It is not necessary to write several pages to make it worthwhile. Even a short entry each day, if it
reflects your true thoughts and feelings, will have great value. Some days you may only write a
sentence or two, while others may naturally produce a few pages. Avoid routine entries like:
“Cleaned the house today,” or “Met Mary for lunch.” A personal journal is not a calendar of
events, but tracking the events of your life as you see them through your heart and mind. It is
an intensely personal experience. For the writer, it is good practice in expressing yourself on paper
and helps clarify your thinking. A journal must be kept private, or you won’t be honest. Never tear
out pages or edit it once it is written.
Date your entries and number the pages, but avoid printed journals that give you a dated page for
every day or restrict you to one page. If you don’t write every day, those blank pages tend to make
e you feel like you’ve failed. A journal needs to be a “want to” not a “have to” experience, and quires
some discipline—especially when developing the habit.
Rather than a personal journal, some may prefer to keep a literary journal. In this kind, you jot down
notes that might later be used in a story or poem, overheard dialogue or speech patterns, news items,
unusual phrases, descriptions, etc. In other words, notes that may be useful in your writing. A
personal journal may also be used for writing some day. For example, keeping a detailed journ
al through the experience of losing a child, and later using it to write a book to help other parents who
were experiencing the same thing. Not every writer enjoys or feels comfortable regularly writing in a
journal. If you are one of those writers, don't feel like you have to keep one. For general instructions
on journaling, go to: http://www.journalingsaves.com/how-to-journal. For instruction on spiritual
journaling, go to: http://www.journeycenter.org/encJournaling.php.