So, while I was thinking about what to blog this month, I had a list of things I wanted to chat about and share, but then I had a conversation with my sister, and I had the idea to take this blog back to basics and blog about journaling.
I always make reference to journal prompts in my Instagram posts and I have numerous blogs where I give journal prompts. This comes as second nature to me now, but after speaking to my sister I realised that not everyone knows how to journal, or they don’t know what to write OR as my sister said she feels silly.
Sooooo, using some of the things me and my sister spoke about and some of the questions she asked here is a guide on how to get started with journaling, and I intend to help those of you who are stuck, and might have journaling block!
Is a journal not just a fancy diary?
It’s much more than ‘dear diary, I have a crush’, I see it as a more mature way of writing a diary, rather than keeping track of things you have been doing, it’s your thoughts, feelings and emotions. It doesn’t have to be in any kind of chronological order, if something is on your mind that happened years ago, then you can write about it whenever you feel the need to.
Journaling is there as a release, it is there to help you get thoughts out of your head, things you might not be able to say out loud.
What kind of journal do I need?
I speak to other people who journal, there is a mixture of ‘journal’ types, personally I prefer no lines and I write in pencil-to the shock of some people.
Your journal appearance and what you write with is up to you and what you’re comfortable with, so just go with what takes your eye.
I also opt for dateless, as I don’t write in it everyday and the anal part of me when I did have a journal with dates, would get annoyed if I had blank pages, so then it became a chore to fill in the pages, as I could not leave a day blank!
I would also suggest that you get a journal that you like the look of, rather than a scrappy book, so that it is something you cherish and look after and want to write in. However, if you are like me, I have been known to purchase journals and keep them for ‘best’ for a while as they’re just too pretty to write in, so I have a cupboard full of journals just wait for their turn to be used.
On a side note, I do have a diary which I write in each morning, I do this when I pull my cards in the morning, it’s not a journal, I write about what card I have pulled, my affirmations, and small tasks I set myself for the day, but this is a blog in itself so I won’t go into too much detail here!
What do you write in your journals?
I use my journal for a lot, when I attend moon circles or masterclasses, I tend to opt to use my journal for my notes here, as then I can quickly refer back to them.
I use my journal to organise and draft blog posts too, making my journal a sporadic little thing really!
I write whatever I like in it. My journal is the one place I go to whenever I feel overwhelmed (aka I could be overly excited, anxious, happy, grateful, or even sad). Writing in my journal helps clear my head and calms me down!
How often do you write in your journal?
It depends. I only reach for my journal when I have lots of things running through my mind. I only write when I feel like it. Otherwise it becomes something I have to do and I then don’t and feel guilty
There are moments where I would write on a daily basis (because I’m feeling it), but there could be days where I have no need for journaling, because these are times where I like to surround myself with people, instead of isolating myself with my own thoughts.
I grab for my journal if something pops up during the day that I feel I need to get out, as well as if I have things on my mind, I just wrote them down and I feel like getting them on paper helps.
I really want to start journaling but don’t know how. Any tips?
Only start journaling when you feel like you’re ready to. Believe it or not, journaling doesn’t have to be a ‘commitment’. You don’t have to spend hours looking for the perfect journal or take your time writing an aesthetically pleasing looking entry. But you need to have the passion for writing and creating.
I recommend starting small, try free writing first or search for journal prompts on PinTrest, some days I literally google ‘journal prompts for (insert mood here)
I feel like lots of people have this short burst of motivation to journal and then just give up after a few days. The key to journaling is to keep it personal, and be proud of it no matter what you do with it. Don’t journal just ‘for show’. If you wish to share your journal entries within a platform, then you shouldn’t be afraid to show the media your messy entries and scribbled pages. People quickly lose interest in journaling because of the time and effort it takes to make their pages look pretty. It becomes a chore to be consistent with writing beautifully and decorating, which brings me back to what I said earlier – to only reach for your journal when you want to. Not when you have to.
Journaling should be something you look forward to, something that inspires you and makes you feel better. It shouldn’t be something that demotivates you mentally and physically on a daily basis.
How to make time for journaling?
I like to journal before I go to bed, and in the morning. I will also just journal as I am sitting on the sofa watching the TV, a plus side of this means your not sat scrolling on your phone.
I often just bring my journal with me when I am travelling, so when I have a spare 5 minutes here and there I will sit down and journal.
I sometimes make notes on my phone, or even record voice notes, mainly if I am in a place where I can’t write or type, I let it out and replay later.
Do you have any other tips in general with regards to journaling?
This might sound cliché, but have fun with journaling! Don’t make a big deal about your handwriting or bleeding pages or messy entries. I actually love looking back and seeing the different states of my handwriting and my doodles from that day.
I think the best journals are the ones that are full of essence – lots of thought and emotion. And you know how our thoughts and emotions are. They’re sporadic and all over the place, which is what your journal should look like.
A blog about journaling would not be useful without journal prompts so here are some of my favourite ones.
If you had a magic wand, and could wave away your problems, what would your life look like? What’s stopping you from being the wand?
What are you best at, and what do you love doing most, and how could you spend more time doing both?
If you were unapologetically and truly yourself, day in and day out, and if you fully accepted and loved yourself, what would change for you moving forward?
What makes your heart sing loudest? What makes your heart beat strongest?
What do you believe that no longer serves you? What do you believe that might be holding you back?
What does love mean to you?
How do you define success, and how will you know when you have it?
Where do you see yourself in 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months? Be specific.
What are the ten smallest, most minor, most insignificant things in your life that you are grateful for?
What have been the five best days of your life, and why?
Remember if you don’t feel inspired by prompts, just write, even if you just start with ‘I don’t know what to say’, or ‘I feel silly doing this’, and it will flow.
I hope this is as useful, let me know if there is anything else which I talk about on socials that you would like to see my blog about.
Happy Full Moon (it was yesterday🌕) and I will see you in 2 weeks on the Leo New Moon🌙 for my post UK Vlog all about meditation, which will be just in time for my 7 day meditation challenge that will be going live on the 1st August.