Journaling is as simple as answering a question


Do you need a starting point for journaling? One of my favorite writing “secrets” is to simply answer a question. Really, it’s that simple! There are several different ways to use questions to help you document your memories.





It would be easy for me to think I didn’t need a lot of journaling to go with this photo. It’s very obvious that we are in Disneyland (see my son’s shirt) and that he is getting an autograph from some characters. If I add my son’s name and date, I can answer the most basic questions of who, when, and where. I’m going to dig a little deeper though and answer the question “Why did you take this photo?”

I took this photo because a week before we left Disneyland, my daughter insisted that we each pick our all-time favorite Disney character. She wanted us to have that in mind as we went to Disneyland so we could look for character-related items and experiences. Alex surprisingly picked Burt from the movie Mary Poppins. He loves the British people and culture and also loves music and dancing so it really makes perfect sense. I thought it was neat that Alex picked something less mainstream, but I was also certain we wouldn’t find any Burt items in any gift shops, so I didn’t think much more about it. Then on our last day in Disneyland, we ran right into a photo opportunity with Mary Poppins and her buddy Burt. There were only a few people in line so we ran over to snap some pictures. I think Burt was flattered and somewhat amazed when we told him that he was Alex’s very favorite character and that we couldn’t believe how lucky we were to find him! He spent an extra few minutes with us to make Alex’s visit memorable. Great memory!

Only 4 people in the whole world knew that story and the significance behind it before I shared it here. Over time, the 4 people might have even forgotten the details, but now that I have written down the answer to a question about this picture, it is documented and saved!

Keep asking yourself questions about photographs until you have something to write down. Or show the picture to someone else and have them ask you questions. These are great journaling exercises! Here are some links to help you:





photo by Janet

Think of this as reaching into a virtual jar of journaling prompts. Pull out a question and answer it. There’s your journaling! Now you can go and find (or take) a photograph to go with the journaling or even create a layout without a photo. Answering a question will get you journaling! Here are some fabulous resources that can act as your own jar of prompts:




School children raising hands. View from behind.

If you’ve been around young children, you will be quite aware that they are constantly asking questions! They wonder things like “Where does Bigfoot live?” and “Why is that lady’s hair purple?” and other difficult to answer questions. Even if you can’t answer the question in a scientifically correct manner, you often get some great discussion as a result. Why not take the questions that your children ask you (or make up your own) and use them as journaling prompts? Try to answer them as best you can, but feel free to just enjoy the conversation that the question started.

Think of this as your chance to raise your hand and ask the questions that are on your mind. You can do research to answer them to provide interesting journaling for a page, or simply express your own views and philosophies on the matter at hand. You will be surprised at what new paths of inspiration you find to explore!

Here are some resources to help you find questions to ponder:

The simple act of asking and answering questions can make a big difference in your journaling. You will find yourself armed with ideas for layouts once you start answering more questions! Do you have any questions that help you with journaling? We’d love to know about them so feel free to share them in the comments!