Have you been wanting to start journaling but can’t seem to take the first step? Maybe you’re worried you don’t have anything to write about or you won’t remember to do it every day or you’ll be lousy at it. Well here’s some good news: when it comes to journaling, there’s nothing to fear! In fact, journal writing is about the most laid-back, carefree activity around. It’s also one of the most rewarding.
But don’t just listen to me. Follow these tips for getting started journaling and see for yourself how fearless and fun writing in a journal can be.
Take a No-Pressure Attitude
Simply put, journal writing is a way to explore your creativity and just be yourself. No one but you has to see your journal, which should take the pressure off when it comes to rules and expectations. Don’t worry about grammar, sentence structure, neatness, or tone; journals are no place for perfectionism. Dismiss the notion that you have to write daily, too. Think of your journal as a whatever-you-want-it-to-be book, a place to do your thing however you wish anytime you choose.
Get Some Ideas
Don’t worry if you can’t come up with something to write about. Many others have and they like to share their ideas. In fact, there’s a whole world of journaling topics out there, and a quick search will reveal them. Check out this post of 33 journal writing ideas for starters. Or, come up with ideas on your own. Jot down a list of places, people, foods, animals, seasons, emotions, colors, books, you name it. Then choose a subtopic and get writing. It’s as simple as that!
Be Choosy About Your Journal
Since your journal is something you’re going to use regularly, make sure it’s a size, style, and format that’s attractive—to you. Everyone has different preferences on details, so take the time to look at many journal options and decide which is the most appealing. Some writers prefer lined pages, for example, while others like them blank. You might favor a small journal that fits in your purse or a larger one for your briefcase or gym bag. Be choosy and find a journal that's welcoming and functional to use.
Consider a Bullet Journal
Many writers are turning to the bullet-style journal for journaling. If you’re just getting started journaling, this can be a great option. Bullet journals serve multiple purposes. They’re a place to record writing activity, sketch out goals, manage submissions, brainstorm for writing ideas, take notes, store research, doodle, and of course journal. To learn more about bullet journaling, see The Complete Guide to Bullet Journaling for Writers by Writer's Edit.
Do a Practice Run
If you're afraid to open that crisp, new journal you bought or got as a gift, why not ease into it. Grab a sheet of scratch paper and do some practice journaling. It doesn’t matter what you write—a description of your mood, a short acrostic poem, or a paragraph discussing your writing goals for the month—just start writing. A practice run will confirm how easy writing a journal entry is. Once you get comfy with this new activity, open the first page of your journal and let the words flow.
Excited to get started journaling? You should be. Take the fearless approach, and enjoy the fun, fulfillment, and productivity that await you.