Keeping a Journal

Latest Update: Added a post from Working On Me on how to restart when you’ve stopped journaling.

Thinking of starting a journal? It’s a popular activity now, particularly among women, to help make sense of life by keeping a written record of thoughts, hopes and dreams. Here are a few tips and links:

Benefits of Journalling

  • The main benefit of keeping a journal is the same as GTD’s – it’s getting stuff out of your head and onto paper.
  • When keeping a journal you are your own audience, so your writing can be as wild and free as you wish. You don’t even have to write. You can draw, or collage… you call the shots.
  • It’s a record of your life and your thoughts.
  • You decide who gets to see it.
  • You can swear as much as you like.

How to Start

  • Get a nice notebook, Moleskines are a favourite here, but there are loads of great notebooks out there to choose from. Depends on what size you want, whether it needs to be pocketable, or whether you’d like to be able to do other stuff in it too, like paint.
  • Start on an occasion, like a birthday, or a wedding, or a birth – I started my first journal on New Year’s Day, 2005. Starting on a new year is a good chance to review the year gone by and write about your hopes and dreams for the future.

How to Restart

  • If you’ve let your journal go unused for a while, Working On Me has a great tip for getting started again – not just ignoring the gap, but not trying to jump in and cover it all either.

Other Tips

  • Use whatever feels most comfortable at the time – pen, pencil, felt tip, eyeliner…
  • Have you written something you’d be mortified with embarrassment about if anyone else saw it? Paint over it! Get out the markers and scribble over it. Turn it into a piece of art.

Handy Links

In my journal…

I’ve recently started journaling again – using an A4 landscape Snowdon Cartridge “Fat Pad”. So far the book contains dip pen sketches, watercolour patterns, writing and a bit of collage. It’s a big colourful mess of a book, but it’s so much fun! Photos may come when I have a page I feel like sharing…

What’s in your journal?

Got pictures of your journal you’d like to share? Post links to your photos here in the comments.

Happy journaling!

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