Hope all is well with you today. 🙂
So you’ve got your blank notebook and you’re ready to start journaling, but the blank page is scaring you. You don’t want to write in your notebook in case you mess it up. You know you want to start a journal, but you’re intimidated by all the pretty pictures you’ve seen on Pinterest and Instagram. You don’t think your journal will be that pretty, so maybe you shouldn’t bother. You put your pen down, stick your notebook in a drawer and decide, a little disgruntled, to do something else instead.
I hear you, but let’s back up a bit.
Take the notebook out of the drawer, pick up your pen again and know the only rule is that you don’t need to produce something you’d be happy to post on Pinterest or Instagram. By all means use these places for inspiration, or simply for their aesthetic value, but know that your notebook is your notebook and it can be full of bad handwriting, weird drawings and tea stains, if you want. The main thing at the moment is that you start to write or draw or list or glue or doodle or…
Whatever YOU want.
There are many different, popular journaling practices but none is right or wrong, there’s only the one that’s right for you. If you’ve still not decided how you want to start, you can grab a copy of five options to fill a blank page (click the image below)
or have a think about these journaling ideas to see if there’s something that appeals to you.
1/ Personal diary
Keeping track of what you do, how you feel and what you think on a day-to-day basis can not only be rewarding for you, but could be a treasure for future generations. I would love if my grandparents or great grandparents had kept a daily journal of their life (however exciting or mundane). If you set out with the intention that your diary will be read by others in future, at least you’ll be able to consider what you include from the start. *runs to burn teenage diaries* 😉
Although this form can feel accompanied by a pressure to write every day, that’s not necessary if it doesn’t suit you. A weekly or monthly round up, or even irregular entries, will provide so much valuable insight and information. Or, to make it more manageable, a daily entry could be just a few lines. Journaling should be a fun and positive experience – don’t let it become an added stressor in your life. You are in control of the way you want to do it.
2/ A topic specific journal
Perhaps you’d prefer to maintain a journal on only one aspect of life that’s important to you. Travel journals with mementos of places you’ve been, book or film journals documenting what you’ve read or seen, nature journals identifying local flowers and recording time spent outdoors, or any other topic you can think about, would be a fun place to start.
To do lists, shopping lists, project lists, reminder lists, lists of your lists 😉 all need a place to live. It’s maybe not as attractive or exciting a proposition as the other options, but it will help you keep yourself on track (and free up space in your head to think about some of the more creative alternatives!)
4/ Bullet journaling
The practice of bullet journaling has exploded in recent times and it’s no wonder, really, because it’s such a versatile form. It was developed by Ryder Carroll and is an overarching system that means your one notebook can incorporate anything and everything you need it to. It’s particularly practical, but many have branched out to use it creatively too. With codes and keys to help you keep track (although, of course, you can develop your own), it’s both a structured and flexible system. It’s not a method of journaling I use yet, but I can certainly understand its popularity.
5/ Art/Scrapbooking/memory keeping
It may be contentious to lump these three together, but I’ve done so because to me they are similar in that they concentrate on more visual forms of self-expression. As I’ve said before, different people mean different things by the term journaling. I tend to mean the act of intentionally using a notebook for some practical and/or creative purpose and so art journaling, scrapbooking and memory keeping fall within that for me. It’s one of my priorities this year to spend some time memory keeping and it’s a new area for me to explore!
Have you tried any of these journaling practices? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below or pop on over to @elleturnerwriter on Instagram and tell me your story there!
And, if you’re not sure where you want to start, grab your free copy of five options to fill a blank page – a list of journaling prompts to get you started!
See you next time!