Keeping a journal can be done for any number of reasons. A journal can be a place to keep track of your dreams and aspirations, a way for you to find clarity, track progress toward a goal, spark creative activities, or just a place you can brain dump all those thoughts skittering around in your head.
No matter how you choose to write in a journal, one thing to remember is that … there really are no hard and fast rules. It’s OK to ignore everything you learned in English class, and just write however you want. This can actually help you to improve your journaling skills, because it takes all the “work” out of it.
Try Not To Take a Novel Approach
As you begin writing in your journal, remember that you aren’t writing a novel or anything that someone else is going to read (unless you want them to). You don’t have to worry about plots, characters, or getting things in the right order. Just start writing about your thoughts, bounce around to other ideas as you want, and don’t limit yourself as far as what you write about, the language you use, and what the page looks like.
Many people set too many rules for writing in a journal, and quickly get frustrated because they feel like they are doing homework. This is not what journaling is! It is for you and you only, so you can get out of it whatever you put into it.
Care Less About Spelling and Grammar Mistakes
You really don’t need to stress worry about your spelling and grammar. Not sure how to spell a word? Guess. Unsure of sentence structure? Don’t worry about it! Skip all the writing rules you learned in school, and just write however you want. These mistakes are not important as long as you know what you are trying to say in your journal.
Guess what? Your journal doesn’t have spellcheck, and you can feel free to just keep writing without second-guessing yourself when you stop setting so many rules for your own writing.
Write. Doodle. Heck, Do What You Want!
Think journaling is only about writing? There isn’t any reason you can’t doodle, draw, use colored pencils, or get creative on your journal pages. If on some days, you don’t feel as much like writing, you can get out whatever pen or pencil is nearby and just doodle to your heart’s content.
This seemingly mindless activity often leads you to what to write about, so it really helps you either way.