If you’ve been thinking of starting a writing journal, but are unsure of how to journal, then welcome to journaling 101!
In this article, learn how to start journaling for beginners. Get some simple tips on breaking through any writer’s block or hesitancy and just start journal writing. Plus, get 25 fun and easy journal prompts to start journal writing with ease!
Journal writing is so much fun once you start, and beneficial in many ways. There are many excellent reasons to start a journal, including for fun, to increase creativity, to manifest what you desire, to improve mental health, and more. We will talk about all of this and more.
Let’s get started with some tips on how to journal. Then, get inspired with 25 fun & easy journal prompts for beginners. The free PDF printable is at the end, no email is required.
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How to journal write
It may seem overwhelming to start a journal when you haven’t had much practice writing, but the first thing to know is that it’s ok to feel unsure about how to journal. Almost everyone feels hesitation when trying something new, and the thing to do is to push that feeling aside and just begin.
You don’t have to journal write in any particular way. Your writing doesn’t have to look neat, you don’t need to worry about spelling, and it’s ok if you make mistakes. Give yourself the grace to simply write freely. And don’t judge yourself.
4 Easy steps to start a journal:
- Find a comfortable space that is free of distractions.
- Have your journal, pen, and maybe a cup of tea by your side.
- Affirm with yourself that you can write. And that whatever you write is just fine.
- Then journal whatever comes to mind. Or, use the journal prompts below to guide you.
Easy journal prompts for beginners
Use any of the journal prompts as starting points to start journal writing. Read through the whole list, then write about whatever questions inspire you to write.
Journal as little or as much as you’d like to. Hopefully, these beginner journal prompts feel interesting but not too difficult. They may make it easier for you to start a journal.
- What does the perfect day look like to you?
- Where do you see yourself in 1 year?
- What are your goals for today? This week? This year?
- What are your biggest struggles?
- List your plans or non-plans for the day or week.
- Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
- Describe the closest people in your life and what you love about them.
- What do you love about yourself?
- What are your predictions for the future?
- Describe your ideal lifestyle.
- Journal 10 positive affirmations.
- Journal about your ideal partner/love interest.
- Write about what happiness means to you.
- What do you want to improve in your life?
- What are your spiritual beliefs?
- List your favorite inspirational quotes.
- Journal some creative ideas or projects.
- What would you like to manifest in your life?
- Write about your happiest memories.
- Journal some ideas to help lift your mood when feeling down.
- Write out some life goals.
- What are you most grateful for?
- What does love mean to you?
- Journal what to “let go of.” For example, certain worries, things out of your control, etc.
- How can you make the world a better place and be a force of good?
Printable journal prompts for beginners
Download and print these beginner journaling prompts below. Then write them in your personal journal whenever you feel like it.
Feel free to share these journal prompts with a friend!
How to journal effectively
As I said before, there is no right or wrong way to journal, even as a beginner. You don’t need to write complete sentences, worry about spelling or punctuation, or make it look good. You don’t even need to make sense! Sometimes scribbling your words can feel really good, especially when you’re mad!
Some people start a journal for aesthetics or art, but more often, people start a journal to dig deep and learn more about themselves.
If that’s your reason for starting journal writing, and you want to be effective about it, do not judge what comes up.
To improve your life with journaling, don’t hold back! Your journal is for your benefit only- the world will never see it unless you share it.
Also, to start anything, you just have to begin. So take action!
As Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art says, “You’ve got to get your a** in the chair” (to do the work of writing or being creative.) Please excuse the cuss word, but the statement couldn’t be more true!
How to journal for a specific purpose
You can write about anything and everything in one journal, or you can journal for a specific purpose.
This can help you hone in on a certain area in your life. Here are some ideas for creating a journal for a specific purpose:
- Start a fitness journal. Write fitness goals, healthy recipe ideas, exercise plans, etc.
- Create a self-care journal. Including positive affirmations, lists of things that make you happy, happy quotes, etc.
- Make a family journal. With children’s events, cute things your children say and do, memories, etc.
- Do a day-to-day journal. To record life.
- Make a manifestation journal. For manifesting what you want in life.
- Write in a prayer journal. Religious or spiritual or both.
- Write in a mental health journal. For personal development, improving thoughts, and improving wellness.
