Why You Should Be Journaling And How To Start

Why You Should Start Journaling and How to Start

When I was in 8th grade I decided that I was going to journal every day for a year. I had a stack of unfinished journals from various points in my childhood; the one with the glamorous girls shopping on the cover, the one with the fairies dancing around, the one I wrote in strictly with gel pens. All of these journals held such promise when I first received them with crisp blank pages, and now they were symbols of my inability to complete what I set out to. ‘No more!’ I resolved. As a mature 14-year-old, nearly in high school, I would write every day and would leave a record for those wishing to make a movie of my life in the future (if we’re being honest, that was my main motivation).

What I didn’t know when I made that vow at the sweet age of 14 was that this would be the start of a lifelong ritual that would serve as my therapy, dearest friend, and closest confidant all in one. At 21 years old I have now gone through AND completed 7 journals (the orange one, the Vera Bradley one, the owl one, the Paris one, the recycled one, the striped one, and the woven one) and am on the 8th (and the second one in this year alone. This is the first year I needed more than one journal!).

While I’d like to say that I have written consistently since I made that decision way back in 2009, I cannot. I can however, tell you that I have written more often than not, and this year in particular have been overwhelmed by the amount I seem to have to say.

Getting great use and enjoyment out of a journal is not quite as simple as just picking it up and writing (it can be if you want to be a casual journal-er, however we’re about to get more serious here!). It takes dedication, intentionality, and commitment, but gives you phenomenal benefits. ‘What are these benefits?’ you may wonder. Let’s go through them so you know why to journal, then we’ll attack the how part of it.

Why Journal?

To Keep a Record

Most of the contents of my journal are not an account of my thoughts and feelings, but rather of what I did and who I saw. It can help you remember your days and be a great form of reference.

To Let Out Your Feelings

Even though I just said most of my journal is not thoughts and feelings, a goof portion is! We all have things that bother us or get us down that we tend to talk about too much and bore our friends and family with. This is a way to let it out while not being known as a complainer ;).

To Make Sense of Your Thoughts

Remember how I said before that journaling is my therapy? This is a place where you can assess your reactions and responses and give yourself advice. While it won’t be objective, you can at least look at it somewhere else rather than your head and take a stab at understanding yourself and motivations better.

To Always Have a Friend

While going out for coffee with friends is great, just imagine how much more mysterious and interesting you are as the girl in the corner scribbling away in a journal. What is she writing about? What is she thinking? Is she the next Hemmingway? Seriously though, you can always turn to your journal to talk about whatever you want, whenever you want.

Now that we’ve established journaling is worthwhile, the question is how do you do it consistently and effectively?

How to Journal

Buy an Attraction Journal That Makes You Excited to Write

Check out your local craft store, Etsy, Amazon, etc.

Decide How Often You’ll Write

You may not be an every day type of person as I now am (and multiple times a day, actually, if a lot is going on), so set a reasonable goal for yourself. Don’t worry if you miss your goal as you first start out. The more you begin to enjoy it, the less likely you’ll be to miss.

Pick a Place and Time of Day

I like to write in bed at the end of the day. I know other people prefer to work it into their morning routine and set intentions and lists for the oncoming day. Experiment to find what works best for you

Let Yourself be Free

When it comes to the content of your journal, there are no rules! If you feel like writing a novel, go for it. Rather draw a cartoon and call it a day? Up to you sister. Want to record the weather and what you were wearing in addition to how the cute guy finally looked at you? I think that’s great. What I’m trying to say is that while consistency and discipline will help you to realize those benefits we talked about before, there is no one right way to get there.

This is the perfect time to develop a new, good for you habit. Follow these simple steps, let your mind guide you, and you’ll have a lovely keepsake for your own pleasure and enjoyment.

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By Alyssa J Freitas

I am a studious, decorous, college student who wishes she were a better speller. My blog provides readers with resources and ideas to enhance their lifestyle and relationships. From exploring simplicity and etiquette, to sharing a plethora of musings, you can always expect thoughtful and fun posts!


