Maybe you have been writing about yourself since you’ve picked up a pen and pencil, but if I had to guess, you have countless empty journals from TJMaxx lying around your house. I know I do (okay, yes, I am exposing myself!). While writing appears to be easy for the main character in every movie, doing it in your everyday life can be challenging to start and continue. Personally, I on/off journaled from 2014-2018, where I would pick it up for a month or two only to quit, leaving a notebook behind. However, at the end of 2018, I discovered that I was too hard on myself to write the next best biography about my life when I didn’t have to. From 2018 to now, I journal every night. Not every moment needs to be written down with a beautiful metaphor, but instead, just putting down what you do each day is more than enough. So how do you start?
I recommend writing down just a sentence about your day on the Notes app on your phone. Maybe it’s a funny quote that your friend said, a test you aced, or what you had for lunch. The important part is to write down anything you find significant and date it at the end. Get yourself into a routine where right before bed, you jot something down in your phone. I found that using my phone first was an easy step because it is always with me, whereas in the past, I didn’t always have my journal around to write about my day. Slowly build yourself to a few sentences or a paragraph and take your time. Journaling should never feel like a chore, but rather a reflection of what is going on in your life. When you are ready, go pick up a notebook (it doesn’t need to be fancy) and start to write. By journaling, you’re able to freeze moments in your life to look back on later. Put photos or silly doodles to go along with your storytelling. It is kind of like creating a time capsule about you. I promise, you’ll thank me later.
When journaling, try to include different parts of your day. For example, on Wednesday, write about the lunch date you had with your best friend, and on Thursday, feature the school project you have been working so hard to complete. Also, start to reflect on the big questions in life. What are your current beliefs? What is it like to be your age? Are there any recent events that could be historical? By adding big picture questions, you are able to reflect and grow as a person. It also may surprise you later down the line how your views have changed.
Journaling is for everyone! You have full control of your writing, and how you want to do it, these are just some steps to help you along the way.