Some people have asked “How do I get started journaling?” Or, “what should I journal about?”
There are as many ways to journal as there are people and just as many things to write about.
I have been journaling in some form or another for as long as I can remember. I am also still learning news ways to express myself and seek answers through journaling.
Below are six journals you can keep or six journaling methods. Most of these journals can be combined. My own journals have taken many forms, sometimes using only one method, sometimes using several methods at once.
The journals I describe below fall into two broad categories: Remembering Journals and Self-Discovery Journals.
- Success Journals– Start with recording every success you ever had, as far back as you can remember; then keep an ongoing record of your successes. A success could be anything you ever done that made your heart beat a little harder and sing a little louder. It could be something small like reading aloud for the first time in kindergarten, running your first mile ever, winning an essay contest, standing up for your beliefs, getting the promotion you worked hard for, or earning your first dollar as you own boss.
- Baby Steps Journals– Each night record each baby step you took that moved you closer to your goals and dreams. Maybe it was only to make a to-do list, or to check a book out of the library, or to volunteer to take on a special project. No baby step is too small (or too big) to record.
- Gratitude Journals – This is simply a daily listing of all the things you are grateful for in your life. It is a reminder of all the good that surrounds you. And, when you are having an especially difficult day, and can’t find anything to write about because you feel so bad, re-read your previous entry’s and record that you are grateful for your gratitude journal.
- Image Journals – A lot of people don’t like to write and feel overwhelmed by the thought of keeping a journal or diary. They are often more comfortable with images and pictures. In this daily journal you would use an image to record something that happened. It could be an image of an actual event or an image that reminds you of what you felt. You can draw/paint a picture, choose a picture from a magazine, copy a picture from a book, print something from the internet or take a photograph. You would then paste this image into your image journal with the date and write just one or two lines to remind yourself what happened, how you felt and what the image represented.
- Life Journals – In this journal you can explore all the questions of life, all the ups and downs, the pain and anguish, your hopes and dreams. It is an outlet, a way to release the built up energy that can weigh us down and keep us stuck in the muck. You may write in this journal for days, or weeks at a time and then put it away for awhile. It is the journal where you can explore your life and its’ deeper meaning. For some people this type of journal has been their constant companion throughout their lives. (like me)
- Art Journals – This type of journaling can be a combination of all the previously listed journals. It is a creative, image based journaling method that allows you to explore the past, present and future. It allows you to express yourself with words, images, colors and textures. It is one of the most creative ways to ask yourself questions, seek the answers and express yourself. It is also the newest form of journaling I have been experimenting with this past year.
I have kept all of these journals at one time or another. I started art journaling last year and was recently honored to be included in Dirty Footprints Studio’s 30 Journals in 30 Days profile project. Image journaling is something new I am trying and the concept was inspired by Jamie Ridler’s 365 Day Project.
How have you journaled in the past? Are these methods familiar to you? Which is your favorite?