Journal Writing Prompts to Capture Your History

Using writing prompts while journaling can give us focus and purpose. A series of writing prompts can help us capture our current life for future genealogists.

Journal Writing Prompts to Capture Your History
Photo by Julie B / Unsplash

Feel stuck or uninspired while journaling to capture today’s current events for yourself?

Writing Prompts

Using writing prompts can help us feel like we have a focus for journaling each day. A series of writing prompts can reassure us that we cover everything we want to cover in our journal.

Below is a series of numbered writing prompts which you can do in any order. Pick one that inspires you each day. You don’t have to use them all, and can repeat prompts you enjoy. Mix and match with your own topics of focus to make your journal your very own.

  1. Take a news story of the day, copy and paste it into your journal. Write your reaction to that story.
  2. Go back through your social media posts. Pick one to copy and paste (or print and glue) into your journal. What else would you add to it now?
  3. What family events have happened since the pandemic began? Birthdays, graduations, weddings, funerals? Record who it was for and the other family members present.
  4. Write down your daily routine. Make sure to note products, technology, and names for everything.
  5. Do you have predictions for 6 months from now? 1 year? 5 years?
  6. How have your views changed during the last few months? Is there something you now believe that you did not before? Is there something you used to believe that you do not anymore?
  7. Rate the performance of your state’s governor and your local county or city government. What are some highlights of what they’ve done? How do you feel about it?
  8. What ancestor(s) comes to mind most often during this time?
  9. Describe the economic shifts in the last few months. How was your job or business impacted? How was your community impacted?
  10. What did you eat today? Name the kinds of foods you normally eat.
  11. What family members are you in touch with? How are they doing?
  12. What is a skill you wish you had? Are there any new skills you learned the past year?
  13. If you could give advice to yourself in January 2020, what would it be?
  14. What would you like to tell the future about this time period of March 2020 through now? What do you think the history books will miss?
  15. What’s been your favorite way to de-stress and deal with pressure and anxiety?
  16. Write about your family’s pets – names, nicknames, favorite stories about them, and your routines with them.
  17. What surprised you most about the past week?
  18. What are you looking forward to next week?
  19. List the family history discoveries you made over the past several months. Any outstanding research you want to do? (This could fill a book for many of us!)
  20. What are your regular religious or spiritual practices? How have they changed?

If you used these prompts, how have they worked for you? I'd love to hear about it!