Writing a Journal and How to Get Started

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Writing a journal is something I have always loved to do. I began writing a journal back in 1996 when I was 13 years old. I’ve always enjoyed journaling and I guess it was only natural that in time I became a blogger.

Today I am sharing some fabulous journal writing tips to help you get started as a journal writer. 

I know you want to learn how to get started journaling, but how do you know where to start? What to write about? Which journal to buy?

Journaling Is What You Make It.

You don’t need anything fancy and you can start journaling with a plain notebook, pencil or pen.

Keeping a journal can help you to process through emotions, trauma, and even help you plan out your life! Journaling has mental health benefits, can really help clear your mind and improve organisation.

how to write a journal

*I use affiliate links in this post. If you buy anything from my links I will earn a small commission*

Read One of My first Journal Entries from 1996, The People Over The Way

Getting Started Writing a Journal

Gather your supplies, sit down with your pretty new journal and pens, and nothing happens. You stare at the blank page, waiting for it to speak to you.

You don’t know what to write about, you don’t know where to start, you’re frozen and frustrated.

You need to be in the right mindset if you expect to sit down with your journal and expect to let the words flow onto the pages.

You’ve gotta let go of any preconceived notions you may have about journaling and just take it one day at a time.

Take the pressure off yourself and release it into your journal by doodling, sketching, or even by writing random words that may or may not follow a theme.

Journalling doesn’t have to be just about writing. I often enjoy doodling and brainstorming my thoughts and ideas in my Journal. It’s a fun and creative way to record what’s on my mind. 

writing a journal

Must-Have Journaling Supplies

The best part about journaling is hoarding fun journaling supplies! Okay, so maybe that’s just me, I’m a huge stationary lover but shopping for journaling supplies is a blast. Whether you are looking in-store on online, there are so many options out there, and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.


I was recently sent this fantastic new Palmi Refillable Grained Leather Journal which I love. My Journal is embossed with my name in gold lettering.

I love journals and this fantastic journal is not only leather, but it has also stitched edges for extra durability and is long-lasting! 

I do think the Palmi Journal is good value and you only need to buy a new refill once your journal is full. 

journal from pen heaven


Stickers and Washi Tape:

How to Journal Daily

Make it a habit. Whether you journal before you get out of bed in the morning, before you go to bed at night (or both!), it needs to become a habit.

Set an alarm if you need to. “Alexa, remind me to journal at 9 PM every day”. Sit down for 15 minutes and write as much as you can in that time frame.

You may stare at your blank page after 15 minutes and feel like a failure, but don’t! Just set your alarm and do it again the next day, making sure you write at least a few words.

Sometimes, drawing can be easier than writing – mix it up. Do what works for you!

There are many journals prompts online. Using those can make journal writing easier.

how to get started writing a journal

Journaling Tips You May Find Helpful

Don’t edit or censor yourself. Let it all pour out onto the paper without judgment.

Make it a habit. Do it every single day, even if it’s just for five minutes.

Try different types of journaling. Mind mapping is one of my favourites.

Use your journal to plan dates – with your significant other or just for yourself!

Write about your successes as well as your struggles. You don’t want your journal to be all happy go lucky, or all doom and gloom… keep a balance.

writing a journal

What to Write in a Journal

You can write about whatever you want to write about in your journal! Write about how your day went (the good and the bad), your dreams and goals, your plans for next week, your ideal retirement, things you need to work on, the list go on and on.

You might like to write about what inspires you. Need more ideas? Then why not look for journal ideas on Pinterest.

Here are a few writing ideas for your journal:

  • Day in the life – from the time you wake up till the time you go to bed, what took place?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • How should you have acted in a tough situation? What could you have done to diffuse it instead of making it worse?
  • What’s your ideal dream vacation, with no limit on how much you can spend?
  • What would you say to your 10-year-old self? 15-year-old self? 25-year-old self?
  • Brain dump – what’s on your mind?
  • Write about the last book you read, or about the last movie you watched.
  • What should you do less of? More of?
  • Bucket list – of books you want to read, places you want to visit, people you want to meet… you can make a “bucket list” for anything!
  • What’s one major change you need to make in your life? Mind map it out.

Journal Challenge Ideas

150 Day Journaling Challenge from PopSugar
119 Journal Prompts – from Daring to Live Fully
31 Day Journaling Challenge – from The Art of Manliness
7 Days 7 Ways Journal Challenge – from Happiness Mama
100 Days of Journaling – from Tiny Ray of Sunshine
30 Journaling Prompts for Self-Reflection – from Psych Central
Journal for a Month Challenge – from Sugar Paper

Writing a daily journal can be fun, therapeutic and enjoyable. It’s helped me in the good times and in the bad. I can look back at my life over the past 22 years and see how I’ve grown and changed. My journals are something I treasure and it’s something you can treasure too. 


You May Also Enjoy:

The Stories Of My Life Not For The Faint-Hearted

My First Divorce The Raw Truth 

Writing A Letter To The Queen 

*The leather journal was sent for the purpose of this post*

writing a journal

About Angela Milnes

Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!

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  1. Journaling is seriously so therapeutic and I really want to get back into it. Washi tape is a good suggestion because I like to keep things creative so I will try that 🙂

  2. I used to journal pretty regularly growing up and have always enjoyed keeping travel journals. But it’s definitely something I’ve gotten out of in regular adult life. But I think that journaling is a great way to document your life, struggles and can be a treasure for your family down the road.

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