Here in Canada, September marks the end of summer vacation and the beginning of a new school year.

For many of us, even decades after graduation it continues to feel like the beginning of a new year.

New beginnings

As we enter this new month of fresh beginnings, let’s turn to writing to help us find our way through & reflection. If you’ve never used a journaling prompt before, here are some tips.

How to use a journaling prompt.

Set the stage:

  • Choose a prompt that feels right.
  • You can write on a keyboard but I highly encourage pen and paper for journaling.
  • Curl up in a comfortable spot. Get a blanket. Light a candle. Bring a beverage.
  • Set a timer. I find that 20 minutes is the sweet spot for journaling but play around with it and use what time you have.


  • Keep your pen moving.
  • Don’t stop for grammar or spelling.
  • Don’t overthink. (I know it’s hard but just try to keep writing)
  • Follow your pen. (if you get stuck or go off-track, just see where your pen takes you)


  • Do nothing and move on.
  • Read it over & reflect on what came through.
  • Circle words, phrases or ideas that you can come back to for future journaling prompts.

September Journaling Prompts


1. Grieve the Summer you didn’t get.

Not everyone gets summer vacation, has access to a cottage and the funds to get away. We often hold high and unachievable goals for our summers based in what we experienced, or didn’t experience, in childhood. Perhaps your summer plans were thwarted by cancelled flights or worse, health complications of yourself or a loved one. Whatever was lacking for you, go ahead and vent about the loss. Get it out so that you can move through.

2. What are your learning goals for this new school year?

Even if you are not attending school this September, what do you hope to learn? A new hobby? Do you want to learn more about how politics work in your community (there is a municipal election coming up in Ontario)? If you turn inwards, what can you learn about yourself this season? Make a list of learning goals and then choose one (or more) to pursue!

3. What thoughts & feelings does September bring for you?

I’ve given my own interpretations of September but maybe it holds a completely different experience for you? What are some of your September memories? How do they shape your relationship with this month?

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Erica Richmond

 Erica Richmond, the founder of Open Sky Stories believes that words have the power to provide connection & healing. She lives in Peterborough, Canada with her two teens where they find adventures in everyday life. Erica has published two books: Pixie and the Bees and The Mail Art Stories Project: Mail Art in the Time of Covid-19. Follow Erica on Instagram for daily writing inspiration and real-life stories.