How to Begin Journal Writing

About: Human who loves learning from others and sharing what she knows

As kids, we kept diaries. As adults we journal. This is a guide to allow you to begin the road to journal writing.

You will need:

  1. a journal of your choice
  2. a pen
  3. time
  4. a place you feel relaxed and comfortable

Step 1: Your Journal Should Suit Your Style.

Choosing a journal that matches your personality or your dreams. Writing in a journal that appeals to you will make writing much more pleasant.

Step 2: Choose Your Weapon

Pick a writing instrument that feels good as you grip it. If you are fighting with an ill fitting pen or one that doesn't write well you will easily become disgusted and want to quit.

Step 3: Set Aside Time to Write

Set an alarm if needed. Not sure how long to write, set the timer for 10 minutes. This will give you a slow start and you will find that as you get into writing, ten minutes will pass quicker than you think.

Step 4: Find a Comfy Place to Write

Get comfortable. Relax, journaling is about getting in touch with yourself. Write down the day of the week, the date, the time and where you are (ie... I am in my bed, I am in my car, I am at the pond). All this will be important in context when your reread your journals later.

Begin with a simple sentence, I feel......, I am..... I want to..... This will give you a place to start. If you get stuck writing write about the weather, your dog, whatever. Just keep writing. It is not easy to dig into your soul and see what makes you tick.

Forget grammar, spelling and punctuation. You are writing for you not for a research paper or a report for the boss.

Be honest with yourself, even if it is painful.

Be kind to yourself and others (as much as possible). We are, after all, only human.

Write it out. Sometimes you have to dig a little to get to what is truly troubling your soul. Write about the great things that happen also. No matter how bad your life may be, there are those things that bring you joy. Make sure those are recorded as well. When you look back you will see more of those moments than you thought.

Step 5: Keep Your Journal With You at ALL Times

The great thing about journals are that they are totally portable. You can sit under a tree and write. No electricity or wifi needed.

You never know when the urge to write in your journal will hit. And believe me, there are times it is better to write it than to say it out loud. The world doesn't need to know every thought that passes through you.

Keep your journal safe. I know where my journal is at all times. The filled journals are also safe and when my time comes to leave this planet, instructions have been given to a family member on how to dispose of them. No one else ever need see my journals, they are my thoughts, feelings and dreams.

So journal, write the story of a lifetime and have fun getting to know more about yourself.



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    16 Discussions

    Kink Jarfold

    9 months ago on Step 5

    Ah, such a trip down memory lane. here I am going on 73 and I have journals dating back to when I was a kid. And my constant writing in them eventually lead to writing a novel. Not by myself, with a writing partner.

    I tried getting my boys interested when they were young in keeping a journal, but it didn't spark any creative interest.

    Thanks for such a great Instructable.


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    1 reply

    2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this. It helps to have some concrete guidelines to at least start with. I've never had much success with journals, but this makes me feel like giving it another g.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Once you start, it will be come addictive. I am working on number 17 in 5 years. Best of luck. Let me know how you do!! :)


    3 years ago on Introduction

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    3 years ago

    I was scrolling through the website when this instructable came across... I feel like it's not a coincidence. Thank you

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Those are good tips. I often post articles around the web, but I admit that a journal sounds more thrilling. And it kinda is something from you, to you

    1 reply

    It really is thrilling. You it's helps me focus on my dreams and plan accordingly. I won't go into detail but it helped me to heal and suddenly I realized that the entries were more happy than sad. It was a turning point for me when I started realizing that it was working. In 4 years I have filled about 17 journals. Try it!!! Like I said I carry mine everywhere and I write whenever and where ever I want. It really is great. Thanks for looking and for the comment.