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.




No specific writing prompt today. Instead, grab a LARGE sheet of paper and a set of colored pencils, crayons, or markers. I’ve seen this technique referred to as the Bubbles Method, as Clustering, Mind Mapping, and as a Spider Diagram -- I’m sure you’ve read about it too.

  1. First, think of a topic –Think BIG.
  2. Write your topic word in the middle of the paper and draw a circle around it.
  3. Draw five to seven to ten lines or spokes out from the circle. It’ll look like a sun.
  4. Attach a word or phrase to each spoke that is related to, or that you can connect with, your topic word and draw a circle around each one. Don’t censor yourself and for fun, use different colors.
  5. Repeat for each bubble/cluster/spider leg until you’re out of space.

Here’s one I drew more than 12 years ago. It helped me organize my response to a simple question posed by my three-year old daughter.




A special note about our For Your Journal writing prompts:
Beginning next month, our two new blog editors will be contributing to this series. In April, you’ll meet Alizabeth Rasmussen and in May, Amanda Jaros. Do YOU have a journaling topic or writing prompt you’d like to suggest? Send an email to lmblogcontacteditor (at) literarymama (dot) com. We’d love to hear from you!

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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