What is Journal Writing
Keeping a Journal is a way of documenting your daily life. Writing a journal is like keeping a track of your everyday thoughts or events or both. You keep a small diary with you all the time and every day at a certain time, you write about what happened since your last journal entry. Date the journal entry and that’s it. Some people name it daily diary as well. You do it to understand the pattern of your life and improvement. Usually, journals are meant to be private but in some case, personal journals came out to be well-known life memoirs.
Journal writing is a thoughtful conversation with yourself!
Who doesn’t know about the young girl Anne Frank? The German girl who kept a journal during world war II. She didn’t survive, but her journal was later found and published and became history. It is said to be one of the most influential memories. Keeping a journal is pretty straight and simple, but the magic lies in consistency. We’ll talk more about it.
What is so special about keeping a Journal
They say every great thinker keeps a journal. That holds perfectly true. Try to imagine if you have a life record for past 10 years. How would you feel? I guess you know the answer; It would be amazing to read, right? We all go through ups and downs, make mistakes, have bad relationships, have life-changing events. We all change continuously, our mind and thoughts constantly develop. But the problem is all that happens, remain in our memories. Memories are forgotten or manipulated unconsciously by our brain. We tend to make different meaning or stories out of memories at different stages of life.
Keeping a journal prevents all this from happening. Once written, it becomes a constant memory. For example, you wrote about an incident happened a day and mentioned how you felt and how you reacted. Once you wrote, that became a fixed entry. Later, you’ll be able to see clearly what exactly happened that day.
Secondly, the bigger magic is in seeing patterns. Once you have a long list of dated journals; on a free day, you go through that and you’ll start visualizing the changes in yourself. The biggest motivation is to see where you were and where you are.
How to do it in a right way?
Honestly, there isn’t a hard and fast rule for this. You can do whatever suits you. But the most important key is to develop a consistency. Try to write at the same time every day. Write whatever you like. Here are some tips for getting started
What to write?
- Event journal: Write about events & incidents happened, how you felt and reacted.
- Dream Journal: Keep the diary next to your bed and write every morning about last night dreams. Who knows what you can make out of your dreams.
- Reading journal: People who love to read books regularly can write about what they read, any thoughts, any quotes etc.
- Thoughts Journal: Keep a track of what you think and feel every day.
- Or just anything, write whatever you feel like writing
Don’t worry about editing. It is only for you so don’t worry about grammar mistakes or vocabulary. Write in any language you are comfortable. Don’t think too much while writing, whether it makes sense or not. Idea is to write and just write.
Writing without giving a thought helps to clear your mind and to get your thoughts flow. It is like talking to yourself with transparency.
Online vs Offline
Usually, in old times, people used to keep a diary or notebook as a journal. Now we have digital tools for it. You can create a folder in your computer and write it there. Save in google drive, use any mobile app, or services like Penzu which are specifically designed for writing journals. Offline methods have privacy issues because anybody who can get its hands on your journal can read your personal thoughts. Personally, I prefer writing offline in a diary, but for things which are meant to be highly private, I write online with a strong password. That works for me.
Tips for making it fun
- Name your journal. Give any name to it, any fictional character, someone you love or whatever you like. At the beginning of every entry, start like Dear Juliet. It will make it more interesting and you’ll feel like talking to someone.
- Make it a part of your schedule. Do it the same time every day. Set a reminder and in case you skip any day, add two entries next day.
- Do a quick review of the entries every month or two.
- Rate the dates. You can rate an entry from 1 to 10 where 1 is the worst day and 10 is a great day. You can decide your own rating system as well. Write this rating on the top of every entry. Later you’ll be able to quickly go through and identify the different entries quickly.
- Try using writing prompts when you are not sure what to write. They are a great way of getting new ideas and developing better writing skills. You can Try these prompts or create a similar list of your own.
Do you keep a journal? Are you going to start a journal? Share your views with us in the comments section below, please leave a feedback and share if you like this post. You can contact us if you have any questions or requests.