To Journal or not to journal & 4 tips for starting one

Like my multiple attempts at blogging prior to this one, I have tried (and failed) many times to keep a journal. I would make the effort to go and buy myself a notebook, turn to the second page (never the first, just in case I “made a mistake” I could start over) and then sit and stare at the blank paper, hoping some magic would happen. I wanted my journals to be full of flowery prose that in 50 years people would look at and think “what an interesting life she had, and what foresight to write it all down”.

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But, alas, it {upuntilnow} never came into fruition.

Why not?

Because I was always afraid.

I was afraid of what people would think of what I wrote. I was afraid it wouldn’t be perfect. I was afraid I would make a mistake. I thought that in order to have a journal, you needed exciting, dramatic things to happen. I thought you needed to have a poetic way to express everything that was happening. Personally? I am seriously lacking in anything dramatic, exciting, and poetic – a fact which is 100% fine by me!

So what made me start journaling again?

Plain and simple:
Pinterest.

All it takes it searching “journal” and you get sucked right into this creative world bursting at the journal seams!

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After a quick trip down journal amazingness lane, I realized the reasons I had always originally wanted to start a journal:

I wanted a place to record my life & I wanted a place for a creative outlet.

My husband and I went to Barnes and Noble and I picked out a bright and bold journal that I would want to write in. The Moleskine I picked is perfect for me. It makes me happy, and fits right in with my planner in my bag.

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I’ve been trying to keep myself free of pressure when it comes to my writing. I’ve been writing whatever strikes me. There have been some rants, quotes, book reviews, and daily happenings.

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I’ve learned that it doesn’t need to be anything amazing. I’m not writing the next great American classic here – I’m just writing down what’s in my brain! Reminding myself of that has really opened up my creativity for topics, and I’ve even surprised myself with what I’ve come up with!

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I came up with a few tips for those who are having any reservations on keeping a journal:

1. Just start!
I had originally wanted to wait until December 1st to start my journaling, but on November 30th, I said to myself “Why wait?!”. There was no good reason not to. Down the road you will look back and wish you had started journaling sooner – I know I am! Think about all the things that have happened to you this week. I bet you are already forgetting important details. Take the time to write a couple simple sentences down – even if all they are, are those few important details you don’t want to forget.

2. Buy a journal you will WANT to write in!
For me it was this Moleskine. I like the look of it, and always want to have it with me. The beauty of this is that I’m not embarrassed to take it out and write in it, and that I have it when I get stuck waiting at an appointment, or if I need to write something down so I can remember it later. {Secret:Ithinkitmakesmelookcool!}

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3. Use journal prompts if you are stuck!
Pinterest (catching on? I LOVE Pinterest!) is an amazing resource for journal prompts. Even something as simple as writing a list of your favorite books is a great exercise, and who knows – you might spark an idea for a longer entry!

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4. Have no expectations.
I think this one is the most important. Give yourself a break. This is a place strictly for you. It doesn’t have to be pretty. It’s a place for mistakes, spelling errors, complaints, and jokes. Whatever you want, this is the place. And secret? It’s way better when you write on the first page 🙂

So there you have it. I’m telling you to get yourself to the store and buy a pretty notebook and get writing for god’s sake! You’ll wish you had started sooner – I promise!

On another note, I wanted to thank you so much for stopping by! I’ve been having so much fun in the last 2 weeks checking out the blogs of everyone who has left a comment or taken the time to follow me.  I have found them inspiring, and I love seeing how other people use their blogs. Feel free to follow or leave a comment so that I can stop by and check out your little corner of the internet!

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6 thoughts on “To Journal or not to journal & 4 tips for starting one

  1. Pingback: How to Stay Creative with a Smash Book

  2. Pingback: Start a Creativity Journal | Juliette Nolan

  3. Pingback: 5 Reasons You Should Already Be Keeping a Journal | SoshiTech

  4. Pingback: “This Is Me” Challenge | She Writes On Paper

  5. To journal, always to journal… not to journal shouldn’t even be considered… Yeah I’m a little obsessed with all things paper related.. so much so that my husband has to drag me away kicking and screaming from places like Target, or Office Depot

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