How to start a journal entry?
This question comes to our mind every time we think of starting to write a Journal.
Writing a journal has been a dream for many of us. We like to pour our ideas into the pool of a dairy. No matter how many times we resolute to write a journal on the new year, we end up not writing.
This can happen due to lack of motivation, inconsistency, laziness, writer’s block, and fear that someone might read it. To overcome these problems, first, we need to understand what Journaling is?
What is Journal Writing?
Journal writing or Journaling is a way of pouring feelings, notes, random thoughts, or daily routine into a notebook.
For some people, it’s a mental health exercise, and for others, it’s a way to manage their routine. Whatever is the reason, writing a journal entry can help you in many forms to become better.
It’s human nature that we don’t do anything until we find it useful. We don’t do the exercise until we have to gain weight or lose. We avoid junk food to stay healthy and so on.
So, let’s see why journaling is useful for us?
Perks of Writing Journal Entries
Knowing the benefits of journaling can become good journal prompts for you. Let’s dive into the benefits of making journaling a habit.
Mental Health and Peace
Mental health is essential for our soul and body. These years of COVID19 have brought great depression to everyone. Being locked in our homes, we have missed friends and family.
You don’t feel alone when you have a diary to talk with.
Having a journal helps a lot in dealing with mental depression. It keeps us positive in a negative environment.
The best example of this we can take from Anne Frank. “The Diary of a Young Girl” shows how Anne Frank made her journal a best friend.
Keeping a journal helps you in reflecting on yourself. Writing daily purifies thoughts and gives clear insight. It is a kind of written meditation. It is a safe space where no one judges but you look at your action.
Self-reflection is a great way to learn and grow. This habit brings a huge change in our lives, and doing it by writing is like working on your future self.
Achieving the Goals
The daily diary entry is important if you have a goal to accomplish. Writing about your dreams in a journal is like a positive affirmation that you believe in yourself and can do it.
When you feel low, go back to the pages where you wrote about your goals. Re-read the pages that mention your achievements.
Make to-do lists daily to go near to your dreams. It activates your creative and relational thinking.
A personal journal is the best buddy for friends. There are times when you can’t share a secret with someone but want to talk about it. You have your best and trusted friend, a journal in those times.
Re-Visit the Past
Who says you need a time machine to travel to the past. You have journals for that.
Many historians have helped us understand the past by writing a diary. Poets and writers wrote many accounts of the past.
One of the best examples is the DAIRY OF SAMUEL PAPYES. He captivated many accidents like The Great Fire of London, The Great Plague of London, and The Second Dutch war in his diary during the reign of Charles 2.
Nowadays, we know we need not read a journal to know about any incident. Social media keeps all the important things or not so important things in its pocket memory.
However, journaling can help in looking at your life history. We can re-read all the childhood memories that amazed us. We can see the journey that helped in become better.
We can go back to the exact date to check what happened.
How to start a journal entry?
Now we know the benefits of journaling practice. Let’s see how to start writing journals.
1) Just start writing!
The very first step of doing something is just doing it.
When you think about keeping a journal, grab your pen and start writing. Don’t be bothered about anything, and just start writing. This can be done with questions or affirmations like…
- I want to write a journal.
- I can write about my role model.
- What do I write in my Journal?
- Would I be able to keep a journal?
Here, writing anything will unblock your writer’s block.
Don’t worry about having a journal at this stage. But write! At this present moment, you can write in your notebook.
2) Choose your Type to Figure Out How to Start Journal Entry
Once you have stood to run. It’s time to take a step. This step is to choose what type of journal suits you. There are various kinds of journals. We have got some best journals for you to begin writing.
See and tell, which one is your favorite?
i) Bullet Journals
Developed by Ryder Carroll, Bullet Journals are designed to keep all schedules, to-do lists, reminders, and journal entries in the same place. You can call it Jack of all trades.
ii) Dream Journals
Dream Journal is a great tool to manage time to fulfill dreams. It makes you more focused. Some of these have motivational quotes to help you go.
