How to keep a journal
A journal is a written text in which one relates facts, feelings, emotions and personal reflections from daily life. You write the entries in the journal on a daily basis. There are several things to consider.
1) Ask yourself the real questions
The first thing you need to answer when you want to write your journal is: Why do you want to have a journal? Is it to keep track of what happened, or to plan things ahead? Are you going to write about a specific topic, or are you going to write about more general topics? Perhaps you feel the need to let your creativity flow, and have time to develop it more regularly? A journal doesn’t have to be a notebook with text, it can just as easily contain pictures, drawings or sketches.
2) Set a schedule
Adding the journal to a daily to-do list is obviously not enough. Find the right time to incorporate your journal into your routine. That way, you won’t forget and you’ll take the time to complete it properly.
3) Enjoy the moment
When you “talk” to your journal, you do nothing else, you are in the presence of yourself. It is less the writing that counts than what is being played out at that moment, from self to self. Blackening the paper mobilizes the body and the mind in a common project and, as a result, generates pleasure. Even the relationship with time is modified. We are in the here and now.
4) Keep a secret
One of the best tips on how to start a journal is to write as if no one will ever read your journal. This is another way of saying that you should focus on writing, not editing. Your journal is yours, and yours alone. Whatever you want to write is allowed in it.
5) Be honest
It’s hard to be vulnerable, even to yourself. Writing down your emotions on paper adds to your fragility. You may be tempted to water down your thoughts, but this will not help you.
This practice allows you to revisit your history, as a child or a teenager. Introspection then gives way to a form of reflection, which tends to take stock, which asks questions, which seeks to understand. Don’t be afraid and good luck.