If you have never written a journal or a kept a diary, then facing that brand new beautiful hard-back notebook you were given as a Christmas present can be a bit daunting. It takes me back to being a school when we were given an essay topic in English or a title of a piece of art – my mind would just go blank!
But you have decided to start a journal in 2017. So here are my thoughts on how to get started.
How to Start a Journal in 2017
- Read the blog post on 45 Reasons for Writing a Journal as this will give you plenty of ideas of what to write about.
- If you haven’t chosen or been given a lovely book to write in, treat yourself to one. Here are some ideas: http://amzn.to/2hsdHsc
- Chose a time of day to write that suits your schedule when you know you will have uninterrupted time. Many people chose first thing in the morning or late at night, but there’s nothing to stop you writing at lunchtime or even after supper. It’s entirely up to you.
- I like to write mine at a desk in my bedroom away from the clutter of my office. In the summer it’s lovely to go and sit outside. Again you may choose to go to a local coffee shop where there are no distractions.
- Many people don’t like starting a fresh page in case they make mistakes. This is understandable. Maybe write in pencil and invest in a good eraser. Perhaps use one of these new ballpoint pens which can be erased. I like the Pilot Frixion Erasable Rollerball pens which come in a range of colours.
- Remember that a journal or a diary is just for you. It’s not meant to be read by anyone else (unless of course you have ambitions to publish your memoires!) You are really only then limited by your imagination. If you just want to keep a list of bullet points of what you did today then that’s just as valid as insights into your deep innermost thoughts about the state of the world.
- I would highly recommend starting out with an undated journal – a simple lined notebook. That way you will not feel obliged to write every day. Missing a day will not end up with a big blank section staring you back in the face the next time you open it up.
- Keep the entries short to start with. I wish my grandparents had even written a few lines in a diary from time to time – what insights I would now have into their lives.
- If you are artistic then adding sketches might help to get the creative juices flowing. You can use decorative tape, known as washi tape is you are not particularly artistic but like to add colour.
- Finally, write about things you enjoy. Make it lighthearted to start with and let the journal entries evolve. It may be difficult to start with but the benefits of writing little and often will pay off in the long run and you never know it might lead to that book you have always been meaning to write.