“You really do not know what you think until you write it down.”

Have you been thinking of starting a personal journal, but are unsure of how to begin?

Welcome to journaling 101!

Journal writing is so much fun, and beneficial in many ways! In this article, we will talk about why you should start a journal, how journal writing can improve your life, and how exactly to start a personal journal.

If you have writer’s block, no worries! I’ll share my best tips on how to break through and just start writing, including 25 fun & easy journal prompts which are perfect for beginner writers.

start a personal journal

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Why start a personal 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!

Related: 25 Journal Prompts for Personal Development With Free PDF Printable

There are many benefits to writing in a personal journal, and so many ways you can focus your journal writing. Here are of the benefits of journal writing:

Journaling for mental health

start a personal journal

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. In this way, personal journal writing makes you smarter and improves your mental health.

Related: 50 Journal Prompts for Anxiety and Depression {Plus Free Printable Journal Prompts!}

Journaling for creativity

start a personal journal

Writing in a personal journal is a wonderful creative outlet. You can doodle, scribble, write complete nonsense, craft poetry, or design illustrations. Writing in your journal can increase your creativity, because the more you journal, the more ideas will come! It’s like the flood gates just start to pour open!

Often, I get new creative art and business ideas when I journal. Such as ideas for ebooks I’d like to write or Etsy shops I’d like to open. (I wish I had more time to pursue all the ideas!)

I journal new blog ideas, blog post ideas, Etsy ideas, book ideas, ideas for online classes, art projects, homeschooling projects, and so much more.

Related: How to Boost Creativity: Take the Creativity Challenge

Are all my ideas genius? No! But that’s fine! For every 10 ideas, maybe one or two is “good” – worth pursuing, realistic, do-able in the time that I have available.

But it’s the process of brainstorming, writing, sorting thoughts, clarifying what I want that is so very valuable. The more I focus on creative thoughts, the happier I am. Creativity is an antidote to anxiety; there’s less room for worry in a mind that is busy being creative. I feel inspired by all I could and want to create!

Journaling for manifesting and the law of attraction

You can use your personal journal to organize your thoughts, plan your future, and help manifest your dreams.

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. They carry energy.

That’s why writing affirmations and life goals can help you to actualize 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.

Related: 50 Positive Affirmations for a Good Day {Plus Free Printable Affirmations!}

Different types of personal journals

You can write about anything and everything, or you can narrow down your journal focus very specifically. There are many types of personal journals you can create, sub-categories if you will.

I have about 5 personal journals myself- business/creative, a journal with letters to my daughters (for them to read when older,) an emotional purge/mental health journal, goals and dreams happiness journal, and an art journal. (By the way- I’m not saying I don’t tend to mix them up at times- I’m not super organized with everything lol!)

More sub-categories of personal journals:

  • Fitness journal, including fitness goals, healthy recipe ideas, exercise plans, etc.
  • Self-care journal, including positive affirmations, lists of things that make you happy, happy quotes, etc.
  • Family journal with children’s events, cute things your children say and do, memories, etc.
  • Day-to-day journal to record life.
  • Manifestation, magic, and prayer journal.
  • Frustrations 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.)
  • Art journal with inspiring images and words.

Related: How to Start an Art Journal- A Beginners Guide.

These are just a few ideas to make a very specific type of personal journal. Dedicating a journal to a specific cause can be a powerful way to “move things along,” inspire changes/action, or bring clarity to an area of your life.

Journaling for beginners tips

As I said before, there is no right or wrong way to journal. You don’t need to write complete sentences, you don’t need to worry about spelling or punctuation. You don’t even need to make sense! Sometimes scribbling your words can feel really good, especially when you’re mad!

The point of your journal is not necessarily aesthetics, (unless you want it to be- and nothing wrong with that!)

But rather, digging deep and learning more about yourself. So please do not judge what comes up. And don’t hold back! Your journal is for your benefit only- the world will never see it, unless you share it.

Start a personal journal in 5 practical steps

  1. Find a comfortable quiet space.
  2. Make sure your phone is off, away, or has the ringer off, and eliminate all other distractions.
  3. Have your materials ready- a pen and journal, maybe a beverage.
  4. Start pouring out your thoughts.
  5. If you feel stuck, try some easy journal prompts.

As Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art says, “You’ve got to get your ass 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!

Easy journal prompts for beginners

Use any of these journal prompts as starting points to examine aspects of life more closely through writing. Go through the whole list and write a few sentences or a few pages. It’s up to you. These are things I would, and have, asked myself to write about. They may make it easier for you to start a personal journal.

  1. What does the perfect day look like to you?
  2. Where do you see yourself in 1 year?
  3. What are your goals for today? This week? This year?
  4. What are your biggest struggles?
  5. List your plans or non-plans to tackle those struggles.
  6. Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
  7. Describe the closest people in your life and what you love about them.
  8. What do you love about yourself?
  9. What are your predictions for the future of the world?
  10. Describe your ideal lifestyle.
  11. Journal 10 positive affirmations. (For examples: 50 Positive Affirmations for a Good Day Plus Free Printable Affirmations.)
  12. Journal about your ideal partner/love interest.
  13. Write about what happiness means to you.
  14. What do you want to improve in your life?
  15. What are your spiritual beliefs?
  16. List your favorite inspirational quotes.
  17. Journal some creative ideas or projects.
  18. What would you like to manifest in your life?
  19. Write about your happiest memories.
  20. Journal some ideas to help lift your mood when feeling down.
  21. Write out some life goals.
  22. What are you most grateful for?
  23. What does love mean to you?
  24. Journal what to “let go of”- worries, things out of your control, etc.
  25. How can you make the world a better place and be a force of good?

More Journal Prompts:

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up a journal and start writing! Chances are you will find writing in a personal journal to be fun, and it may just become your new favorite hobby.

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?

I hope this article has inspired and encouraged you to start a personal journal of your own. Please let me know what you think in the comments, and pin below to share the love!

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