Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Journaling Tips

Throughout the month of August I posted journaling prompts. I hope it got you guys thinking... and writing! In light of that, I decided I would offer some journaling tips for those of you who are starting journaling-- or thinking about getting more serious about it.

1. Find a journal that works for you-- whether that's a composition book you bought for a buck or a fancy schmancy leatherbound dealie. I like a 5X7 size spiral bound journal with a durable cover-- and it's even better if that cover is pretty. You just want something that invites you to write. If it seems too ugly, utilitarian or fancy for your personality, it's not going to work.

2. Struggling with something to write about? How about unsent letters? Write a letter to someone you've lost, someone you need to talk to but don't have the courage, someone you need to confess something to, apologize to, etc.

3. Journals are also a great place for goal setting, dreaming, strategizing, etc. Just seeing your hopes in black and white can be the inspiration you need to finally take action. A study done by Kaiser Permanente on 1700 people trying to lose weight, those who wrote down their foods in a journal lost up to twice as much as those who did not.

4. If journaling in the broad sense of the word overwhelms you, consider creating a journal with a specific focus. For example, a weight loss journal, a spiritual journal, a travel journal, a cooking journal, a creative journal, a gratitude journal, a reading journal (write about books you're reading), a dream journal, etc.

5. Don't feel like you have to write every day. Sometimes I only write once a month in mine. If I am not in the mood sometimes I just can't force myself to be. But I am always pleasantly surprised when I push past those feelings of resistance.

6. Don't feel like you have to write in complete sentences-- or write at all. Draw arrows, charts, outlines, or write bullet points using fragments.

7. Don't censor or judge yourself on what you're writing. Shut off your inner critic and just let the emotions come to the surface. Don't worry about language, grammar, or being pc. A journal isn't the place to say what you're "supposed" to say.

8. Go back and re-read your writing from time to time. I've been amazed sometimes to read something I wrote months ago that I thought I was just now figuring out. It's amazing how short our memories can be!

9. Need some inspiration? Read books on journaling. Type in "journaling" into the Amazon search field and you'll get a surprising number of results.

10. Don't count your blog as your journal. Blogs are great but just the fact that they're public doesn't mean that they're going to inhibit what you feel free to say.

Remember, journaling is just taking notes on your life. What do you want to remember? What's important to you? What stands out? That's the stuff you should journal about!
Pin It!


Jackie S. said...

Thanks Marybeth
I can't tell you how much I loved your recent posts for journaling. I did it and loved it and am continuing. I am marking this in faves. I now pick up journaling ideas from different E devos I receive.
Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post! I have not felt like I could journal,but these 10 ideas have given me some good ideas! Thanks!