I bought my first journal a few years ago. Oddly enough I didn’t buy it with the intention of using it to jot down my feelings or write short stories. Rather, I bought it with the goal of tracking my spending. I was horrible at keeping up with it. There are so many budgeting apps available, so I often asked myself why was I making the task harder than it needed to be.
I got my second journal when I graduated college. It was a gift from my aunt and uncle that I started using to keep track of restaurants I wanted to try, books I wanted to read, ideas for this blog, and my goals/resolutions. It also was a space for me to jot down whatever feelings I was experiencing or things that were on my mind at the time. It was a mish-mash of things and wasn’t very organized, which started to bother me. I knew that if I wanted to create content on my blog more often I would have to get more specific with what I wrote about, and having my blog ideas mixed in with restaurants I wanted to try wasn’t going to be a recipe for success.
This realization resulted in the purchase of my latest journal – one entirely dedicated to my blog. I searched Redbubble for some cute yet motivational stickers and personalized an otherwise boring white journal. I figured that personalizing the journal would make it fun to use. Here is the link to it on Amazon if you’re interested!
When I write, I have a preference for how and where I do it. I have a favorite pen (it’s the PaperMate Flair Medium, and I have one in every color), I don’t write at a desk, I like to listen to music, and I don’t have any bright lights on. I don’t write at a desk for a few reasons: I don’t have one in my room at the moment and I feel more relaxed when I write in my bed. I spent so many years doing assignments and papers for school at a desk, so writing from my bed makes the experience feel less like work and more like fun. When I do have room again for a desk, my plan is to make the space feel more inviting by using photos, soft lights, inspirational quotes, and fun colors.
I don’t journal everyday. I don’t even journal every week. For me, putting pressure on myself to put my thoughts onto paper results in writing that isn’t thorough or honest. I’ve found my writing is more meaningful when I start to write, take a break, and resume it later. Bottomline, I only journal when I feel like it. There is no point in journaling when you’re literally forcing yourself to do it. It should be enjoyable, not a chore. It’ll only benefit you if you let yourself willingly pick up the lifestyle. If you’re finding it really hard to start, try to immerse yourself in an environment that makes you feel reflective (i.e. where you’re most in your element). This can be at a library, a café, your bed, or the park!
Journaling is a great way to share what you’re feeling without having to actually tell anyone (unless of course you decide to share, which is your choice!) There’s no right or wrong way to write either. Sometimes my writing is paragraphs, sometimes it’s bullet points. One of my favorite journal entries is when I write what my feelings throughout the day were or currently are. It’s a great way for me to reflect on what made me feel that way and why.
If you want to start journaling, try to start with a notebook that you already have on hand. Once you feel comfortable with the rhythm of journaling, get a journal/diary that you can get attached to!
Have a great week!