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How to Journal: Tips to Help You Get Started

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We’ve written a lot about the benefits of journaling, either through morning pages or evening pages, but what happens when you need to start with the basics? If you don’t know how to journal, then we’ve got some tips to offer you to help you get started.

how to start journaling

Tips to Help You Learn How to Journal

It can feel overwhelming and confusing to start journaling if you’ve never done it before. Maybe you think that you’ll do incorrectly or worse, you have no idea what to do or how to start.

The good news is that there isn’t a right way nor a wrong way. Journaling is meant to make you feel better, and while there are many suggestions and ideas you can implement, the important thing to remember is that you set time aside to write what is on your mind. Let’s take a look at some simple suggestions that you can begin to implement and finally learn how to journal.

Choose a Journal You Love

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a journal, but you should choose one that you love. The flimsy notebook that sits by the phone? Don’t use that one. Find one that calls out to you. One whose pages you enjoy to write on and which feels nice when you hold it. You’re going to spend quality time with this notebook and you want it to be an enjoyable experience.

Have a Predetermined Place to Journal

Whether you choose to write on the couch or at the kitchen table, know where you’re going to write ahead of time. This makes it easier to dive in, especially if you have limited time. If you can keep this space somewhat sacred (candles, quiet, etc.) then that’s even better.

Have Journal Prompts Ready

On days when you are stuck and wondering how to journal, it is helpful to have journal prompts ready, otherwise you might find yourself staring at the blank page, feeling frustrated, and abandoning the practice altogether.

Check out our free workbook that has 25 journal prompts that are designed to help you write when you’re feeling stuck.

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25 Journal Prompts for When You Don’t Know How to Start

How to Journal Prompts Mock Up

Write in Private

No one needs to know you’re journaling and no one needs to watch you doing so. There’s something more freeing about having a writing practice that is for you, and you alone. You don’t have to answer to anyone about what you write or don’t write. Treat your journal writing time as sacred time and protect it. That means from the opinion of others.

Let Your Stream of Consciousness Run Wild

Part of the power of journaling is that you uncover what you didn’t know was buried. When you censor yourself, you limit yourself. But when you allow yourself the time and space to write freely, you will find that thoughts, ideas, and reactions will emerge that might surprise you. This is where the magic comes through.

Don’t go back and edit

This goes hand in hand with letting your stream of consciousness run wild. Just write and don’t worry about spelling or grammatical errors when you’re journaling. That’s for a different kind of writing – one where you’d show people your most polished work. Journaling is not that. So give yourself permission to write in any form that works for you on that day. And if it’s filled with broken sentences and comma splices, that’s fine. The point is that you write what you feel you need to write.

Write Again the Next Day

A good writing practice requires consistency. If writing doesn’t go well one day, then you try again the next day. You do it as much as you need and as often as you can. Just keep going.

Grab your freebie!

Go from “How do I journal?” to “I’m journaling!”

Download our free workbook 25 journal prompts to help you when you don’t know how to start.

Enjoy the process and let us know how your journal writing practice is coming along. We’d love to hear from you.

-Isabel & Marilyn

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  1. Tess says:

    I always tell myself I’m going to journal more and then never follow through ๐Ÿ˜‚ These are such good tips to get into a routine, thank you!

    • Marilyn says:

      It’s truly a practice that makes such a difference. I notice a big difference between days I journal and the ones I don’t. Let us know if you start!

  2. Chloe says:

    I’d love to journal more! Thanks for the tips x

  3. Sara Meyer says:

    Journaling is a form of self care

  4. Susye says:

    I enjoy my journaling time every morning to note down my dreams and in the evening to recall my day, and I also have an INNER CHILD HEALING Journaling Prompts book!

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