9 Best Creative Writing Journals: Take Your Thoughts to the Next Level

Individual creative journal prompts just not doing the job? Perhaps you’re looking for gift ideas? Here are a few of the best creative writing journals I’ve found. With this much variety, you’re sure to find your next favorite creative journal!

Creative writing is a fantastic way to spend your time. Want a creative outlet, some easy stress relief, or to improve your writing skills? Creative journaling exercises and journals with creative writing prompts are great places to start.

Text best creative writing journals to uplevel your creativity on white background over image of creative writing journal, notebook, and sticky notes on brown table.

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Choosing Your Next Creative Journal

The feeling of inspiration is a moment that anyone who has written before can testify to. It’s like magic, an energizing and exciting feeling that comes with the potential for unlimited creative expression. 

A writing journal with pre-written prompts may be just the way to tap into this feeling, where you only need to put pen to paper with these ideas at your fingertips.

There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of different creative writing journals available for you to choose from. So, how do you choose the one that is right for you?

Remember that creative writing is like coloring outside the lines on purpose… it’s okay to break the rules. You don’t have to stick to one type of writing or one style of journal. Try something different. You may be surprised at how well it works for you and how much fun you have!

The choice is ultimately yours, and finding the perfect creative writing journal could be just one more step towards becoming a better, more creative writer.

My Picks for Best Creative Writing Journals

Note: Even though many of these titles are called ‘journals’ — it’s likely you will want to pick up a blank companion journal or notebook to really capture all of your creativity. The spaces in ‘journals’ can be very limiting. 

1 – Keep It Simple

Inspirational thoughts and heartfelt words are all around us. The power of these quotes is undeniable, which makes the Always Remember You are Braver Than You Believe – Inspirational Journal perfect for anyone who needs a little encouragement or inspiration in their life!

This inspirational journal for women of all ages contains powerful motivational quotes on each page to prompt plenty of creative responses. 

With lots of space on the 8-1/2″ x 11″ pages to write new ideas as well as everyday experiences, it has everything you need to get as creative as you want to be!

Caveat: Some reviewers found the pages to be somewhat thin, so keep that in mind if you prefer to journal with heavy markers, paints, etc.

2 – Thoughtful Writer

If you are looking for the best creative writing journal to help you discover who you truly are and help you answer the difficult questions you might otherwise be avoiding, check out Burn After Writing (BAW).

When you first start reading the introduction on how to use it, it’s kind of funny. The author of the journal treats it as a ‘cult’ and reminds you to ‘keep the faith’ as you go through the prompts at random. Challenging you not to write the entries in order.

Once you really get into the writing, you will find yourself challenged by the prompts to put a lot of thought into your writing.

Though there is room for you to write with each prompt, you will probably want a secondary notebook because some of the prompts are very thought-inducing and you will likely need more room to write than what is provided.

3 – Get Poetic

Blackout poetry is a clever way to put your own spin on the written word, and Make Blackout Poetry: Turn These Pages into Poems by John Carroll is the perfect place to begin. 

Blackout poetry is an art form in which a person removes or ‘blacks out’ existing text to create new pieces of work. 

For instance, you could take a poem by Shakespeare and black it all out so that only the words are left behind for your own ingenious remix. With Make Black Out Poetry, readers can make their own blackout poems with texts from books like Jane Austen novels or vintage etiquette manuals!

Not only does it make for an engaging and creative activity, but can also be rewarding in terms of mental stimulation!

Trying to make blackout poetry is challenging, but it’s also a wonderful way to relax and be mindful in this world full of screens. There are so many different ways you could use the book as well: buy it for yourself or someone else as a gift. If you want to feel a little more creative — even just slightly — then I encourage you get your hands on this book!

4 – 365 Day Commitment

If you’re ready to commit to writing something every day for the next year, check out A Year of Creative Writing Prompts (Write On!). While not exactly a ‘journal,’ this book will push your writing to its limits with not one but three different writing prompts available each day.

