Last week, I shared my top 5 favorite benefits of journal writing. In case you missed that article you can find it here. This week, I wanted to share the basics of how to get started with journal writing. Today, you’ll learn about basic supplies to use, picking a topic, & some additional considerations. However, this is just a general overview. For more specific tools and techniques, check-out my latest e-course offering, Write Beginnings. I’ll tell you a bit more about the new e-course later on in this article, but for now let’s jump into the first section.
Picking Your Supplies
To get started with journal writing you simply need something to write on and something to write with. If you prefer working on paper, this could be a notebook, loose leaf paper, bound journal, or even a typewriter. There is a wonderful and wide variety of pens, pencils, markers, and crayons that you can choose from if you decide to journal on paper.
If you prefer working digitally, then you also have a variety of options. These include MS Word, Google docs, Apple Pages, or other word processing software available on your desktop or laptop computer. If you prefer a more portable version that you can access from multiple devices, there are various note keeping applications you can use. One of my favorites is Evernote.
Path of Least Resistance
When thinking about which option(s) to choose, pick the path of least resistance. It’s important to consider comfort and ease of use. You will not be able to create a consistent journal writing practice, if there are too many barriers between you and getting your words on the page.
You also don’t have to stick with just one. As I shared last week, I go back and forth between paper and digital journaling and find this works quite well for me.
Pick a Topic
Alright, now that we’ve explored the supplies you need to get started, let’s look at picking a topic to write about. As you’ve been reading this article, I’m sure you’ve asked yourself the question, “What should I write about?” The beauty of journal writing is that the answer to this question is quite simple; Anything you want! Don’t worry, I’m going to provide you with some questions to help you narrow this down.
When you’re getting started with journal writing, it helps to take some time to think about what you want to use your journal for.
- Do you want to add journal writing to your religious or spiritual practice?
- Do you want to write to reflect on your day?
- Do you want to write to practice expressing gratitude on a regular basis?
- Do you want to write to help you improve your self-care?
Think about one specific area in your life that you desire more clarity on or spend a lot of time thinking about. Chances are, this will be a great topic for you to write about.
Once you’ve picked your topic, there are a few more things you’ll want to consider before you get started.
Keep It Private
One of the things that makes journal writing such a powerful practice is the ability to say what’s on your heart and mind without filtering yourself. To help with this, it’s important to think about what steps you can take to keep your writing private. Privacy will also be a consideration when you’re deciding what to write with and on.Journal writing allows you to say what’s on your heart and mind without filtering yourself. Click To Tweet
Date Your Entries
Once you get started it’s also important to date your entries. This will help you keep track of your writing and see how you’re progressing in your journey. This is particularly useful if you, like me, use paper and digital journal writing methods.
Don’t Overthink It
Try to write freely without editing yourself. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation. Just write! This will help your thoughts begin to flow more freely.
Keep It Simple
When you’re getting started, keep it simple. You want your journal practice to be a supportive, self-caring activity. You’re doing it “right” if you show-up to the page and start writing.
Keep It Short
Don’t feel like you need to try and write for long periods of time when you’re just getting started. Aim to write for just a few minutes. Get some words down on the page and then walk away.
And finally, just start writing. That’s it! If you put words on a page (or computer) that express your thoughts and feelings you have already begun your journal writing practice!
Those are the basics to help you get started with journal writing. Do you have any additional tips or strategies you’ve used to help you start your journal writing practice? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Before I go today, I want to let you know about a new e-course that I’m super excited to share with you.
Write Beginnings is an inspiring mini e-course designed to introduce you to 5 simple tools and techniques to help you get started with journal writing. You will learn the 5 techniques I like to use in my personal journal writing practice so that you can start your own.
Oh yes, and it’s FREE!
This course is designed for absolute beginners to journal writing and those occasional dabblers who are interested in adding some new writing techniques to their toolkit.
The e-course will begin on Monday, August 22nd and run through Friday, August 26th.
If you have been curious about how to get started with journal writing, but have felt intimidated or overwhelmed by the idea, then this course is for you.
I hope you’ll join me in the classroom next week. For additional details about the course and to register, please click here.
Thanks so much for stopping by today.