A special set of December illustrated journal, writing, and art prompts for supporters of #illustrateyourweek and the Creativity Matters Podcast
December is coming! (I just watched House of Dragons last week, and “Winter is coming!” has even more meaning now than it did when I first watched Game of Thrones.) December is coming! Actually, it’s probably already here. Even Black Friday deals seemed to start on a Wednesday this year. I don’t know how we can keep up when time keeps speeding up on us!
#illustrateyourweek is one project I do that helps me keep time moving at a regular, orderly pace. One week at a time. I don’t rush the prompts. I don’t speed things up. I work on one week at a time. I move on from the week that has been, and I start a new week and keep moving forward. I start on a Sunday. I write the week number. I draw something. I make a note. I try and spend a bit of time each day or night adding something to my pages. This process helps me balance, helps me capture time in weekly snapshots.
And so…. December is coming.
2022 is Winding Down
Having shared weekly prompts now for several years for #illustrateyourweek, I really have felt the significance this year of the growing number each week. Now that we have just four weeks of prompts left before the calendar year changes and we start all over again, I really feel the poignancy of December, of this 12th month of the year, of these final weeks in the 40s and 50s for this year.
I have been working on a project related to #illustrateyourweek and the process and methodology of keeping an illustrated journal. (Yes!) I hope to continue to really push on this (bookish) project in the coming year. But as November drew to a close, I started to think about a special set of monthly prompts for those who keep an illustrated journal in December. I have been inspired in recent months to see a small but growing number of people using the weekly #illustrateyourweek prompts I share. We each have our own approach, and it has been wonderful to know that others enjoy recording their weeks in this way, too. As a combination of drawing and journaling, the illustrated journal process is wonderfully inviting, flexible, and freeform. I am excited to see so many others who enjoy this process, too.
The weekly #illustrateyourweek prompts (posted on Sundays at Instagram) offer a lot of encouragement for illustrated journaling. The prompts are designed as a set of gentle nudges that you can work into your journal, sketchbook, or planner and that you can mix and match or choose from when you are looking for things to record. With an average of 10+ prompts per week, I’ve been offering 40+ prompts a month to inspire you to work in your own visual journal.
But December is coming, and December is special.
A Special Set of December Prompts for #IllustrateYourWeek
I debated about offering this special set of prompts and debated about how to handle this so that it doesn’t duplicate the regular prompts that I will continue to share weekly at Instagram. My base #illustrateyourweek prompts have always been free, and I hope that will continue to be the case in the coming year.
But I have put together a separate set of December-themed journaling prompts designed for those keeping an illustrated journal (although they can work equally well in a regular written journal).
How Do I Get the Prompts?
I am making this additional set of December prompts for your illustrated journal available as a special gift to anyone who donates $3 or more to help support #illustrateyourweek (or the Creativity Matters Podcast). I’ve been sharing the CMP (podcast) for more than 16 years now, and I’ve been sharing free #illustrateyourweek prompts for several years. I hope that one or both of these offerings has had value to you and has maybe helped inspire, nurture, and encourage you in your creative life (or your mom life if you were around in 2006 or your simply human life if what you are looking for is an honest, grounded, and real voice to accompany you on your walks, your commute, or your daily journey).
I am manually handling the processing and fulfillment of the prompts. If you make a donation of $3 or more as friends and family at PayPal or using Ko-Fi (see below), I will email you the December prompts file. I have waffled on the $3 number quite a bit. It isn’t a lot, but I know that it may sound like a lot for a simple set of prompts. You are not buying prompts. You are, instead, supporting the process behind the podcast and #illustrateyourweek.
I hope that the podcast and the illustrated journaling prompts, together or separately (however you know me), have been helpful and inspiring to you. I hope that continues to be the case in the new year as we move into a new year of #illustrateyourweek.
Very few people support projects like the podcast or the #illustrateyourweek prompts that are free. (This is true.) I feel strongly that some things need to be free and accessible to everyone, and I try to keep things open to as many as possible. Asking for those who can to help support the show and the illustrated journaling inspiration is an attempt to make it so I can continue to keep going.
If you feel that you can’t manage a gift of $3 or more, please know that the regular weekly prompts will still be at Instagram all month long. You will have plenty to fill your pages. You can also email me at creativitymatterspodcast @ gmail.com.
What Are These Prompts? (Or, What’s In It for Me?)
There are 31 December prompts. These can be used for journaling or illustrated journaling or as add-ons in your planner or bullet journal. The prompts are separate from the regular weekly #illustrateyourweek prompts, but you can mix and match and work from the weekly lists as well as choose from the larger list throughout the month. If you like having a full list at the beginning, this approach may really appeal to you.
The prompts arrive in a simple PDF. The offering is, in most ways, humble, minimal, and simplified. It isn’t a visual production. It isn’t a magazine or a zine. Instead, you’ll receive a PDF with some general information and a well-thought-out set of prompts for journaling, creative documentation, and December reflection. You’ll be using the prompts to make your own visual production in your journal, sketchbook, or planner. The PDF offering is simple, but, I won’t be posting these prompts to Instagram separately.
Will there be any duplicates? It is possible that a few of the prompts may show up again or in similar ways in the weekly #illustrateyourweek sets, but most will not. (Some of the prompts are ones that may make sense to do more than once in the month. Having them reappear in #illustrateyourweek is okay and helps ensure that the regular weekly prompts are also robust, engaging, and flexible.)
Do these prompts include end-of-year reflection and planning for the new year? No. I have separate prompts that I use for the final week of the year, so the December prompt set doesn’t try and incorporate that, too. Instead, these prompts are both holiday-focused and more generically “December”-themed. (There didn’t have to be 31. It really is a lot. But it also seemed like the most straightforward approach.)
Are these prompts about Christmas? While the prompts are not “all” about Christmas, some are easily interpreted as Christmas-themed, but I hope that most are general enough to work with whatever traditions, holidays, and rituals you have. I am sensitive to the diversity of our community, our beliefs, and our traditions. I have tried to carefully create a prompt set that will make everyone feel welcome and invited to use and interpret the prompts in their journals. There are a very few prompts that deal with traditions (or a song) that may be “Christmas”-specific, but for the most part, I think anyone can find a way into these prompts if they enjoy the spirit of December.
Please note that there are a few “ornament” images in the file.
Are these prompts religious? No. The prompts do invite responses related to holidays, but your responses will be based on the holidays you celebrate and your system of belief.
Do I have to do all of the prompts? Of course not!
Do I have to do the prompts in order? No!
Can I get a refund if I don’t like them? I am not selling prompts. If you choose to donate in support of #illustrateyourweek and/or the continued availability of the Creativity Matters Podcast, I will send you a copy of the prompts as a token of my appreciation. Donations are not refundable.
Note: This is a limited offer. Prompts will be shared through December 10, 2022. Please do not recirculate or repost prompts.
How to donate?
To donate to support #illustrateyourweek and the Creativity Matters Podcast, please use:
Make sure your email address is shared with the donation so that I can follow up with the prompts. I will send an email with the PDF within 24 hours.
(A portion of any donation does go to the fees associated with the service processing of the donation.)