Journaling 101


So the last post was about the wonderful time I had at the women’s retreat. I neglected to mention that even though it was my first time there, I was asked to lead one of the interest sections. The one on journaling.

I confess. When I was first asked, several things crossed my mind; the first of which was, “Lead journaling? But don’t you just open a notebook and write whatever is in your head?” Being the kind of person I am, I began to wonder if, after all these years and piles of notebooks/journals, I didn’t really know what journaling was. (This can happen after you’ve had a supervisor at work doubt your expertise when you’ve been an expert in your field for over twenty years…but I digress). Anyway, so I looked it up on the internet.

I found a remarkable website that not only assured me I WASN’T STUPID, but that gave great tips for people who somehow are intimidated by a blank page of paper. I’ve never had that problem. I salivate over empty spiral notebooks. Now I pass on to you what I shared at the retreat, giving credit where credit is due, of course.

I will include the link to the website at the end. There is much, much more at the site–you really do want to go there if you are interested in journaling. For now, I’m going to summarize the section called “How to Journal in 10 Simple Steps,” with additional comments from me thrown in. Those will be in italics. Enjoy.

1. Keep it Simple. Words on a page. It’s really that simple. (Yes! I knew it; no teacher needed.)
2. Keep it Private. And yes, of course. But this is why I have had a particularly hard time transitioning to blogging!!!!
3. Do it Frequently. Ah yes, and here is where the problem lies. This is probably where everyone could use a little guidance.
4. Banish the Grammar Police. Again, of course. If you are the only one reading it, just write!!! However, this is another problem in the journaler to blogger switch.
5. Write What You Know. This is more about #1. Just write whatever; there’s no right or wrong subject matter.
6. Find the Best Time and Place
7. Write for quantity, not quality (sort of a repeat of #4)
8. Try writing by hand. Journaling by hand in a paper notebook moves a different part of your brain than typing does. (Aha!)
9. Keep the stakes low. Don’t make any grand announcements before you start journaling.
10. Enjoy yourself.

At the retreat,we also listened to the podcast about getting started in journaling, which I thought was very useful. It’s all here: http://www.journalingsaves.com

Good luck, and happy journaling!

S. Smith is the author of the awesome middle grade series, Seed Savers. Visit her Pinterest and Facebook pages. Sign up for the newsletter!


4 comments on “Journaling 101

  1. Enjoying yourself is the number one priority.

  2. Reblogged this on Anakalian Whims and commented:
    I too salivate over blank pieces of paper…

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