Best Way to Start Journal Writing

Are you the journaling type? The kind of chick who has 6 bazillion diaries in your dresser drawer marked “Private! Keep out! This means you!” I was, and I still have those diaries in a box in my base­ment. (And no, you can’t read them, and I will never tell where the keys are hidden.)

But maybe you are not a natural writer type. You hesitate to write because, let’s face it-you don’t think you’re a good writer. Or you don’t like writing those papers for English class, which means you won’t enjoy journaling, right?

Journal Writing Best Way to Start Journal Writing

Nyah. I like what Catherine Dee told me about why you might like to journal. She’s the author of several books for teen girls, like The Girls’ Guide to Life and The Girls’ Book of Friendship. So she knows these things. Here’s what she says:

The experts say journaling is good for you because it helps you get perspective and discover more about who you are. But my favorite reason for journaling is simply that it cleans all the cobwebs out of my brain, the way going for a long walk does. Once you pour your worries, obsessions, fears, and insecurities out on paper, what’s left? Just the good stuff. It’s not that all my problems vanish, but I feel lighter and less neurotic. It is one of those wonderful free things in life: writing your worries away and then closing the journal and sticking it in a drawer.

I am now the owner of a big box of old journals. I can look back at them any time I want, though when I do, it can be kind of depressing because I’m reading all the bad stuff I got out of my system when I detoxed. At one point I con­sidered burning them to make sure no one would ever browse them, but then I figured that was dumb because I might want to browse them.

Let’s get started. This is what Catherine says:

Get a journal. You can use anything you want to. A plain old drugstore notebook is what I use. Could even be index cards, com­puter files, tape recorder. Maybe you’d like a journal with black pages and use florescent pens. Make a journal. You can have links that go to different entries, and links to expand on particular things you’re writing about.

Instead of writing a journal, draw it. Or do both. Or decorate the cover of each journal. I used to make little things out of clay like rainbows and ice cream cones and stick them to my journal.

Find time to journal. You might be a creature of habit-Maybe you like to write before you go to bed. Maybe you like to carry around your journal with you wherever you want to-in school, in the car . . . anywhere.

But really, any time you feel burdened with some thought or feeling is a good time to journal.

Journal Writing 1 Best Way to Start Journal Writing

Start writing. However, whatever you want to. There is no right way to write! Write the date. Then write whatever is on your mind without judging it. Skip around from topic to topic, spew emotions in capital letters, write incomplete sentences, doodle, make lists of favorite things, discuss the same thing over and over. Write poems, imaginary dialogs between you and your crush, and affirmations. Use colored pens or invisible ink. One artist and writer,SARK, writes in different colored pens. She makes lists, writes in circles, and makes art out of her writing.

Celebrate who you are and the great time you’ve had. Cry with yourself. Plot your next move in life. Let all of it spill into the safe, protected space of your journal—truly one of the best friends you’ll ever have.

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