Journaling—simple tips to get you started

Some may argue with me that journaling isn’t an art, but I would have to disagree. You’re creating life on pages that were once blank before your very eyes. I have been an avid journaler for the last 10+ years and it’s truly changed my life. I have proof that God answers prayers! I have become more self-aware of the thoughts and dreams floating around in my head. If you’ve never done it before, it can seem intimidating and truth be told many who have started with good intentions drop off the band wagon pretty quickly. Here are some of my ideas to get you started or keep things fresh if you’re already on a roll.

  1. Buy a journal you love.
  2. Most of my journals take me 6mo-1 year to fill up. You’re going to see a lot of it, so you want to like it. Barnes & Noble and Amazon have some adorable ones and most are under $20. I love the brand “Studio Oh!”. There is always the option to journal from your computer or phone which I say is better than not journaling at all. But to me there is something about the actual paper and pen in my hand that can’t be beat.

  3. Identify why you want to journal.
  4. What is motivating you? When are you going to do it? If it helps set a certain time the same every day or week in the same place. Maybe it’s your favorite chair in the living room with a cup of coffee in the morning. Or maybe you’re a night person and it’s from your bed. Do what works best with your lifestyle. It also takes discipline to stick with it which is why it’s important to identify why you want to journal in the first place.

  5. What do you write in it?
  6. This one is on you. You are free to write whatever you want. To let you in on my journal—I write about current events, the day to day, prayers, testimonies of God in my life or my family’s life, how I am feeling, lists-gratitude lists, top needs/concerns, ideas, scripture, a letter to me from God, a letter to God from me, dreams, desires, situations that I need clarity on, quotes from books that I like, bookings I am reading, movies I’ve watched, personal goals, and prophetic words others have given me. I also have 2 separate journals, 1 for Maddox and 1 for Ivory, where I write to them an “update” of their life once a month or so. Things like where we’ve traveled, milestones, prayers for them, life events, funny things they’ve said, etc.

  7. How often should you write in your journal and how much?
  8. Again this one is totally up to you! These days I average 4-5 days a week about 10 or so minutes on average. It isn’t much but it helps me to process and see where I am at as well as record my life with God—things he’s spoken, prayers he’s answered, etc. Also sometimes I go back and am amazed at situations He’s helped me navigate that I had been so uncertain about. I also like to think of my great-great-grandkids someday reading my journals and that by me writing it’s leaving a legacy behind for them to glean from.

  9. Have fun with it.
  10. This one is the most important. I feel like anything that is looked at like a task you must do ends up becoming something you quit doing. Feel free to color or draw, paint or do calligraphy in your journal if that appeals to you. Write short stories or poems or songs. At the beginning of every month I love to write the name of the month really big with a list of things to look forward to that month as well as goals or things I would like to accomplish. I love checking them off the list as the month goes on.


So there you have it. Some ideas to get you started or keep you going. I encourage you to just try it. Give it a year. You’ve heard it said, life is about the journey not that destination. I feel like that about journaling. You are invited to be so aware of the journey you are on and see the thousand thoughts that are in your head that you may have not even known were there.

What about you-How long have you kept a journal? What do you write about? I would love to hear from you!

I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.

—Anne Frank

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