How to Write a Journal
If you are looking up how to write a journal, it's more than likely that you're starting from square one. If you've never written a journal before, you'll find that it's a great way to both express your thoughts and feelings as well as to improve your writing skills. Whether you use a word processing document, some software or the old school method of pencil and paper, here are five tips for how to write a journal.
1. Choose a Goal
Ask yourself the question, "Why am I writing this journal?" The way you go about writing it will be completely different depending on your answer to this question. If you are brainstorming for a novel, you'll likely write entries about the setting or from the perspective of the different characters. If you're writing out the thoughts of each day, you'll probably write entries based around the important events in your life. Choose a goal and run with it.
2. Pick a Style
How do you want to format your entries? Some people decide to make their journal read like a letter by starting each entry, "Dear Journal." Others might begin with a short poem or a famous quote. A few might even format each entry as an internal dialogue. There is no set way you have to write your journal, and by picking a style, you can teach your brain to get down to business when you start an entry. If you get bored with the style you choose, you can always change it in midstream.
3. Make a List of Topics
What do you want to write about? If you can't think of anything, you've certainly come to the right place. Check out creative writing prompts for over 100 pages, sporting more than 1,000 ideas for journal topics. If you want them all in one place, buy my 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts book. You could write about your day, about the condition of your life, your wishes for the future, a story based on people from your life, a lesson you recently learned or anything at all. The sky is the limit and a list of topics will help you through any bouts of writer's block.
4. Set a Time
You are most likely to keep up your journal if you write at the same time each day. If you lock in 7 a.m. or 10:15 p.m. as your "journal writing time" every day, you are less likely to skip an entry or give up. I thoroughly recommend that you write every weekday if not every day to get into a proper routine. You will come to love this time you've set aside for yourself to craft this awesome journal.
Of all the "how to write a journal" tips, this is by far the most important one. It's not easy to force yourself to write when you are feeling internal resistance. I've found a certain degree of writing success and I enjoy writing, but I don't always feel like doing it. I find that those are precisely the moments when I need to push through and create. If I don't want to write, I'm probably about to write something really special, so I know that giving up is out of the question. Push past your moments of stress or laziness and you'll have a journal to be proud of in no time.
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