How to Journal

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How to journal

I have always written.

Stories, songs, essays have all flowed from my pen. I have also kept a journal most of my life.

Last week I took a peak at a notebook I kept when I was on Bequia studying acting with Sandy Meisner. I almost handed it to my daughter, but then realized that one was also my journal of that time and had a number of personal thoughts I wasn’t ready to share. I may change my mind when I have had a chance to reread it but I couldn’t make that decision in a hurry.

Journals are private.

Unless you decide to share them.

So how do you begin?

My first journal I received when I was about 5 or 6, just beginning to write things down and it had a little lock and key. Classic girl stuff in the early 1970’s. After that I had notebooks I kept filled to the brim with poems and songs and diary entries and short stories and ideas. As I began on my novel I chose a computer as my partner. After I left the acting world I didn’t journal as much. I even left paper planners by the wayside until recently. Now I am back to pen and paper after a number of years away from it.

Cancer brought me back to almost daily blogging but at the end of 2017 I felt my life was missing something. My pen to paper connection became something I longed for.

I wanted to return to journaling but I didn’t have the drive. I knew it would reignite a sleeping part of my brain to actually use a pen instead of typing. So here are some things I have found that help me.

  1. The Desire Map Planner. I bought Danielle LePorte’s Desire map journal because it had cool questions on each day and answering them was a way back in. I used it daily and in April found myself reaching for a paper journal to write in also then in October I was ready for more space and to be on my own. I kept writing answers to the questions but moved fully into a bound paper journal.
  2. I bought a Chic Sparrow which is a leather cover for any number of bound notebooks. You can use any type you like in it according to the size you desire. They hold from 1-6 depending on size.
  3. Back at the end of 2017 I received my first filofax in about 12 years and I went back to that for my calendars.
  4. I include in my journal questions to answer and I stumbled across a (ok, if you don’t believe, fine, but humor me here) a wonderful astrologer named Jennifer Racioppi who’s Cosmic Health forecast on “I am Well and Good” is something I put into my journal every week. It is a little science experiment for me to see what happens, but also gives me some food for thought when I need to write something fresh.

There is a whole world of journals out there with great questions. Some are daily planners like Danielle’s and some are more focus centered like the Cultivate What Matters Powersheets. The lists are endless and if you search you will find more. There is an active community on Instagram.

At this point I have been trying to simplify.

I have my daily journal. I have a planning notebook for my business side and I am working my way through the 2019 powersheets though I find them a bit overwhelming. I also have my filofax because I like to see my week in full and get my hands on it.

Find a journal and begin writing.

You can go stream of consciousness for several pages or simply write your thoughts at the moment. Choose a notebook that feels good in your hands. Or simply start with anything you have on hand and eventually you will find what works for you. No one is judging how short or how long your entries are. Sometimes mine are a sentance — sometimes they are a page. It is up to you.

How to journal

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