Just Write: It’s Time to Start a Journal

When was the last time you set pen to paper? Words flowing from heart, to head, to hand; the curling script of your signature scrawl looping across the page?

I’ve been blogging for five years, and it’s been nearly as long since I devoted myself to writing anything substantial on paper. The words I typed daily taking my full attention, the neat, orderly Times New Roman characters preferable to the frenetic loops and angles of my own, impossibly messy handwriting. One more aspect of life and creativity taken by the screens that seem to dominate our surroundings. But then I realized something. And that something was important. As time went on, I became more and more accustomed to typing out my thoughts and increasingly hesitant to write — even just create — with my own two hands. When you set pen to paper, or set out to translate what’s in your head to a tangible thing, you’re exposed to your own imperfections. And those imperfections can be intimidating. How often have you set out to create something that looks incredible in your head, only to be disappointed with the outcome? Search “Pinterest fail” and you’ll see that you are not alone in this world. But that made-by-hand-ness, in all its imperfection, is so vial to self-expression and creativity!

With the start of the new year, I’ve set the intention to use my own two hands more. Not to type (although there will be plenty of that), but to create. To draw, to write, to collage, to paint… to get messy. And this weekend, I dare you to do the same. Get your hands on a fresh journal — preferably one with no lines for the ultimate blank slate — and just start writing.

Just Write

Don’t think, just write. Write about your day, the day you hope to have, even your plans for the following day. The beautiful thing about keeping it between you and the page is that nothing is too mundane, nothing is not worth writing about… there are no boundaries. Clear your head, get it all out. And then keep going.

Just Write

Create a sanctuary for yourself where you can sneak away for a little while each day. Grab a cup of something warm and soothing, put on a record, fill a box with writing tools that you’ll feel inspired to use. Allow yourself these moments to capture your life, just as it is. No filters.

Make it a challenge. Commit to writing or journaling, in some way, for 30 days straight. If you can’t find the words, draw. Fill your pages with color, shapes, scraps of paper, and mementos. Be free with your expression.

Just Write

Need a little inspiration? I’ve created some writing prompts below to get you started:

  • Write about the person you thought you’d be five years ago. How does your life differ from what you imagined? How has that vision of the future held up?
  • If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? What is holding you back from making that your reality?
  • Write about something someone once said about you that you’ll never forget. Why has that statement or sentiment remained in your consciousness?
  • Write about your day hour by hour. Take a photo an hour throughout the day to print out and collage in afterwards.
  • What is your most vibrant memory? Write down as much of it as you remember, then ask someone else who was present at the time their side of the story.

Just Write
More inspiration posts from the BLDG 25 blog

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Maud

Love this! My brand new notebook got delivered today and i’m so excited to start journalling!

mauddesigns.blogspot.com

I am always hesitant to write, still being at school, I almost see it as a ‘chore’ do to the fact I spend the majority of my days writing out work not being creative with my writing abilities. As much as I love being able to type out my thoughts onto my blog, I feel the whole spontaneity of physically writing is lost as we can easily delete something from our computer screens whereas writing something down requires more thought as you may try to erase your words, but it’s still always going to be there.

Yes! I just started journaling a few weeks ago when I bought an irresistible journal and was feeling anxious. I wrote down my list of dream goals, a gratitude list, and what I’m good at. It truly did wonders for the mood I was in.

Warm Regards,
Alexandra
http://www.littlewildheart.com

Laura

I miss journaling,,,,I did it for years, then i went through a horrible loss and heartbreak and couldn’t do it anymore. What was in my heart to write was too dark. Life is better now, but when I try to set pen to paper, there’s nothing. My pen is mute. Funny thing is, my daughter and I both collect journals. She struggles with writing because of dyslexia, but she’ll draw. We both love finding beautiful journals and bringing them home and putting them on a shelf to admire. No one but my husband knows that i have stopped writing…. I… Read more »

I also think about to get a journal or planner to get organised this year. Great post <3 xo

http://www.kinikunormal.blogspot.com/

Kathy

My daughter got a beautiful journal for Christmas and began journaling for the first time. She really is enjoying it. I think I will join her.
I like your prompts. I have kept a journal in the past but then I usually quit. After I read back what I wrote it always sounds so silly.
I love beautiful journals though. Especially soft leather ones.

