You don’t have to be the world’s best writer in order to journal. The beauty of a journal is that you get to decide what goes in it, and anything goes.
It doesn’t all have to be writing. You can use many other forms of expression.
Use a Different Media for Your Journal
Photos, sketches, diagrams, and so on can all be a part of journaling. You can gather quotes and items that inspire you, create photo essays of important events in your life, brainstorm and more. Your journal can be as unique as you are.
If you start a blog, WordPress offers themes for those who want to keep a plog-photo log, or vlog-video log.
If you draw, use different media, such as pen, pencil, crayon, pastels and more.
If you are trying to figure out complicated things, try charts, diagrams or a mind map. Write down things you really need to remember at the back of your journal or in a special section so you always have it on hand.
Create a Collage
Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel.
You can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional thoughts or updates if you wish. Scrap-booking is also a popular pastime for self-expression without a lot of writing.
These days adult coloring books are a hot item. Many of them are based on themes or art forms such as Celtic art or Buddhist Mandalas (representations of the universe). Draw your own or color them in and write about your feelings.
Use a handy free tool like Dictation.io online to record your thoughts. It doesn’t need to be trained for hours like other forms of software. Just make sure no one is within hearing distance of you if you are recording anything private. Remember to use the on and off button, and copy and paste your work into a file to save it if you wish to edit it. Most smart phones come with a built-in voice memo app these days, too, so getting started should be easy.
Sometimes we can get intimidated by a new page in our journal. Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the ‘blank page syndrome’ and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you.
It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling has to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day to day. A gratitude journal can help you get started. I am grateful for….. is an easy prompt that can transform your entire mood.
Journaling is fun, interesting, and can be an invaluable tool no matter how you wish to use it and what you want to accomplish. Write in it every day, one a week, whenever it suits you and don’t stress over it if your work isn’t a masterpiece. Your journal is a personal document designed to help you learn, grow, remember, improve, achieve goals and more. It’s a living document, so there is no right or wrong way to create or use it as long as you find it of value in moving forward to become your best self and live your best life.
My friend Sue creates new journal prompts every month. For only $5 per month you get enough prompts for daily journaling. Check it out here.
The main point about journaling is to just get started, whether that’s writing in a notebook, downloading digital journals, creating picture collages or vision boards. Try all of the methods listed here and see what feels right and fits you. And don’t be surprised if you enjoy all of them and use them all on different days–depending on your mood.
You can also learn to create your own printable journal pages using PowerPoint. That makes it even more personal. I sell templates that can get you started. I also have some free printables you can use.
All the best,
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I’m an Imperfect Christian, Musician’s Wife, Mom, Nana, Friend and Encourager. I work on this site for my own growth and benefit, probably more so than I do for others, but I pray that what I’m learning and sharing will help others in their personal development and journaling adventures.