Getting the Most Out of Your Journaling Routine

Author - Miles Oliver
Published - April 14, 2023

Journalling is great for your mental health and creativity. It can help you navigate life’s choppy waters and see setbacks from a fresh perspective. 

Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just getting started, you may find from time to time that journaling can be something of an underwhelming experience. Perhaps you feel like you’re going through the motions just to keep your routine alive or like you aren’t getting as much out of journaling as you hoped. 

Fortunately, you aren’t the only one to struggle with journaling or want to get more from the experience. People have been journaling in some form for millennia and you can use their techniques to rediscover your passion for writing.



Benefits of Journaling

Journaling can offer several benefits, and you can enjoy these benefits by starting up a short, daily practice. This gives you a chance to detail your stressors and describe the challenges you face. Journaling can help you cope with grief and loss, allow you to see relationship issues in a new light, and work to find inner peace. 

Over time, regularly journaling may improve your self-esteem and communication skills. Journaling gives you a chance to practice positive self-talk in a safe space and helps you move through the world with more confidence and self-awareness.

 Journaling can improve your cognitive abilities, too. Freewriting is one of several hobbies linked to improved memory and reduced stress by those who practice it. This can sharpen your cognitive skills and even improve some bodily functions.


It Doesn’t Have to Be a Diary

When most folks think of journaling, they imagine something synonymous with a diary. However, a journal doesn’t have to be a daily record of your thoughts, experiences, feelings, or ideas. It can take any form you like.

 Getting creative with your journaling is a great way to keep the habit going. Forcing yourself to continually write about trauma and grief can feel overwhelming. Instead, consider choosing whatever prompts or themes make you feel excited and enthusiastic about writing. This can help you maintain your routine and continue to reap the benefits of writing, in addition to simply making journaling more fun.

For example, if you’re a bookworm, consider jotting down a quote from your favorite novels or poems. Then, on the next page, produce something based on that quote. It could be your own prose and poetry, or you could try to sketch out the scene from the quote you chose. 

Keep your journal with you throughout the day and try to find inspiration in the world around you. Connect with your community by visiting a local coffee shop or volunteering with a non-profit. Sit at a park bench while your record your thoughts and watch people go about their daily business. Use other creative mediums like music and art to find journaling inspiration and try to give words to the experiences that make you feel like part of the world.


Writing for an Audience

For many, the idea of sharing the private scribblings included in a journal is truly horrifying. However, if you struggle to stick to a journaling habit, then you may find writing for an audience helpful. 

Start a blog if you feel comfortable sharing your journal online. A blog is a great space to record your thoughts, build a community, and foster personal growth through writing. Sharing your writing with others can be scary, but it can also offer an avenue to connect with others in a meaningful way — in addition to the other benefits journaling can provide. 

Even major authors like Chuck Palhauniuk share their thoughts and experiences online. Palhauniuk publishes on a near-daily basis to Sub Stack and reflects on writing workshops, upcoming projects, and his war against all things related to adverbs. 

Before starting a blog, try to take care of all the technicalities first. After all, you don’t want to waste time waiting for pages to load when you should be journaling. Improve your internet speed by installing fiber optic at your home and connecting your PC or laptop via an ethernet cable. Upgrade old hardware and close background applications that may be slowing your system down. This will help set you up for successful, sustainable online journaling.


Maintaining Your Journaling Habit

Journaling is great for your mental health and overall well-being. However, you may find that your journaling habit falls by the wayside after a month or so. This is entirely normal as even seasoned writers fall out of their daily writing habits from time to time. 

Maintain your journaling routine by creating a schedule that works for your lifestyle. Write at the same time every day when no one will disturb you. Whether you write in the morning or late in the evening, keeping a “feel good” journal is a great way to notice the thoughts, emotions, and ideas that are at the forefront of your unconscious. 

You don’t have to set hours aside for writing, either. Prize-winning novelists like Haruki Murakami may write from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m., but you just need to find 10 minutes to write without distraction. Research shows that a daily routine can reduce your stress, improve your sleep quality, and help you feel happier during the day. 

Acknowledge the fact that you will struggle with writer’s block from time to time. Be kind to yourself and don’t pressure yourself into writing — the weight of an empty page is enough to make seasoned writers quake in their boots. 

Instead, try to jot down some creative prompts for your future self to explore. Interesting home-brewed prompts can help alleviate the pressure to write. Keep these prompts in the back of your journal and feel free to write about the same prompt multiple times over the years. This can help you track your personal growth and help you build a stronger journaling habit. 

When you do write, allow yourself to make mistakes without judgment. A journal isn’t meant to be filled with perfect punctuation and tidy sentences. Make it messy and embrace your own writing style without restrictions.



Journaling is great for your physical and mental health. It gives you a chance to blow off some steam and can even improve your memory. Overcome writer’s block by picking a prompt that gets the ink flowing. Consider posting your ramblings to a blog if you benefit from the accountability of an audience and try to seek inspiration from the world around you.


Miles OliverAuthor bio:  Miles Oliver is an independent writer with a background in business and passion for psychology, news, and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He has lived and traveled all over the United States and continues to expand his awareness and experiences. When he is not writing, he is most likely mountain biking or kicking back with a cup of tea.







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