18 Tips to jumpstart your journal practice - Part One
There are 3 gremlins to a successful journal practice. Optimum word there being practice. Journaling isn't something you get down because you try it once. It's an ongoing practice. And there are many things that can get in the way of it being something you continue. One of these gremlins is avoidance. You avoid your journal for two reasons – you don’t have enough time to journal or you’re afraid of what will show up in your writing. Today I will share the first half of 18 (yes, 18!) tips for getting over the avoidance hump. Whether you try one or all 18 I hope they give you the encouragement you need to pick up your journal and just start writing. This is just part one. Next week I'll share the remaining 9 tips. Enjoy!
What physical space are you in? It makes a difference! Your journal will turn out differently if you're in bed in the morning compared to sipping coffee in a busy coffee house. Put yourself somewhere you know you can get into the journal zone.
Do you even like your journal? Pick out a journal that inspires you! It could be a fancy leather bound book or it could be an $1 spiral notebook from the grocery store. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that you want to journal in it.
There's nothing worse when journaling than for your pen to run out of ink right in the middle of a profound thought. Keep a couple favorites on hand and within reach. If you have to get up to get a new pen, well, you probably will just stop journaling.
If pen to paper just isn't cutting it for you try using prompts. These are my most downloaded prompts. Start there.
If the thought of sitting down and waiting for a word to come to mind to begin writing is daunting, use a timer. Your kitchen timer, phone timer, oven timer, whatever you have handy. Start with 7 minutes and work your way up to 10. You will find that you know what to write immediately.
Let yourself go in your writing. Don't judge, edit, or correct what comes through your pen. Let it flow. It will feel a bit like that game, telephone. Where you start with one stream of thought and end somewhere totally unrelated. But somehow it's also exactly where you need to go.
Time of Day
What time of day is best for zoning out for 7 or 10 minutes? Journal then. Don't try and force it when you're tired, distracted, or unavailable. This is how the avoidance gremlin gets you!
If prompts aren't doing it for you and you can't get into the flow of your writing, there are other options. Try one of these techniques instead.
In the Moment
When all else fails, just go to your journal with a present mind. It makes for an excellent mindfulness practice. Start with this sentence, "In this moment..." and just see what's there.
There you have 9 tips to get you started. I will share the rest next week. In the meantime, try one!