Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I’ll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a character for your next short story or a theme for a narrative essay. Or maybe you’ll use the idea to create a special holiday card or photo album for someone in your family. However you decide to use your journal entry, I know you’ll enjoy re-reading it months--and years--down the road.


Have you heard about or tried the One Word Resolution trend that’s making its way through cyberspace? Instead of making a list of things to accomplish--and possibly neglect or forget--the idea is to choose one word to which you want to aspire, one word that becomes a guide for the year. Some participants write about how this helps them focus on becoming the person God wants them to be. Others write about how determining the type of person they want to be helps them understand what they have to do in order to become that person. Participants are then encouraged to write a mile-marker post every three months.

I did it last year and recommend you try it. You might be surprised how the word comes to you and how it stays with you throughout the year -- I found my word while snacking on a package of jelly beans.

My word for 2012 was authentic. You can read how I found the word here but this is why I chose it:

I’m in my final years of being known primarily as my kids’ mom. One is already in college. The other two are earning driver’s licenses, monitoring their own schedules, and venturing farther out the door. It’s time to re-discover myself and put one foot in front of the other to actually develop that self.

I’ve watched several of my mom friends re-discover themselves as their children have reached the high school and college years, and I’ve been surprised by some of what I’ve seen. Not necessarily that they started exploring the interests and skills that they’d pushed to back of the closet, but the way they started wearing them. There’s a bounce to their step. They’re more confident, and they smile more often.

They’ve discovered their authentic flavors.

My package of 49 assorted flavored jelly beans encourages me to experience flavors in new and unexpected ways. Some of the flavor combinations are like a burst of fireworks but others, like J.K. Rowling’s Bertie Botts beans, include a risk with every mouthful.

Being authentic in my daily comings and goings is sure to be a bit of both.


Journal Entry: Pay attention to your surroundings and to those around you. The word will come to you. Write it down, define it, and describe why the word is important to you. Then, commit to re-examining your word at least once in 2013. (Click here to read about my One Word choice for 2013.)

Prefer to write SMART goals? Check out last year’s For Your Journal writing prompt. It included a worksheet.

Karna Converse is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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