You can also write dreams that you see at night like S.T. Coleridge elaborated ”Kubla Khan” poem after seeing a dream. It makes the memory stronger.
iii) Art Journal
This journal is for creative people. If you like to sketch or do any creative activity, buy this. You can draw your masterpiece and write about it. Write about the ideas that helped you in creating this work.
These often come with art supplies like colorful markers, stickers, sticky notes, and other interesting things.
iv) Gratitude Journal
Gratitude Journaling practice makes you positive towards life. Write about the things that you are thankful to have in your life.
This type of journal is often filled with positive quotes, questions, and exercises that help in building an optimistic approach.
v) Digital Journal
In the modern world, everything has become digital. We use our smartphones to do everyday life tasks.
So, why not a digital dairy?
This diary is a great writing tool. If you worry that someone might read a physical journal, get this one. This often comes with a journal safe (password).
To get this new journal go to the play store or app store of your cell phone and download the one you want.
Another benefit of this is that you can take it wherever you want as you carry your phone almost everywhere. Writing becomes a lot easier in this. This gives a comfortable writing experience.
Notes app also works as a digital diary.
vi) Academic Journal
Academic journal writing helps you get good marks and perform better in exams. In an academic journal, one writes notes summary, daily schedules, time table to study, motivational quotes, and many more.
These type of journals comes with Timetable formats and note pointers. If you often forget the lessons, this kind of journal writing is for you.
Academic journaling also helps in managing professional life. At work, too, you need to write to-do things, important meetings, points, drafts, and many more things. So get this one.
vii) Theme Journal
These journals are based on the themes of famous movies and web series.
There are numerous journals made on the well-known series FRIENDS. If you are also fond of this masterpiece, then journaling about this will give you motivation.
Like Joey’s (character in FRIENDS) famous line, Joey doesn’t share food! You can write about people in your life who are like Joey. Written on a page can be a good prompt.
There are various kinds of theme journals.
About a game with quotes and the daily routine of great players of that game. Some have their signatures too.
About collections, like feathers, post tickets/stamps, badges, model cars, shells, and many more. These have information about your favorite collections.
viii) Handmade Journal
Handmade Journals are like Art journals. In these journals, you are free to do anything. Being an artistic person, you can make your journals. These look pretty and lure to write.
Apart from making a journal yourself, you can get it customized by some Handmade Journal artist. There are many websites where your choice does everything from pages to size.
ix) Empty Notebook
Okay, if you are very secretive and afraid of keeping a journal, this journal is for you. It’s a type of journal that I found for myself. Being an introvert, I don’t want anybody to read my secrets.
So, I took a notebook and started to write diary entries like a school notebook. Here is how you can do it.
On the first page, Add an Index. Then on the second and third pages, write summaries of 2-3 chapters from the school book. After that, write the names of the chapter as titles and write a personal diary.
3) Your Way to Do Entries for How to Start a Journal Entry
The most beautiful thing about journaling is that there is no way but your way. Not all types of journal routines suit everyone. We are born unique and have different likes. What works for me might not interest you.
So, figure out what’s your way. After choosing the type, find what attracts you. Want to keep it simple? Go simple!
- Want to be creative? Grab your art supplies!
- Can’t write daily? Write on alternative days!
The notion behind Your Way is that you start writing. To come out of writer’s block is necessary to build a writing habit.
4) Stream of Consciousness
We have heard a lot about it. Psychologist William James gave this term. James Joyce wrote the famous novel Ulysses, and Virginia Woolf wrote Mrs. Dalloway based on this term.
But what is it?
Stream of Consciousness means writing the thoughts as they come into mind. You write them like sand follows air. Here you don’t focus on anything intentionally. You write the way you feel comfortable while writing.
Write quickly and read it later. This helps in knowing the subconscious.
5) Find a Routine
Once you have figured out your way and learned to write, it’s time to move to the next step. The next step is writing routine.
