You don’t need to be a brilliant writer to make journaling work for you. Whether you’ve journaled before and sort of fallen off or you’re brand new to journaling, writing out your thoughts and feelings can be for anyone. Journaling can be highly beneficial, no matter what approach you take to get started, and you can get started at any time.
However, sometimes journaling can seem a bit intimidating at the beginning. Whether you aren’t sure of what to write about or you’re afraid you won’t be able to find the time to journal every day, getting started can sometimes be the hardest part of doing anything — journaling included. And no matter where you are in your journey or how you’ve felt about journaling so far, there’s no harm in giving it a try and seeing where it can take you. Here are a few journaling tips for beginners for those who are ready to get started.
You might have an image in your mind of what journaling is supposed to look like — probably you, cozy by the window with a cup of tea and a beautiful notebook in hand — but journaling doesn’t need to wait for you to have the perfect moment. Sometimes, it’s about getting your thoughts out whenever you have a free moment. Don’t wait for the perfect time to start — create moments whenever you can.
If writing with a pen and paper just isn’t your style, there are plenty of ways you can journal. While many people love to use journaling apps on their phones, others prefer guided journaling or using small, pocket-sized notebooks. Some people even fair best with visual journaling or audio recording. Find a method that works for you!
One of the biggest questions in journaling is, “What do I write?” If you find yourself asking this regularly, prompts might be one of the best tips for journaling. While you can buy a journal with prompts already included, there are so many prompts available online. You can pick through and find the ones you like the most, and you can even use them as a kind of training-wheel setup until you feel comfortable journaling without them.
Sometimes, it can feel like life is hectic and crazy, and you can’t even think about sitting down and journaling for even a few minutes. In that case, just write one sentence. This can be a great practice for those trying to make journaling a daily routine. Just jotting down one sentence to describe your day or how you’re feeling can take some of the pressure off but still allow you to have that journaling experience.
If your thoughts sometimes feel fragmented or out of place, you can try making lists of thoughts, feelings or anything else on your mind. This can be a great technique for those who want to get into gratitude journaling, as gratitude lists are easy, but often pack a big punch.
Some people prefer to do their morning pages every day, while others would rather wind down at night with a page or a list. If you’re trying to turn journaling into a daily habit or routine, scheduling it and building it into your daily life is a surefire way to make sure you always get to it. It’s about carving out time, just like working out or going for a daily walk. Try out different times to see what works for you and try to build a rhythm with it.
This one is a bit simple, but sometimes simple is what gets the job done. Get a journal you like to look at and hold in your hands. You’ll be much more likely to pick it up and take it places with you if you love seeing it. While aesthetics aren’t everything, there’s nothing wrong with having a journal you enjoy — it’s all about creating a good experience for yourself.
Journaling is about getting your thoughts and feelings out onto the page, and no matter how that comes to be, doing it is a success in itself. Whether you use prompts, make video diaries or list out how you’re feeling on any given day, making your way to the page — or phone, or camera — is what matters. Do you have a favorite journaling prompt?