How to Write A Journal

Do you want to know how to write a journal?.Maybe you never have done it before. Perhaps you used to write in a journal but you need some guidance to get back on track. Or maybe you are just open to learning more. On this page, I will answer common questions and clear up any misconceptions. I will give you some simple but practical advice on how to write a journal. And you will soon see how easy it is really is!

Here are ten strategies for keeping a personal record that you will enjoy and use. If you are a teacher looking for how to incorporate these principles into your practice, look at my page on journal writing for the classroom, although many of the principles in this article can also be applied to your students.

How To Write A Journal: Getting Prepared

  • Get a book or computer application that you prefer. What you use is up to you and your circumstances. But the important thing is, to get something. It really doesn't matter if it's a cheap notebook from your local dollar store or an expensive online journaling program.
  • Find a place for it. Find somewhere to keep your journal that you will always remember. That will help you get in the habit of using it and encourage you to make it a regular part of your life. Don't worry about it being the perfect spot, but just have a place for it. Be sure to make it a private location if you live with other people. It is a more secure feeling if you know that your journal is for your eyes only, unless you choose to share it!
  • Always date your journal entries. This is a record of your life, which is lived day by day. So always put a date on your journaling entries, so that later on you can see where this entry fits in, within the context of your story. Some people even like to put the time of day. It's up to you, how detailed you want to go but definitely take the time to record where you are in the calendar.
  • Decide what you are going to write about. Having some parameters for your record-keeping will help you get focused and achieve results. There are many different kinds of journals and there is no right or wrong way of doing it. But deciding what your focus will be, will help keep you motivated. Everyone's goals for will be different and unique, depending on their goals, life circumstances and personality.

How To Write A Journal Without Fear

  • Don't worry about length. Remember when you were in school and the teacher told you you had to write a 2 page report? Well, there's no teacher over you telling how much to write. It's just for you, so write as little or as much as you want. Of course, you may wish to impose limits on yourself, and that's fine, too.
  • Don't worry about spelling and grammar. Did I just say that? And I'm an English teacher? Yes, good news. Even if you failed English, you can still keep a journal. Like I said, there will be no teacher grading your paper. As long as you can understand it, that's what counts! Of course, again, if you are picky about spelling and grammar, it's your place! Do with it what you like.
  • Don't put pressure on yourself. If you are a bit of a perfectionist, you may be used to using pressure to motivate yourself and push forward. STOP! This is a method of reflecting and taking a breather. Relax and enjoy it. Pressure and reflection don't work well together.

How To Write A Journal: Going Deeper

  • Look inward. A diary is not primarily for looking at what other people are doing wrong, although that may definitely come up! Of course, you may need to vent about others in your life, but try to look at how you are doing, and what you can learn, from even the most trying cirucumstances.
  • Keep going. Like anything in life, must of success comes from doing it. Even if you've abandoneed your journal for a long spell, just pick it up and keep going. You will reap the benefits today, no matter what you did last month.
  • Look Back. Keeping a journal is keeping a record of the story of your life, in whatever form, and using whatever criteria you choose. So, in order to get the most out of this habit, look back. You will be surprised and amazed at much you have grown and changed and learned.

So these are some basic guidelines for how to write a journal. And remember, these are not rules, but merely suggestions. The journal is for your enjoyment and your benefit. Make it work for you!

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