One of the most difficult things for me when I first decided to start a journal was “where” I was supposed to start.
I knew that I wanted to use my journal for personal growth and to sort out some of my overwhelming emotions, but that was about all I knew at the time.
It can be very daunting to sit and stare at a blank page, knowing that you are supposed to fill it with wonderful, touching, deep thoughts. That in itself is often overwhelming.
Fear not there are some tips to help you get started in journaling without stress….
- Decide what your purpose is – For some journaling is a way to look within, view your thoughts, and possibly find your purpose in life. For others a journal is a way to be more creative through writing or art, and some people simply want to keep a record of their day. Whatever your purpose for journaling you should choose it before you begin. Not to say it wont change along the way, and not to say it wont be for many different reasons, but having an idea of what you hope to accomplish will help you find the direction you need to begin.
- Chose your form – When I decided to start a journal I went out and bought a great binded leather notebook. I wanted to “write” my thoughts rather than type, just out of personal preference, as I spent most of my day typing and I wanted journaling to be my ‘time out’ from everyday life. Chose how you want to write and where then get together all the tools you will need. Some people prefer to have their journal online or on the computer, and other opt for a handwritten version, it is personal preference, chose the option that suits your needs.
- Get Inspired – Depending on your chosen purpose you need to find inspiration to start your writing. You can find a plethora of journal prompts online for any given subject. Prompts can be useful in journaling, especially when you are journaling for self-discovery. Choose a prompt, usually in the form of a question, and share your thoughts or feelings on it. You can also create your own prompts by way of pictures, words, or questions you are trying to answer in your life.
- Let Thoughts Go Where They May – Don’t force yourself to stay on topic, don’t feel like you “have’ to follow a set plan, if you find your writing wandering elsewhere allow it to happen. The most amazing thing about journaling is it’s ability to introduce you to new and amazing ideas that you never would have found. Let your mind and your hands wander free and follow them where ever they choose to take you!
The most important thing to remember is that your journal is a secure place for you to release your thoughts free from judgment or ridicule. Grammar, form and talent are of no consequence, just grow and learn from your writing, and most of all enjoy it.
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