- Make a frustrations journal. Make a journal where you purge negativity. (I’m reading an excellent book called Empaths on Their Soul Path: A Guide to Empath Empowerment in Your Awakening. The author recommends tracking all your complaints in a journal. For people who are trying to break the habit of complaining.)
- Start an art journal. Use inspiring and artistic images and words.
These are just a few ideas about journaling more intentionally. Dedicating a journal to a specific cause can be a powerful way to “move things along” energetically. Starting a specific journal, like for personal development, can inspire changes and action, or bring clarity to an area of your life.
Why start a journal?
In your journal, you have complete freedom- you can write about anything you chose. It’s your own private space to express yourself. There are no rules, no right or wrong way to journal.
Journal writing can be done just about anywhere- at home, in your car, on your lunch break, or at the park. It’s an easy hobby to start, and fun!
There are many benefits to starting a journal, and so many ways you can focus your journal writing. Here are some of the benefits of journal writing:
Start a journal for mental health
Journal writing can help you process emotions in a safe and private environment. It’s a great way to relieve stress and anxiety or untangle confusing feelings. Pour out your feelings onto the page to examine on paper. You can also boost positive emotions by journaling affirmations, dreams, and personal goals.
Because personal journaling helps bring mental clarity, the more you write, the better you understand yourself and life. The better you understand who you are, what you want, and more, the better you feel. In this way, starting a journal can improve your mental health.
Additionally, In my experience, the more I write, the happier I am. That’s because journal writing is so creative. Creativity is an antidote to anxiety; there’s less room for worry in a mind that is busy being creative. This leads to my next point.
Start a journal to increase creativity
Start a journal as a creative outlet!
You can doodle, scribble, write complete nonsense, craft poetry, or design illustrations. Journaling increases your creativity in a snowball effect way. The act of writing encourages more creative ideas until the floodgates start to pour open!
Often, I get new creative art, business, or product ideas when I journal. Such as ideas for books I’d like to write or art print designs for my Etsy shop. (I wish I had more time to pursue all the ideas!)
Are all my ideas genius? No! But that’s fine! For every 10 ideas, maybe one or two worth pursuing, realistic, or doable in the time that I have available. You’ll likely discover that the more you journal, the more there is to journal about. The process of brainstorming, writing, sorting thoughts, and clarifying your ideas is incredibly valuable.
Start journaling to manifest what you desire
It may sound “out there” but you can start a journal for the sole purpose of manifesting what you want in life.
Words have a certain magic, and words written with intention hold much power. Some have even said the word “spelling” points to the idea that our written words cast spells, so to speak. And it’s true- words carry energy.
That’s why writing affirmations and life goals can help you to manifest what you desire. You can hold close to your heart your intention when you write, feeling the energy of your own words to help to manifest them into reality. Journal writing and then taking action is an incredibly powerful way to manifest what you want in life.
Start journaling for fun
One of the best reasons to start a journal- or any hobby- is for fun!
Journal because it feels good, creates a vibe within you, or makes you happy. Journaling can feel fun for many reasons. For many people, it feels inspiring, like an act of self-care, relaxing, or productive.
Always make sure you’re having fun with your activities in your spare time. And continue to seek out new ones, like journaling!
Start journaling to keep a record
Journal writing can be a fun way of keeping a record of your life to look back on, like a scrapbook.
Your journal can be quite artistic or have a certain aesthetic as well. You may even be inspired to start an art journal as well as a writing journal.
No matter how much of a beginner to journaling you may be, you can get as crafty as you want to when you start a journal.
Journal writing may become your favorite new hobby
Chances are you will find writing in a journal to be fun. It may just become your new favorite hobby. You may even pass your journal on to your kids one day. Or read them when you’re 85. Pretty soon you may be asking not how to journal, but how to store all of your journals!
I’ve been keeping a journal since age 12. And I’ve saved every single journal from over the years. Maybe someday I’ll re-read everything, maybe I’ll publish them, maybe I’ll burn them. Who knows? But I have a record, however sloppy, of almost 30 years of my life! How cool is that?
*Update- I burned them all. That’s right. Read more about why and the epiphany I had about life goals while doing so.
I hope this article has inspired and encouraged you to start a journal of your own. Writing can really open up new worlds. It’s such a beneficial activity for every age, and super enlightening.
Please let me know what you think about these journal tips and ideas for beginners in the comments!
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