Keeping a journal can often feel tedious, and perhaps even lonesome. What’s the point of writing something down when no one will ever read it? It’s for those precise qualities however that a consistent journal practice can also be incredibly therapeutic. Writing our emotions out on paper can help relieve stress that builds internally. In addition, a journal practice is a healthy outlet to let go of built-up tension throughout the day.
Whether you’ve had no desire to start a journal until today – or you’ve been keeping one consistently throughout the years, we want to share a few tips on how to maintain a thriving journal practice to see you through these colder months.
Establish a Time of Day
Picking out a specific time of day to sit down with your journal can hold you accountable to actually writing in it. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same time everyday but try and work out if you’re more likely to write first thing in the morning versus the last thing at night. Perhaps you’ll find that come 3:30, when you’re on your way to pour more coffee, you have an extra ten minutes to jot some thoughts down.
One Sentence is Better Than No Sentence
Take all the pressure off when it comes to how much you actually want to write. Release yourself of the preconception that you must write Austen worthy prose in your journal. One sentence describing how you feel is better than no sentence. Maintaining a journal practice is about building consistency. There will be times when the words come easily, and other times just a couple lines will suffice.
It Doesn't Have to be Coherent
Keeping a journal doesn’t mean it has to make sense. A journal practice is meant to look and feel only exactly how you want it to. If keeping lists feels cathartic, try writing all the things you’re grateful for that day. Make an outline of all the places you want to visit in the next year and perhaps map out how you can make those trips happen. Taking the time to be inherently selfish (ie. This journal is meant to be a way for you to think about you) is a glorious act of self-care and it doesn’t have to follow any set rules. Maybe even writing a few words that best characterize your day is enough. Whatever feels good to you, write that.
Start With a Few Prompts
Sometimes is the case that a journal practice is thwarted by an inability to think of anything to write. In that is so, start with a few prompts to get you going.
- What is something you’re proud of?
- Is there something in your life that you’re working through right now emotionally?
- If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?
- If you could write a letter to yourself in 15 years, what would you say?
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your journal! Incorporating color can be both a fun and imaginative way to express yourself. Even alternating from red, to blue to black can make your page visually stimulating, perhaps allowing you to tap into a new perspective.
A Painter Needs a Canvas
And of course, making sure you have the proper tools is always important! Choose the platform with wich you journal carefully – you want to choose a notebook that will always be enticing to open and jot your reflections in. Be on the lookout, we have new and improved dot-grid journals dropping in April you sure won’t want to miss it.
Make sure to tag us on social media @WestMarginPress to stay up to date with everything that’s coming out in 2020. We’re certain you’re going to love what’s new. And send us a DM or tag us in your pictures so we can see what you’re reading (and writing)!