Journaling can be a powerful way to make sense of your life, express yourself, work through problems, and orient you toward your values and purpose. You do not have to be a "good writer" to journal! But writing about what is on your mind and in your heart can be rightfully intimidating, and where do you even begin?
You will have to figure out what your writing personality is. I'll tell you how I do it, and maybe you will think, "Perfect, that's exactly how I would want to do it!" or maybe you will think, "Okay I see why she does it that way but if I tweaked this one part it would work way better for me." Or maybe you will say, "Wow Sara's approach to journaling makes no sense to me, who needs seven journals, I will do it a really different way."
Whatever reaction you have, I think it will bring you closer to what works for you!
Together, or separate?
Soo, I am a writer. I love writing. So to me it's natural to have seven journals: a meditation journal, a dream journal, a gratitude journal, a body journal, a work/to do journal, a heart-mind reflections journal, and a whatever's on my mind/narrative journal, which I keep as a word document. And as overwhelming as that may seem, it works really well for me, and I pretty much always have a clear sense of which journal I need for any given moment. When I look at one of my journals, it triggers memories and associations from all the past times I wrote in it, and therefore directs me into the head space for that type of thinking and writing. This makes it easier to get going. I will write more about these different types of journaling over the next few months.
These journals indicate something about the important areas of my life, how I see the world, and my values. It's interesting also to ask, what's missing? Because what's missing might be an opportunity for growth, e.g., maybe I should have a finances journal (UGHHH).
Of course there will be overlap because these journals do not represent strict categories that emotional and life experiences diligently follow! And if you are struck with a sudden creative spell and only happen to have your work/to do journal on hand, don't overthink it. Just write it down.
So what are the important areas in your life? What interests you? A journal holds space for these interest areas and allows you to explore and develop your observations, reflections, and ideas. Would you prefer all your writing to be in one place? You don't have to get it right the first time.
Up next: Intro to Journaling Part 3: Setting up the Heart-Mind Space
Series in Review:
Intro to Journaling Part 1: Why Journal?
Intro to Journaling Part 2: Materials & Organization
Intro to Journaling Part 3: Setting up the Heart-Mind Space
Intro to Journaling Part 4: Ritual Writing
Intro to Journaling Part 5: Spontaneous Writing