoughts and reflections over the last twenty or so years I doubt I would have made it this far in my life.

- Jackee Holder

As writer/artist your journal can be a daily diary of events, but it can also be your much, your seedbed, the womb of your art. It can be the safe place for writing first draft material for experimenting, for gathering and keeping impressions and information for future work.

- Pat Schneider

If you do not record your own story, your tiny bit of the history of the human race is lost.

- Pat Schneider

Writing heals the writer and when it is brave and true it may heal the reader.

- Pat Schneider

The deeper benefits of keeping a journal is that it offers a way to be consistently aware or mindful. As Katherine Mansfield noted, her journal became a way to lose all that is superficial and acquired in me and to become a conscious, direct human being.

- Alexandra Johnson

When I look back in those journals now, I see clearly that nothing is lost. I am using words and images from those journals in my current writings.

- Sark

Download the journal prompts and quotes here


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