  1. Journaling really helps. Yes and yes to all your points on why we should start a journal. I think the best takeaway I have from your blog post is that a journal entry can be as simple as just stating what happened that day or other seemingly mundane details. It does help a lot when you look back on that. When I journal, I tend to ramble, feeling like I need to say something not so ordinary, even when I had a very ordinary, boring day. Lol. Great post. I really enjoyed this one. 😀

    1. I so understand, Anna! Sometimes I feel the same; like I need to say something profound. The fact is, even the greatest writers didn’t write masterpieces everyday. They built it up over time, and we can do the same!

  2. I started journaling when I was in grade seven and haven’t looked back since. I’m noworking almost 28 and have about 15 journals filled. It’s so relaxing and it’s the best way for me to plan out and organize my thoughts. Sometimes the hardest part is just writing that first word down.
    Great post!

  3. So true, ever since I started back to journaling my writing had become more creative, I have more references to go back to and the struggle is not as tedious. I use multiple journals depending on content as well as portability. Great post and content!

  4. I had the same dilemma as a kid. I would write in so many journals and left so many with empty pages. Last year, I started to write in a journal to express my feelings and inner thoughts. Great ideas. I definitely agree with creating your own rules. I find that if I just write without any structure and write whenever I want, I don’t have to stress myself in creating a routine in writing. Journaling is a really great thing that everyone should be doing. Great post! 🙂


  5. I love journaling, but as a perfectionist, I find myself shying away from ever actually using my notebooks in fear that I’ll mess them up somehow… the last tip was great for me, because it’s the whole reason that I journal and yet I almost never actually DO it!

    Akino | akinokiki.blogspot.ca

    1. You can let go and enjoy, Akino! It can be tough, but I bet you’ll find more benefit in giving yourself a break than in keeping your notebooks “perfect.” I believe in you, girl 🙂

  6. I agree with the power of journaling. Sometimes it feels that words in your head mean something completely different than when you say them out loud or write..

  7. I started journaling last year to help me be more creative and experiment with design. I have found that I have lulls that I leave it behind for a while or just don’t get a chance to record everything I want and that’s frustrating for me. I know I just need to make time but it’s difficult sometimes ;-; I hate having blank pages and need variety in my entries, which are things I didn’t really know about myself until I actually started on my journaling journey! I write about it a little bit in my own blog and try to inspire others to be creative in their lives as well! I’m excited to check out your blog because of this entry <3


  8. This is awesome! And congrats to you for finishing all those journals! I used to always journal as well (if you check out my ‘About’ page, you’ll see a big box of journals I wrote in as a teenager and young adolescent). With work now and, you know – ‘adulting’ – it’s made things more difficult, which is why I blog more now. Next month, I have some vacation time and I’m actually looking forward to getting back into a journal and writing down my thoughts and updates. It’s incredibly therapeutic, and fascinating to look back on. Like you, I had this vision in my mind that years later, a movie director would dig up my stuff and turn into something similar 😉 Haha, the only thing I fear now is if I ever have children down the line or when I pass – WHO is gonna read all those journals after? Is there things in there I would have regretted writing? It’s one of the joys of journal-writing 🙂


    1. No regrets, Lor! It’s so funny that we had the same sort of day dream, and I think a lot of people must. We all want to be remembered and this is a good way to make our actions and lives have a bit more permanence.

  9. I absolutely love journaling and it comes to naturally do me, but some people really struggle! My journal from grade 8 actually spreads from grade 8 to 11 which is quite funny because there were months between entries, but like you I journaled every day for a year back in 2013 and I am so happy I did.

    Erin | beingerin.com

  10. When I first started Journaling I failed, like you. I would write in it for a few days and bam, it would be forgotten and be added to the never-ending pile of never-ended journals! But then, i made a decision, so that when I was old and grey, i could look back on the past and laugh. This is when I started. Normally before bed I write or sometimes in the day. I only Journal ONCE a day. It’s great to let the days’ events and thought pour out onto a crisp lined paper! I like journals form PaperChase as some are hand-stitched and absolutely wonderful! This was such a relatable post, thanks for sharing!

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