What to do when you’re bad at journaling.

What happens when you want to journal, but things get in the way?

A lot of us like the idea of journaling. We think about journaling and know it’s a great idea, maybe we go out and buy a cool journal (or get one from Paper Thoughts!). Maybe we get a special colored pen or a pencil with a neat design, or we gather our art supplies. We are going to do it! We’re going to journal!

And we do!

For a little bit…
And then we don’t.

We know we’ve got a lot of stuff running around in our heads it would be helpful to get out. We know it feels good to get it out. We know it’s healthy to get it out.

But we get lost. We forget. We get distracted. We just don’t have the energy.
Then we say “journaling just doesn’t work for me.”
But maybe we’re just not doing it in a way that really works for us.

How do you make journaling work for you?

1. Figure out the way that works best for you.

If you don’t enjoy writing, art journaling might be a better choice. If you don’t enjoy hand-writing, an e-journal or online blog might be for you. If neither of those work for you, try video journaling or vlogging. A journal, a sketchbook, a computer, a phone, an app; find what works best for you.

2. Come up with a routine.

If you feel like you want to, you can set a schedule for yourself. You can build journaling in to your routine. Personally I like to journal right before bed because it helps me sleep. But maybe you like journaling about your dreams so you want to journal when you first wake up. Or maybe you journal as soon as you get home from school so you can get all your thoughts and feeling from the day out. Find a time that makes the most sense for you.

3. Use journal prompts

Sometimes it can be hard to figure out where to start when journaling. If you’re looking for a starting point, check out our resources page for a ton of journal prompts. There are lots of different topics to choose from. Each topic has 10 questions to get you thinking and journaling.

4. Give yourself a reminder.

If you have a hard time remembering to journal, you can also set reminders for yourself. You can set an alarm on your phone to remind you to journal. You can also ask Siri or Cortana and they can remind you. Or go the old-fashioned route and leave a post-it note where you’ll see it.

5. Journal with a friend.

Sometimes it’s nice to sit next to someone and journal alongside them. It can be a great way to spend quality time together. It can also be a great way to stay accountable to your journaling. You can share what you wrote or not, whatever feels comfortable. It can also be fun to answer journal prompts with a friend to get to know them better.

Don’t have any friends who journal? Join us at our Journaling for Wellness Group at Montgomery Book Exchange from 6-8pm. Check out our facebook page for more info!

6. Or don’t do any of these things

You don’t have to do any of the things listed above if they don’t feel right to you.

It doesn’t matter if you journal every day, or once in a long while.

If you journal at all you’re an awesome journaler!

It doesn’t matter if your spelling and grammar is incorrect. It doesn’t matter if your art isn’t the prettiest. You don’t have to write pages and pages for a journal entry. You don’t have to create a masterpiece of art for art journaling. Write a few sentences, draw something small. Even 5 minutes spent expressing yourself is healing.

You can’t really be “bad” at journaling because there’s no wrong way to do it. Journaling is just for you. The only thing you might be doing “wrong” is stressing yourself out or being too hard on yourself about it.

If you’re expressing yourself, you’re journaling the right way!

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