Each day is broken up into three sections: Five-minute prompt, midday prompt, and dinner prompt. The five-minute prompt is usually one word. The midday prompt is usually a scenario in which you have to write about how things play out. The dinner prompt is a story starter that is usually about two and a half sentences that you have to continue writing.

This book is fantastic for writers struggling with writer’s block or someone needing a change of pace.

Caveat: You will need your own journal, paper, or computer to write on as there aren’t lines in the book for each prompt.

5 – Break Writer’s Block

Are you struggling to think of a new idea for your book or blog? Or maybe the words are just not coming quickly enough as you try to write new-to-you fantasy stories? 

Fear no more! The 400 Creative Writing Prompts Workbook has ideas that will make any writer’s creative juices flow and get their minds thinking about potential storylines. Find inspiration again with stories from past experiences, dialogue prompts, characters sketches and much more.

6 – Bring Some Art Into the Mix

Explore creative ways to fill your journal with words, drawing, and other mediums. In her book Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking, Emily K. Neuburger invites you to explore the many paths into writing creatively by using a variety of tools like collage and observation-based list making. 

With 60 prompts and art how-tos, this colorful book is a vibrant launchpad to more creative journaling, thinking, and writing.

Best for: People of any age who may be very new to creative journaling.

7 – Creative Writing for Healing

If you are in search of healing, reflection or even self-discovery, consider starting with Soul Therapy: A 365 day journal for self exploration, healing and reflection, a creative writing journal designed to send you deep in thought as you discover more about yourself and maybe even face some of the monsters in your closet you have been avoiding.

This journal was designed to help you create positive and self-confidence-boosting habits that can help you to heal while also pushing you to set and accomplish goals for a better life.

Though this journal should not be used to replace actual therapy sessions, you can use it to dig into what has hurt you and push yourself towards further healing in between therapy sessions.

8 – All.The.Things (for Adults)

Whether you’re just starting out, or you’re an established author looking for new angles on the same old topics, you’ll want to pick up a copy of 642 Things to Write About for plenty of writing inspiration… and a little bit of the unexpected.

This journal has space for short writing sessions and will have you feeling creative in no time! There are prompts here with something different: sometimes quirky or outrageous, other times profound — to provide you with a wide variety of possibilities.

Also try: 642 Tiny Things to Write About. This journal is VERY small — about 4-1/2” x 5” — and packs a lot of fun ideas into the tiny size.

Be aware: Some of the prompts in these books are definitely on the adult side, so they are not meant for younger writers.

9 – Prompts + More

Robin Woods’ Prompt Me Again: Creative Writing Workbook & Journal isn’t just a prompt collection for writers who need a kick-start. It can inspire entire books… heck, probably even series of books. 

With photo prompts, dialogue prompts, story starters, fairytale mash-ups, and more, you’ll be scrawling all.the.words in no time. Plus, with the reference section and master lists, there’s even more value for writers who are looking for that bit of extra help.

I have this workbook next to me right now, and I can confirm that it is so fun! 

Okay, in all honesty, the photo prompts could be a little sharper, but they are still good enough to prompt writing ideas.

There are several other journals in the ‘Prompt Me’ series, a few of which may strike your fancy:

Prompt Me: Romance

Prompt Me: Sci-Fi & Fantasy

And more

More Journaling and Creative Inspiration

12 Outstanding Creative Outlets for Non-Creative Adults

How To Start Morning Creative Writing for More Productive Days

8 Reasons To Explore Creative Writing (Even If You’re Not An Aspiring Author) – Linda Alley

27 Powerful Quotes About Journaling That Will Inspire You to Write

The Creative Cure: How Finding and Freeing Your Inner Artist Can Heal Your Life – Jacob Nordby 

Concluding Thoughts

Choosing a new creative writing prompt journal or book may seem like an overwhelming task, but being a little adventurous can help you break through writer’s block and put your ideas on paper.  

Working with prompt journals can be a great way to bring out your creativity. I hope this list of best creative writing journals has helped you find your perfect next creative writing journal!


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