The Isolation Journals: turning quarantine into creativity


isolation journals

Story By Jayden Jones, Opinion Intern
Photo courtesy of

Suleika Jaouad knows what it’s like to have your life completely interrupted. At age 22, she had already graduated, not only from Julliard’s pre-college program, but also from Princeton. However, all of her dreams were put on hold when she was diagnosed with leukemia. She spent the next three years cooped up in hospitals (so she also knows what it’s like to be stuck somewhere and be unable to leave).

While undergoing treatment, Suleika started The 100 Day Project, where she challenged her family and friends to make one creative act per day. Her goal was to find a way to keep herself and her loved ones inspired, united, and, most importantly, hopeful. 

Suleika (now in remission) wanted to find another way to encourage optimism and connectedness during this shared season of our lives. So, she began The Isolation Journals, a free, thirty day project open to all. The Isolation Journals are a series of prompts, sent daily to your inbox. The most marvelous part of this project is that it is collaborative by nature. Suleika recruited her friends and heroes (everyone from Mavis Staples to Ann Patchett) to help her create prompts. 

The Isolation Journals are the creative push that everyone needs to take the time to look either beyond yourself or deep into yourself. It’s a chance to create your own stars on a dark night, or grow your own garden from barren soil. Each prompt touches on a tender and often whimsical aspect of the human experience, such as the one written by musician Jon Batiste, who in his prompt, encourages us to explore “the glorious awkwardness” of human interaction. 

So, if you’re looking for something else to do instead of baking your fifteenth cake, you can sign up for The Isolation Journals here. You don’t have to respond to every prompt (I definitely haven’t), and you don’t have to share what you’ve created. In this time of taking things a day at a time, apply the same philosophy to your creative life. Invest in yourself one day at a time. Take creative risks, one day at a time. And, if you create something you’re especially proud of, we here at The Saint would love to see it. 

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