7 Tips for a Thriving Journal
Hello and welcome back to the blog my love!
I have been requested to speak on the matter of journaling many times before, and today, I thought it would be nice to take pen to paper or rather... binary code to screen, and discuss the 7 ways you can improve your journaling life!
This had been requested as a video, but I feel that it's more fitting to discuss writing in the FORM of writing, rather than visuals... so let's dive in!
1. READ MORE
Following that previous train of thought... the fact is that you are NEVER going to enjoy writing unless you also enjoy READING the written word. Now, we don't need to be cozying up in the evening with our personal diaries as reading material, but I have found that the more I read, the better (and more frequently) I write!
Reading more will stimulate your writing, inspire your words, and most of all, remind you that plenty of people have written millions of words on paper, and you can get through a daily journal entry. ;)
2. Get a pen you actually like
This might sound crazy, but I promise that you WILL write more if you enjoy the type of pen you're using. When I switched over to a really inky black gel pen, I found my cursive gliding over the page at RECORD speeds! It was simply a joy to write! So ditch that creepy pencil, say no to promotional pens, and pick out a cute gel pen!
3. Bring your journal with you everywhere
Most of us don't sit down at 8pm every evening and take pen to paper, outlining our days. Most of us have fluctuating schedules, thought-lives, and energy levels. I have found that bringing my journal with me has helped me write more often, get better ideas, and just... enjoy writing much more!
It changes from a chore to a full-on CHOICE! I encourage you to get a smallish journal and pull that baby out when you're waiting at the dealership, grabbing a coffee, or just... killing time while waiting for your date! It definitely beats scrolling through Instagram, and you will find that catching your most interesting thoughts before they flutter away is HIGHLY satisfying!
4. Use it to sort out your emotions
I remember tearing into my bedroom after a particularly negative sixth grade school day. I threw myself on my bed, snatched my worn-out journal, and began furiously writing about being ditched by my friends in regards to partnerships for the sixth grade science fair. Instead of wailing, crying, or screaming at my friends, I screamed at my journal. And it was SATISFYING!
As an adult reading back on my impassioned sixth grade emotions, it's shocking to me how intense I felt at the time, but I also find myself feeling quite grateful to have those feelings immortalized forever. I've always done this: recorded my intense emotions, good OR bad. When I fell in love with my husband, my journal became filled with my heart's longings and thoughts from our very first weeks.
When I went through grief and dark depression, my feelings were also sprawled across the pages forever. And sometimes, I like to reflect upon those feelings to remind myself how far I've come, or of what our first love felt like. Journaling helps you work through your emotions, but it also helps catalogue your life in a really meaningful way. Try taking to the pages when you're struggling, in pain, or feeling supremely happy. :)
5. Rotate your writing & topics
In order to stimulate your writing, it's important to rotate through different topics AND different styles of writing. Instead of just writing daily journal entries about your life, try your hand at different categories. I enjoy writing short stories, poetry, daily diary entries, personal thoughts about cultural and social current events, and future blog or video ideas!
You could write song lyrics, poetry, novel ideas, blog ideas; the sky is the limit! I encourage you also to not only try writing about different topics, but also try rotating the WAY you write as well. You don't necessarily need to write with a physical pen on paper every time either. Sometimes I prefer opening up google docs, or even this very blog!
6. Use it to connect with God
I like to write out my prayers sometimes... especially if they're really meaningful like prayers of repentance, supplication, or long lists of what I'm grateful to God for. It can help to stimulate your prayer life, AND keep a record of your personal spiritual breakthroughs.
7. Write letters to people
When my husband was in the police academy for six months, our communication was limited; he wasn't allowed to call me or text me, and he couldn't even send me letters! However... we did learn that although he couldn't write me back, there were no rules against me SENDING him letters! So, thus began my six month-long one-sided pen-pal relationship.
Now, at first, it sounded pretty unappealing to write to someone who couldn't write back, but before I knew it, I found myself writing longer and longer letters, detailing different thoughts, and even throwing in some creative writing. I spent so much time sharing my thoughts, feelings, ideas, and heart with him, that by the end of the six months, I felt like I was already in the habit of daily journaling LOL!
So, if you need a spark for your writing habits, I encourage you to start sending some letters to your grandmother or find a pen pal. Even if the person doesn't write back much, it can really jumpstart your writing!
That's all I have for today my loves! I hope you feel inspired to start writing. Remember, if the notebook life doesn't work out for you, it's okay to turn to the digital keyboard! Just keep trying different angles until you settle on the right formula for you.