One year ago today, where were you? What were you thinking, desiring, or asking for? How were you hurting? Rejoicing? Or just living? Very rarely do I think about these insightful questions. Whether it’s a time of pure joy or a time of deep sorrow, I am more apt to sit in my current situation rather than reflect. Yet, it’s looking back and seeing where I have come from or how I got to a current condition that contains the real value.

It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. — Ernest Hemingway

In recent years, I’ve discovered the great joy that is journaling. The gift a journal offers is a glimpse into the heart of the beholder, an open window to an experience at a time when the emotions were still fresh, real and pure. Journaling allows one to put on paper the feelings that sometimes cloud the brain, affording an ability to work through life’s toughest moments by releasing those deep thoughts that aren’t quite ready to be introduced to the world. A journal is a safe place.

Most of all, journaling offers a larger picture of growth and healing, to recognize the journey of what your life has become. Specifically in lonelier moments, a journal allows you to look back and remember the true friendships that were present or the family times that brought such joy. It’s through those joys that you see how far you’ve come from dark places, how you’ve since been carried to the lights.

Having a journal is truly a gift to oneself, but the thought of starting one may seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips to help get you started:

There Are No Rules

There is no perfect way to journal. Some days writing may take up many pages while other days may just be a word. If you have the gift of drawing or painting, allow your journal to be an artistic compilation of sketches. There are so many different ways to express your emotions on paper … so explore them all!

Find A Journal You Like To Look At

It sounds silly, but a journal that’s aesthetically pleasing will tend to get more use. Go to a stationary store or little boutique and find a journal that’s most like you, one that you would want to sit on your nightstand or carry around in your purse. Look into what kind of paper it has — do you want lines or no lines, spiral or bound? There are so many options, have fun with it!

Use Is Not An Issue

Does the fear of committing to a journal keep you from starting? Why? Whether it’s every day, once a week, or once a month… it’s your choice. Your journal is your own to write in as you please. No commitment specifics are necessary.

There is a joy and a gift that comes from journaling, and there will be seasons in life when a journal is more beneficial and other times when it’s needed less. Whatever the case and whatever the season, it is always good to have one on hand. Or at least an excuse to buy something fun.


Image via imgfave



  1. You have no idea how refreshing this article is. Seriously. I love to journal albeit not chronologically and I despise the pressure of ‘Write something everyday’ so it’s nice to find someone who understands that it’s your journal and it’s your choice when you write in it. Journaling is supposed to be fun or at the very least relaxing.

    Thank you!

  2. Love this article. Journaling is essential to our well-being. Thank you for suggesting other forms of expression such as drawing or painting.

    Odd question, love the pen that appears in the photo! Can you tell me what type of pen that is?

  3. Yes, yes, yes! I really need to get back in to journaling, but I have journals from almost every point in my life up until a couple years ago. It’s such fun to look back and see who I was so many years ago and where I thought I would be compared to where I am.

  4. Effortlessly well put. When I was younger, it was so much easier to write out all my thoughts, ideas, and just emotions. Now, it truly does terrify me. Why? Because the commitment. You presented doable ways to keep a journal, for all the right reasons.

  5. I love this. It shows what a joy and learning experience the lost art of journaling can be.

  6. Beautiful. My favourite past & present time activity. It’s amazing when you look back through your journal just how far you have come.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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