Writing routine is very important for journaling. You could either be a morning person or an evening person. It all depends on your comfort. However, you need to stick to a schedule to make journaling a daily habit.
You can begin with morning pages. As you wake up in the morning, go out, embrace nature and start to write. These could be things like what are you going to do today?
You can start a journal with positive affirmations like
- I believe in myself.
- Today is going to be a good day.
You might feel a little lazy to write morning pages. It’s ok! You can write at night. Writing at night is like summarizing the whole day, making the memory stronger.
It reduces stress when we pour our feelings on paper.
Set the alarm as a reminder to a journal. This will encourage you to write journal entries
Choose a location after creating a writing routine.
Visiting a holy place sets our mood to pray, and going to a party hall makes us dance, the same way having a journaling location creates a writing mood.
The location could be of two types.
The place where you write.
Figure out your location and start journaling. Some people like to write in a quiet room and others in the garden. For some perfect location is the study desk, and for others, the bed with morning coffee.
The place where you keep your diary.
Better to keep the journal near you. You can keep it on the bedside table, on your study table, or in a drawer with a lock.
Please keep it in the same place once you have finished writing so that you don’t lose it or somebody else doesn’t read it.
7) Use Journal Prompts to Know How to Start A Journal Entry
We often get bored doing things repeatedly. Hence, we have got some writing prompts and ideas for new journal writers that will give an exciting journaling experience.
Writing sudden feelings and emotions.
Go with the flow! Write the moment you are extremely angry, happy, or sad because writing heals.
The best part of the day.
Even on our worst days, there is something positive. Write the best part of your to stay positive.
Focus on your good habits and jot them down. Also, write about the habits that you want to quit or obtain.
As we mentioned earlier, writing in a journal about good affirmations can change your attitude. In each entry, try to write at least one affirmation.
After visiting a place, we tend to tell everything to our friends. In the same way, you can do journaling while traveling. Write about your experience of going to that place.
Writing feedback is a great way to do journaling. You can write feedback on movies, tutorials on you-tube, novels, a football match, or any game you like. Doing this develops creative thinking.
Journaling about great adventures is a cool thing to do. Write down on a page how did you overcome a fear.
Unsent letter to someone.
Want to write about your feelings in a letter? Write a diary instead. Full of unsaid words and emotions. Pregnancy Journaling is the best example of how you can write for someone else to express your feelings.
Asking questions can motivate you and give directions. For example, you can ask Why? Before doing something or quitting something.
7) Be Creative to Start a Journal Entry
Now when you have developed a habit to do journaling. It’s time to be creative. Buy some stickers to stick. On angry entries, stick the angry emoji, and on an adventurous entry, stick the wow emoji.
You can also add pictures of your role models, friends, and family members. Stick paper cuttings of your favorite poems.
Do calligraphy on pages. Make a pattern or draw on some pages. Brush the paper with coffee water to make the page look old.
8) Be Messy!
Yes, you heard it right! After being creative, I am asking you to be messy.
It is a stereotype that journals should be creative, artistic, perfectly managed, and neat. All these stereotypes become a rock in the path of journaling.
Some of us are not good at designing, creativity, or writing perfect handwriting. And all those beautiful journals that are shown to us make us believe that we can’t do this much.
So, don’t get distracted by such things. It’s your journal, and you can keep it the way you want to. There is no one to judge you. Go with your random thoughts. Do free-writing. Write in bad handwriting.
As told above, it’s your way!
Consistency is essential in everything. It is the key to perfection. If you stop journaling, you will have to start all over again.
Better you keep writing. On the days you don’t want to write, write a single sentence that I will write no matter what. The next day, start to write again in detail. This will not break your habit of writing.
You must get a pretty good idea about starting a journal entry. So, let’s revise all the points.
Just start writing.
Choose the type of journaling you want to do.
Find your way.
Find a routine.
Use writing prompts.