Since I'm still undecided about the value of writing exercises, and I do love journaling, I thought I would share this wonderful series of posts by Tami Taylor about keeping a 5 Year Journal. I originally found this because I was searching for a writing version of the Project 365 and the monthly photo a day challenges. (Although you could certainly use the photo word prompts for a written piece instead of taking a photo.)
First you download her PDFs, 12 in all, one for each month of the year. She asks you a question every day that you answer with one sentence or so in the same place. So, for example, every year on April 6th you answer the question "What did you have for breakfast today?" on the same index card or same page in your journal. After 5 years, you have a collection of answers at a glance that show you the ways your life has changed, or perhaps ways that it hasn't.
I love this idea very much, but I haven't actually started because I can't decide what format I want it to be. Tami is a scrapbooker, so she made a set of 366 (for leap year) beautiful cards on which to write her answers that she then collects in a small box. I could also see doing this on a blog and just cycling back through the same posts for the 5 years, or you could go on indefinitely, really. I would make sure you had a backup for that, though! You could do a private version in your email or an e-journaling desktop program. I also love the idea of a Moleskine dedicated just to this project, and you wouldn't lose any of the pages that way. Or maybe a 3-ring binder with looseleaf pages that you can add (or subtract, in case of a journal emergency) is better for you? I also like that you can change up the questions during the first year to be more specific or more suitable for your journaling style.
Thanks for stopping by! :o)