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Getting the Best From Your Journal

These tips and prompts will help you get the best from your journal experience.

Choosing A Journal Best for You

Take your time picking a journal that suits you – lined or blank pages, 8×10 or 5×7.

Choose a comfortable writing utensil. “I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I’m not afraid of falling into my inkpot.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (other cool pen quotes)

Make a note on the first page telling people not to read any further – as these are your personal thoughts and feelings. Some people like a computer—if so, store in a password-protected file.

Find a safe location to keep your journal – this will allow you to be candid in your writing.

Identify a “journal buddy” – someone you can confide in that you have been keeping a journal. Let them know where you keep your journals and what you wish to be done with them if anything were to happen to you.

Creating A Journal Environment

Find a comfortable place to write with limited distractions – sometimes it’s best to write when your loved one has gone to sleep or before they are up for the day.

Set your timer – an average write should take no longer than 5 minutes for the main write and an additional 2-3 minutes for the feedback write (see description below). Some techniques may take an extended time—I recommend using these only when you know you have 25 to 30 minutes to devote to your writing

Once you begin writing don’t stop – Let your thoughts flow, don’t be concerned with spelling or grammar. It is important to get the message coming from your internal voice.

Always finish your journal time with a feedback write – Re-read what you have written and then write for 2-3 minutes starting with I am surprised by or I didn’t realize that or reading this I feel. It is this final write that will create awareness about the original write, give you food for thought and often give you the basis for your next write.

*these tips are based on Journal to the Self© techniques.

Journal Prompts to Get You Started

Writing Prompts for Self-Care

  • Self-care feels _________________ .
  • Taking care of myself _________________ .
  • When I think of me it feels _________________ .
  • What I need today is _________________ .

Writing Prompts for Asking for Help

  • When I ask for help _________________ .
  • If I let anyone help it _________________ .
  • Asking for help feels _________________ .

Writing Prompts for Grief and Guilt

  • I feel guilty _________________ .
  • My guilt is like _________________ .
  • I worry about _________________ .
  • When I am sad I _________________ .

Need More Inspiration to Journal?

Lori offers workshops and classes. Check to see if she’s coming to your area.

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