Simple Guidance for Journaling: Things to keep in mind!
Updated: Jan 21
When it comes to writing we all know how we were taught in school. You have to pay attention to punctuation, spelling, sentence structure, and paragraphs. However, when it comes to writing a journal it is important to try and let go of all these rules as they can inhibit your progress.
Writing in a more free-flowing way will be what helps you have insight and learn from your experiences that you journal about. So, here are some things for you to keep in mind when you are writing in your journal.
1. Do not worry about grammar
As mentioned above grammar can hold you back from insight when you are journaling. This is not a paper for school or anything it is just a personal journal to help you work through things. If you focus on grammar you will lose track of what you want to say and your mind will start making things up that fit in with what was already written. This means that you will not get to the heart of the matters you write about. Worrying about grammar will block the message and lesson that you are supposed to be getting.
2. This is just for you!!
It is important to remember that this journal is just for your eyes. No one else will see this journal and that is a great thing to remember because it will allow you to write more authentically. If you are not worrying about what people will think about what they read, then you will not be worrying about putting on a show for others and you can avoid writing something down that isn't true and was only written so that others would like you.
3. Setting a timer.
If you set time aside to journal everyday then make sure you are also setting a timer. It is important that you set a timer because you will take away another worry while you are writing. If you know that when your time is up the timer will go off, then you can focus on writing and not worry about keeping one eye on a clock.
4. Thoughts and Feelings
Thoughts and Feelings are what you want to explore during your journal time. The best way to do this is to start writing and just keep writing. If you want to write about things that make you angry then write that at the top of your page and start writing. Don't worry if you go off-topic as this does happen and just means that something else is more important for you right now, so just go with it.
5. How much to write
It does not matter how much you write. Some days you will find a topic that you could write several pages on and other days you will only a couple of sentences. It really doesn't matter how much you write just so long as you are writing. It is important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do this and therefore there is nothing that states you have to write 5 pages a day. It is just whatever comes out and that is it.
6. Review and Reflect
This can be done twice. The first review should be right after your timer goes off. Re-read what you have written then reflect on it in a couple of sentences. Then the next time to review and reflect on things you have written can be months or years later. This can help you understand how far you have come and things that have changed for you in your life. Re-reading where you have been and how far you have come can also be super helpful when you are feeling stuck or down so that you can get inspired to keep going.
I hope that you find these tips as helpful as I did when I started journaling again. If you have read my posts on journaling and you are still wondering how to begin writing in a journal I will tell you that the most important way to start journaling is to set aside the time for it by making it a priority. If it is a priority for you to journal, then you will find the time no matter what. If you can't seem to find the time then it is that important for you yet.
To find some ways that you can start your journaling journey if you are ready to prioritize it then please read my blog post on Exercises and Prompts by clicking that title.