Journaling – The Basics of How to Journal


© Petro Feketa

What is Journaling aka Journal Writing?

Perhaps you’ve kept a diary of some sort at one time or another in your life. You may even keep one right now – you know the ones with the little lock and key that are frequently found hiding between the bed mattresses, under the bed or in the nightstand drawer. Diaries are great and serve a purpose. BUT, if we’re talking about journaling, we’re talking about something that’s so much more!

Unlike a diary, which is simply a written record of your day’s events, a writing journal is a written “exploration” of who you are as a person today and who you’d like to become in the future. Journal writing involves recording your thoughts, feelings, experiences, goals, disappointments, fears, dreams, etc… at some specific time in your life.

Journaling is also a great way to jumpstart your creative writing whether you’re in need of a spark to write your next blog post, midterm paper or the next bestselling novel.

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Why Keep a Journal?

Think about your closest family members or friends. How did you become so close? You probably spent time talking, sharing your thoughts, ideas, experiences, feelings, etc. about things that go on in each other’s life. The more you both shared, the better you were able to get to know each other. Well, journal writing is pretty much the same idea. It’s an excellent way for you to get to know yourself better and discover what you want to accomplish in your life.

Other reasons to keep a journal:

  • Stay focused on what’s really important in your life.
  • Gain peace during difficult times
  • Record memories of important events or happenings in your life.
  • Deal with problems more effectively. Journal writing has long been known to be an effective way to handle stress and deal with emotionally draining problems and events in life.
  • Keep a written record of daily events.
  • Use your journal writing for future reflection.
  • Preserve your own personal history
  • Journal writing can help you learn more about your God-given talents and how you can best put them to use.

Journaling is one way to “Leave the ‘Write’ Impression” for years to come. Everyone has something important to say and journal writing facilitates an excellent way to process your thoughts and ideas to spark your inner creativity or preserve your thoughts for the day for future reflection.

Emailing is great, as are online journals, but nothing will stand the test of time better than written words onto paper.