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Mari's Journal Writing Power Blog

3 Simple Steps to Take Your Journal Back

Posted by Mari L. McCarthy on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:38 PM

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Guest Blog Post by Deborah Watson-Novacek

Committed journalers know that maintaining a daily journaling practice is an
excellent way to open new channels of self-discovery and self-expression.
When you keep a journal in which you write regularly, if not daily, you have
the opportunity to process all the experiences in your life and gain a
greater understanding of yourself and others.

Sometimes, though, problems arise. You may open your journal one day and
find that the blank lines stare back at you, daring you to sully them with
your unedited thoughts.  You begin to feel overwhelmed and come to the
decision that you just don't have the time to "properly" journal. You run
into a journaling brick wall and eventually your journal just dies from lack
of attention.

If you've ever had this experience, or are having it right now, here are
three simple tips to get back into journaling:

1. Keep It Simple!

Whenever you find that your journal writing starts to feel like a job it's
time to take a break. If you've been keeping a fancy art journal, perhaps
it's time to change your focus to a simple written journal. If you've been
journaling daily, try cutting back to an every other day schedule, or even
once per week. If you've been concentrating on a specific type of journal -
say a gratitude or dream journal - try putting those journals on pause for a
while and start to simply journal a few lines about your daily activities or
find a quote you like and add that to your journal.

The important aspect of this technique is that you realize you are making a
change and accept that it's OK to do so. You're not 'failing,' you're
choosing to undertake a different journaling path for a while. YOU keep

2. Keep It Fun!

If you don't find journaling to be a fun or fulfilling practice, you'll soon
find yourself stepping away from your journal more and more often. You're
bored. You're tired. You're out of things to write about. So, what do you
do? In this case you might find it helpful to undertake a different tactic
than that suggested above. In other words, start adding more creativity to
your journaling.

For example, if you've been keeping a strictly written word journal, try
adding some embellishments like stickers or a crayon background or using a
magic marker instead of a pen. Even the smallest creative addition to your
journal can renew your feeling of fun with the process and you'll find
yourself falling in love with your journal all over again!

3.Keep It Short!

You might not think that this sounds like a method to increase or improve
your journaling practice, but if you try this I think you'll change your

This method is my personal sure-fire way to get back to writing in my
journal daily. You need just one small tool - a timer! You can use an oven
timer, an egg timer, a timer on your phone or watch - whatever you have

Sit down with your journal and set the time to two minutes. That's right -
just two minutes. Start writing and keep writing until that time is up.
That's the easy part. I promise you that within the first week of using this
method you will start to have a problem stopping! That's right - you'll go
from feeling like you don't have enough time to write to feeling like you
absolutely need to spend more time at the page!

Why does this happen? This method works because it takes that pesky internal
editor out of your head and frees you up to start writing, and starting is
always the tough part. Once you begin, your editor will generally take a nap
while you continue to journal for as long as you want!

There you have them - keep it simple, keep it fun and keep it short. Using
these three basic tips to help you maintain a regular journaling practice
will leave you better able to experience and enjoy all aspects of your life.


About the Author

Deborah Watson-Novacek is an avid journaler, writer and owner of several
great websites. Journal for You (JFY) at http://www.journalforyou.com offers
inspiration, hints and tips to enhance your journaling life. Creativity for
Life (CFL) at http://www.creativityforlife.com is an exploration of
creativity in everyday life, with articles, quotes, reviews and other
resources to awaken your creativity!

Topics: journaling, journal

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I started journaling over 18 years ago and soon realized the wonderful benefits journal writing can have.  When I started this blog, it was with the intent to share my own experiences and the incredible health benefits I was experiecing through my journal writing practice.

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