How to Write and Keep a Journal: Complete Guide on Journal Writing
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How to write and keep a Journal

How to write and keep a Journal

Have you ever thought about starting a journal? If not, then you should definitely try it out. Not only is it a place for all of your thoughts, goals, and emotions, but it is also a tool to organize your thoughts. There’s also a way to be more productive with a journal – you can track your progress and achievements.

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What is a diary/ journal?

A journal is simply a written record of your thoughts, feelings, or observations about the world. These can be short sentences, long paragraphs or even single words. In short, a magazine is what you want, as long as it’s a consistent document of self-expression.

Is there a correct way to keep a diary/journal?

For many people, staring at a blank page can be daunting, and the prospect of starting a new magazine for the first time can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, the first rule in journaling is that there is no wrong way. You can write for free, jot down points or create a to-do list. Whether your favorite journal writing exercise is quick journaling, responding to writing prompts, or just writing a series of doodles and notes in a mindful style, the most important thing is to start writing and keep writing.

You also don’t have to keep a literal journal. Some journal writers prefer to do so in a notebook, but if you find that it’s easier to keep up your journaling habit with a sketchbook, or a Word document, or a blog, or bound journals covered with Washi tape and stickers, that’s okay too. The types of journals are less important than the act of writing itself.

What are the benefits of journaling?

The benefits of journaling are innumerable. In many ways, keeping a journal initiates a process of self-discovery that journaling can help you sort out your feelings about your life and the world around you. Blogging can also improve your mental health – studies have shown that people who write about their problems can reduce their overall levels of anxiety. At the very least, journals can be a fun and useful time capsule that serves as a simple document for key moments in your life.

Here is how you can benefit most from journal keeping.


Plan things

Keeping track of what you need to do is great. And a to-do list is exactly what you can do in your journal. It doesn’t matter whether you’re planning on doing your homework or knowing what groceries to buy – it’s a great way to organize yourself so all of these tasks are easy to remember and plan.

Achieve goals

When you have a goal that you really want to achieve, write it down in your journal. A study conducted by the Dominican University showed the effectiveness of this technique. It mostly works because every time you open your journal, you keep being reminded of the goal you want to achieve. In addition, when you write it down, you almost feel obliged to do so, you have the feeling that you have made a pact with yourself, which also helps a lot.

find solutions

When you need to find a solution to a problem quickly, it is usually helpful to write down anything that bothers you in your journal. When a deadline is so close and you can’t afford to waste time, this is a great method to use. If your problems are explained on paper and not just thought about over and over again, you can look from a different angle and find a solution.

Increase motivation

Motivating yourself is the key to success. That’s why we all need a little inspiration from time to time. Holding quotes that inspire you is great in your journal.


Usually what you write stays in your journal for a long time. You can always go back and read the things you wrote in the past. You can see how you grow and develop as a person, how many problems you have solved, and how many are still relevant. It will help you understand yourself better and improve.


Last but not least, keep a journal – it’s a great way to analyze yourself. You can ask yourself the most uncomfortable questions in your journal and analyze each answer. It helps a lot in increasing productivity.


Tips to Write a Perfect Personal Statement


How Journaling Can Make You a Better Writer

One of the most important reasons to keep a journal is that it can make you a better writer:

  1. Improve your observation skills. Journaling is a way of getting you to describe the places you visit – who fills them, what they look like, how they smell, what kind of food, flora, or architecture you see – and the dialogues you hear, or to record the conversations you have with the people you meet. When you know how people talk and what topics move them in conversation, you can write the dialogue and plan your story.
  2. Help you find beauty in ordinary life. Some of your personal journal entries will be simple. Some of them will be fun in nature. Some can even start out very easily and become interesting as the readings are repeated. With some distance, a handful of these notes will be in-depth and likely generate some ideas for a story. It’s almost impossible to predict which notes and journal ideas will catch on in 3, 10, or 20 years from now, so it’s important to write them all down and believe in this part of the writing process.
  3. Develop discipline in writing. Consistent free writing not only helps you produce material for your imaginative performance, it also helps you develop consistent work habits that carry over to your more structured writing. Simply put, the more you do it, the easier it is to write. Consistent journaling can have a nudge effect and make your off-the-record writing more focused and disciplined.

5 tips for starting – and keeping – a journal

Follow these five tips to help you establish a journaling practice.

  1. Write at odd hours. It is important to plan when to write, but it is also helpful to write at unusual, spontaneous hours when your mind and mood change. Keep a journal when you are incredibly tired, busy, or even hectic. After taking a new state of mind into your process, you can look at what you have done and see something with new potential.
  2. Write every day. Some people like to write the morning pages when they first wake up. Some prefer to write at the end of the day. The most important thing is to do it every day, even if you don’t really feel like it. Writing every day will help you build consistent habits and learn how to fight your way through the book block.
  3. Take your diary with you wherever you go. Sometimes life gets in the way and you find that you are unable to write your journal within the deadline. This is why it is important for magazine writers to always have their diaries with them: you never know when your creative powers will flow and you have to start blogging on a specific day.
  4. Use journal prompts. Some people think that every day they think about things to write about. Using journal prompts can be a helpful way to get involved in journaling practice. You can try keeping a gratitude journal, where you write specifically about the things for which you are grateful. You can also do the opposite, writing about stressful events or things that you want to change during the day. The daily writing process is more important than the content, so don’t hesitate to use prompts if they aid the flow of words.
  5. Relax and close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Play soft music. Seeing a blank sheet of paper doesn’t have to be stressful because you can fill it with anything you want. Remember that expressive writing should be fun and there is no wrong way to go about it. Just start with the first page and then move on.

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