Do you remember the feeling of possibility when opening up a present as a child and finding a beautiful journal inside? To me, it always felt grown-up, the opportunity to write my memoirs and experiences down for future me to ponder. Inevitably I would start, "Dear Journal, today grandma gave me this journal. I promise to write every day. Julia C. is a cow, but mom said I have to invite her to my party..." Followed by the inevitable entry, several months later, "I'm sorry I haven't written in a while..." Let's channel some of those feelings of excitement through our tired, adult eyes and explore how to start a journal.
Set (Realistic) Expectations and Start Small
When you look at the above childhood example, you can see how 'little me' set herself up for failure. I promised myself, and the diary, very solemnly that I would write every day. Is that something that's accessible for you? How does your current intention-setting practice look? If you are well-practiced in carving out space within your day for spiritual moments of peace, writing every day will be another pearl to add to your necklace of self-care. If you are struggling with time during the week, you may be better off dedicating some time on the weekend to journaling.
Journal writing is your space for caring for yourself. Do you need to light a candle or burn some Palo Santo to set the mood? Is there a specific room and time of day that helps inspire your creativity and inner feeling of calm? Keep doing what works for you and scrap what doesn't. The rules are yours, baby! Try to stay flexible and remember there is no such thing as perfect.
- Where do you want to write?
- Are you a morning, afternoon, or night writer?
- Would you like a cup of tea by your side or a delicious glass of wine?
- Is there a poetry or affirmations book that inspires you to write?
Gather Your Tools
You might be the kind of person who's happy to write on scrap pieces of paper with a hardware store clicky pen and call it a day. There is nothing wrong with that. Fancy tools cannot solve problems with a lack of time or desire to write. If you're a little like me, you may find a nice pen or a beautiful Manifestation Journal inspiring and uplifting for your soul and rituals. When I pull out my journal, feel the tactile embossing on the cover and the reassuring scratch of my fountain pen's nib, I feel instantly transported into a more calm space.
Don't Get Discouraged
You will miss days and weeks of writing in your journal. That's okay. You're a human being with a life that gets in the way sometimes. Tomorrow is another day to re-set your intentions and affirmations. Is your ritual working for you? It's time to go back to the drawing board, browse through your previous journal entries, and create new habits. Whatever you come to write with (spiritual or physical), you are enough as you are. I am proud of you for seeking out a journaling practice.