People have many reasons for keeping a journal. It could be a way of documenting their life to leave a lasting legacy. A vehicle to process their thoughts or feeling. Or a creative outlet. Whatever your reason, follow our guide and get writing today!
A blank white notebook can feel a bit daunting, so how do you start writing?
- Find a quiet space where you can focus and feel comfortable
- Introduce yourself on the first page
- Don’t overthink it, just look back over your day and start to write whatever comes to mind. It doesn’t have to make sense, just let your thoughts and feelings flow
- Don’t fret about spelling, grammar or sentence structure. You’re not creating a literary masterpiece and it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else
- Practice makes perfect – the more you write, the more naturally your words will come
- Think of it as a private space where you can be honest, don’t self-edit as you write. Instead, at the end of each session, go back over your writing and add any additional thoughts and notes
- Add the date to each entry, then you can look back on how you were feeling at different points in your life
- Include pictures, doodles and items that trigger memories like tickets.
How Much Time Should I Spend Writing My Journal?
You don’t need to write for hours, but it’s best to try and write something every day. Stick to between five to twenty mins per session.
When Is The Best Time To Write a Journal?
There’s no right time to journal. Some people feel more creative or productive in the morning, while others find getting all their thoughts and ideas down before bed helps them sleep better. Try to build it into your routine though, so you journal at a similar time each day.
How To Make Journaling a Habit
Once you start doing something regularly, the theory is it’s easier to keep doing it than it is to stop! So how do you form a habit? The key is to stick to writing your journal once a day for 21 days. You can commit to the bare minimum, for example, one sentence every day and try to keep it up for three weeks. Hopefully, you will naturally write a bit more as you get into journaling and fingers crossed, after 21 days, it will have become a habit that is hard to break!
How Should I Keep My Journal?
As well as the traditional pen and paper there are many digital options for journaling
We are huge stationery geeks Inscripture, so would opt for choosing a beautiful notebook or journal that you can’t wait to open. You can shop our Handwriting Notebooks here. We think putting pen to paper allows your brain to slow down and focus on the words
If you’d prefer a digital option, try
- Day One Journal The app lets you create multiple journals and colour code them. You can include photos, locations and even weather data
- Five Minute Journal This app is perfect if you’re time poor – it has writing prompts and questions that you can answer quickly as well as daily quotes to help inspire you.
Prompts to Help You Overcome Writer’s Block:
Don’t worry if you are struggling to put pen to paper, use one of these ideas to get you started
- Think about the Future What would you like to do at the weekend? What do you hope to achieve by the end of the year?
- Describe a past event Think about a happy day, an early childhood memory or your first kiss and write down everything you can remember
- Take Five Write a list of five things. For example, places you’d like to visit, strange things you’ve eaten or things you can see
- Use a sentence starter I think…, I feel…, I hope…, I am grateful for…
- Write from someone else point of view Your parent’s, your child’s, your partner’s or even your cat’s!
- Doodle You don’t have to write, you could draw or include brainstorms, charts or graphs
Benefits of writing a journal
Keeping a journal can help you:
- Destress Getting all those ideas out of your head and onto the page is a way of processing them. Many people find this enables them to relax
- Reduce Anxiety People who write down all their worries tend to feel less anxious afterwards
- Spark Ideas Writing all those random thoughts down on paper can help bring together cohesive ideas
- Get To Know Yourself Journaling about your feelings in a very honest way can help you look at how you react and deal with different situations
- Communicate Better Putting all your ideas down on paper makes you better at explaining them to other people
- Improve Your Memory The act of writing down events can make you more likely to remember them. If you don’t, you have your journal to look back on!
- Feel Gratitude Include at least one positive thing each day, so you feel thankful
- Resolve Arguments Writing down both sides of a disagreement can help you see another person’s perspective
As you can see keeping a journal has many practical and emotional benefits, so why not try starting one today?
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