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How to Keep a Helpful Daily Journal (and stay committed to it)?

Writing is an essential part of many people’s lives, including my own; however, sometimes actually sitting down to write may be an issue. Whether it be due to limited time, lack of motivation, or distractions, writing may not come as naturally as we may wish it did. Perhaps it’s the way in which we keep journals (or lack thereof of said journals), but what essentially would be a few techniques to keep you writing everyday? Is it simply writing whatever pops into your head, what you see, how you feel, details of your day, descriptions of your surrounds, and/or other details that you observe, feel, or imagine? What makes a "good" writing journal?

  • A fantastically simple yet useful topic to write about. I think coming up with a few different types of journals to talk about would be nice. As you mentioned, something which is just a list of events that have happened. Maybe a more structured journal with a formula such as today I went to _______ and felt _________ and I am grateful for _______. I definitely think a lot of people lack imagination and direction when it comes to journalling, so giving them some ideas and analysis of what could work would actually help! – walleaeaglehawk 5 years ago
  • I think that there actually may be too many suggested guidelines when it comes to journaling. I had been trying different journaling techniques for years and was never able to find one that I could stick to for more than a few weeks. However, carrying a small journal around and writing whatever popped into my head is a tactic that has worked well for me. I think that journaling should be an act of self expression and a documentation of ones life. Too many formats and guidelines can stifle the creative aspect. – Raynee Hamilton 5 years ago
  • When I first started journaling, I believed that what I was supposed to be doing was keeping a log of what I did daily but honestly that just made me feel worse when at the end of the day I had nothing significant to write down because I hadn't done anything significant with my day. Recently though, I've realized that journalling is more about keeping track of how you feel and it requires you to take a moment of your day to understand yourself and how you feel, and why that is. Everyone has their own motivation, and of course my journaling technique and motivation won't be the same as the next. But for me, it was about not forcing the words, but taking a moment to fully appreciate where I was, metaphorically and literally, and writing it down in a way that made me feel something, and left me much less anxious. Another thing that really made me committed to my journal was adding other aspects to it - I started drawing in my journal too. Somedays I chose to only draw instead of write, somedays I wrote a few pages, some days a poem, or other days I collected things like pressed flowers, tickets, and photos. To me this was the most important technique I found in staying committed to my journal - the continuous change made it so I was never tired of what I was doing, and I practiced new and old skills (I'm not very good at drawing) and the journal to me is a more full representation of my life because it is more than words but images and momentos. – chuard 5 years ago