Love expressing myself in journals, but I’m really loving that cable knit sweater!

Ripped Jeans

This is an amazing read. I want to start journaling but first I need to find one like yours. I’m in love.

http://www.delabellesbeautyblog.com

Oh, I just love writing journals! Right now I have artjournal which is actually a sketchbook, another journal for lists which is scrapbook at the same time and also a normal journal which is actually like a diary :D I’m just crazy about them!

paige

ive been keep a journal since fifth grade! its my therapy! i can’t count how many times i have taken the time to thank myself for keeping up with a journal throughout most of my life. it is so so so wonderful to be able to go back and read about specific moments in my life.

there is something so incredibly healing about letting the words flow out onto the page. For me its also a way to get started. allowing the words to be imperfect, awkward, unpolished… writing by hand also seems to access a different part of my creativity. scrawling the words on the page feels more primal and wild than typing a neat row of characters with spell check pop ups. there’s something so wonderfully real about taking a pen to paper….. i need to do it more often….thank you for the reminder !

happy creating everyone!
http://www.averyfairytale.wordpress.com

I have been writing/journaling almost all my life. It is therapy for me now although when I was younger I wrote poems, prose and pasted pictures in it. I miss that! It was creativity. Now sometimes I feel blocked by the day to day responsibilities. Thank you for the prompts. I am so glad I found your blog and look forward to following you.

Humairaa Ghazan

Absolutely loved this post! For the past several weeks I’ve been trying to get back into writing more but haven’t really had any ideas on what to write. So this was great inspiration! Also, I think this will be a great way to let go of all the day to day stress and worries . Wonderful.

such a lovely idea and some great writing topics!

Rachel // Style Soup

Salla

It is so hard to make your feelings and thoughts form anything presentable or make the words as beautiful as they seem in your head. This post gave me ideas, motivation and that kick in the butt that I needed. Thank you. Now I have to go and buy inspiring notebook to fill <3

i journal as well and i gotta admit, i couldnt imagine a more fun way to express myself. i have been journaling since i was in grade school and i know that it’s been a big part of growing up into an adult. i definitely recommend journaling to anyone as well. great tips on this post, thank you!

Normally when I journal it’s just putting my feelings about whatever is actually going on in my life on paper. I love the idea of writing topics that aren’t necessarily about that particular day, but life in general. Definitely going to incorporate that more.

Kim | Lost in Dreamland

I have journaled off and on for years, but I never really stuck too it. I have decided to dedicate more time to journaling this year, so I can remember memories that otherwise I would have forgotten.
http://sweetheartsofthesouth.blogspot.com

This is a great idea! I do keep a journal and I also collage, paint and draw, but I’ve found that I spend far more time online than engaging in any of these creative activities, so thank you for your encouraging words! Hope you have a lovely day!
Hannah x
Hanniemc.co.uk

Thank you for these prompts, and this post! I journal, but quite irregularly and sometimes only to journal the crazy disjointed dreams I have! I like the idea of following a prompt to write about, to get you thinking, to write instead of type, etc. All so true!

I tried to keep a diary for a few years and it just didn’t work. I started to keep a journal when I started university and I’ve had one ever since. I write ideas and thoughts and dreams but also draw and sketch and doddle. I’ve just made a tutorial for how to make your own journals/sketchbooks over on my blog – helloisabelle.com

Hannah

When I was in high school I was fearless. I would write and draw in my journal and read it out load to my friends in the dorm. There was nothing more liberating. I miss that. Thank you for this post. I have to write more. :)

I have a hard time keeping a daily diary because I always forget to write in it, and when I remember that I forgot I’m too tired to write. I think I may keep a weekly journal though. Might be a little easier to remember to write in.

I use my blog as a journal

Jenni

I’ve been journaling since I can remember. It’s my own personal & non-medicated type of therapy. I write everything you can think of and nothing to me seems too silly or uninteresting to write about. My husband jokes with me saying things such as “so honey I was thinking of building you your very own library, however instead of novels we can fill every shelf from ceiling to floor with your journals”! I always respond with something to the effect of “haha Baby you’re just such the comedian”, however these days I’ve been taking his idea more and more seriously… Read more »