The Riverside: A Writer's Resource


 Journey and Discovery Prompts


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Journey and Discovery prompts are designed to inspire contemplative reflection. You should allow approximately 20 minutes for each prompt. You can also print out a journey and discovery prompts page in PDF format designed to print on card stock  There are four prompts per PDF page so you can cut them into post card size. Printing on cards makes it easy to choose one per day or to use them in writing groups. Need to link the words journey and discovery prompts page to a page with the PDFs to download. They need to be titled according to some way - seasons? misc.? etc. 

Write about loss. It can be the loss of an object, a skill, a lover, anything. Describe the person/object/thing in great detail. Describe your relationship with this person/thing. Describe what it felt like to lose it. In loosing it, what did you gain?

Small and large epiphanies continue to open our eyes throughout adulthood. Write the story of an epiphany that evolved slowly, one that shifted you in some fundamental manner. What is different now?

(Source: Writing the Sacred Journey by Elizabeth J. Andrew)

Write the story of the day you were born. Make it as wild or realistic as you like, but be sure the details are in keeping with the truth of your entrance into the world. What happened? What didn't happen?

(Source: Writing the Sacred Journey by Elizabeth J. Andrew)

Write about a trip - it can be a trip you took look ago, a trip you took recently, a trip you are currently planning, or a trip you hope to one day make. Write about the discoveries made on this trip and reflect on how the discoveries made by your conscious self mirror the  discoveries of the soul.

Write about death. What is death - really? It can be the end of something - anything. How is it the beginning of something? How do you feel about this subject? If you are afraid or don't like it, dare to grapple with it and ask yourself the ever present question: why?


Write about gaining something (recently). You could gain pounds, insight, stuff (junk), knowledge, insight, skills,... the possibilities are endless. Write about something you have recently gained. Go into detail about how you acquired this - What role did you play in getting this?

- What did someone else do that contributed to your gain?

- How do you feel about it?

- What are you going to do with it now?


Write about a gift that someone once gave you that you were not expecting. The gift may be some tangible item you still have, or have somehow misplaced or lost through the years, but it can also be something intangible. It could be something as subtle and simple as some passing words that changed your perspective; it could be time, or perhaps support. As you write about this unexpected gift, describe in detail how you felt at the time. Then, describe how you feel today about that gift. 


Describe your view from some window. You may be inside looking out, or outside looking in. Describe your surroundings, what do you see when you look through the glass that separates you from the other side. What do you think about when you see what you see? What do you feel?