Have you been thinking of starting a personal journal, but are unsure of how to begin? Learn all about journaling for beginners and how to get started writing a diary or journal, including some easy beginner journal prompts you can download and print for free. Essentially, this is beginner journaling 101!

In this article, we will talk about why you should start a personal journal or diary, 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 those blocks and just start writing. Plus, 25 fun & easy printable journal prompts for beginners are included in this article. They will have you writing freely in no time.

journaling for beginners

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Why start a personal journal?

It has been said, “You really do not know what you think until you write it down.” I totally agree! Journaling is one of the best ways to get clarity on your own thoughts and emotions.

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. Let’s talk some more in detail about the many benefits of journal writing.

Journaling for mental health

Journaling helps you gain clarity of thought. What’s more, 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. You can pour out your feelings onto the page and examine them on paper. You can also boost positive emotions by journaling affirmations, dreams, and personal goals.

Because personal journaling helps boost your 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

Writing in a personal journal for beginners 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! When journaling, the flood gates of creativity pour open! As a beginner to journal writing, you may find you have tons more creative ideas than you realized. They simply needed an outlet.

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

It’s the process of brainstorming, writing, sorting thoughts, clarifying your thoughts that is so very valuable. I find 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. And I’ll bet you will inspire yourself through creative journaling, too.

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.

You don’t have to be an expert on manifesting or The Law of Attraction to manifest through journaling, either. Beginner journalers have just as much power to manifest through writing as anyone who has been journaling a long time.

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

Different types of personal journals for beginners

You can write about anything and everything, or you can narrow down your journal focus very specifically. There are many types of personal journals or diaries you can create, sub-categories if you will. Here are a few journal ideas for journaling for beginners:

  • Business ideas journal
  • Creative ideas journal
  • Art journal
  • Parenting journal
  • Mental health journal
  • Goals and dreams journal
  • Travel journal
  • Daily journal
  • And more

I keep around 4-5 journals at any given time, but I do tend to mix them up. I’m not super organized with everything lol!)

Related: How to Journal Your Goals to Reach Your Dreams {Plus Free Printable Journal Prompts}

More sub-categories for personal journaling

  • 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, spouses events, funny things your children or spouse say and do, family memories, etc.
  • 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.)
  • Junk journal with collage and scrap materials

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

These are just a few ideas for journaling for beginners. You can get really specific with journaling if you like. Dedicating a journal to a specific cause can be a powerful way to manifest and “move things along,” inspire changes/action, or bring clarity to an area of your life. Among many other benefits.

Journaling for beginners tips

As I said before, there is no right or wrong way to start a 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.

How to start journaling for beginners in 5 practical steps

  1. Find a comfortable quiet space.
  2. Make sure your phone is off, or away, 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 printable journal prompts. (We will get to those in just a minute.)

Ultimately, if you want to start a diary or journal, you simply need to dive in!

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! (I love this book, it’s so inspiring!)

Easy journal prompts for beginners

Use these “journaling for beginners” prompts as starting points for your writing. Go through the whole list and write a few sentences or a few pages. How much you write is up to you. These are journaling questions I would, and have, asked myself to write about. They may make it easier for you to brainstorm so that you can start a personal journal or diary as a beginner writer.

  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 example: 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?

PDF Printable journal prompts for beginners

You can download the beginner journal prompts below for free. Write them out any time you feel like it. And share with friends if you’d like!

PDF Printable journal prompts for beginners

More journal prompts to start writing:

So, what are you waiting for? Pick up a journal and start writing! Chances are you will find journaling 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?

*Update- I burned most of them. And came to a powerful epiphany about reaching my goals in life. Read more here:

What No One Ever Tells you about Reaching Life Goals {That You Need to Know}

I hope you feel inspired and encouraged to start a personal journal of your own! Please let me know what you think of this article about journaling for beginners in the comments. And pin below to share the love!

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