Writing in a journal can be many things; it can be a creative activity, a way to find clarity, a place to keep track of your dreams and aspirations, or just somewhere you brain dump all those thoughts running circles in your head. But what about the rules of journaling?
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No matter how you write in a journal, one thing to remember is that there are no rules.
Journaling is about exploring your thoughts and feelings, so there is no right or wrong way to go about it. If you feel most comfortable writing in a traditional journal, then go for it. If you want to try something a little different, then go for that too. The main thing is to enjoy the process.
Forget everything you learned in English class and just write how you want. This will help you improve your journaling skills by removing all the ‘work’.
You’re Writing a Journal, not Writing a Novel
No one but you will read what you write in your journal, so don’t worry about making mistakes or how your writing sounds.
What you write doesn’t have to be perfect. What matters most is that you have a place to record your thoughts and feelings without any pressure. You might be surprised at what you discover when you slow down and take the time to let your thoughts out on paper.
You don’t have to worry about plots, characters, or getting things in the correct order. 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.
People frequently get frustrated while journaling because they set too many restrictions on themselves. Journaling should be a liberating experience, not a burdensome assignment. You should be able to get out of it whatever you put into it. Make your journal less rigid by making it more personal and more fun.
You can do this by adding pictures, drawings, collages, stickers, or anything else that inspires you. You can also keep track of non-serious things in your journal, like your favourite song, movie, or even your crush. The more relaxed and fun your journal is, the easier it will be to open up and share your inner thoughts and feelings.
Ignore Spelling and Grammar Mistakes in Your Journal
You don’t have to worry about spelling and grammar, as long as you’re understandable (by yourself).
It’s okay if you don’t know how to spell a word or if you don’t know how to construct a sentence. Just write without adhering to the writing rules you learned in school.
I think spelling mistakes are not significant as long as you know what you want to express in your journal. Your journal does not have spellcheck (unless you utilise an app or digital journal). Furthermore, you can continue writing without self-doubt once you stop setting many restrictions on your writing.
Write, Draw, Do What You Want in your journals
There is no reason your journal can’t be a fun and creative place to express yourself, whether through drawing, doodling, or using coloured pencils.
You will not be inspired to write on some days, so you can get out whatever pen or pencil is nearest and doodle. This mindless activity often leads you to what to write about, so it helps you either way.
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Even better, doodling is a proven stress reliever. It is like meditation; you focus on one thing and let go of your worries. Everyone has their go-to doodles, so there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just let your mind wander and let the doodles come out on the paper. You will likely be amazed at the connections your mind makes between your doodles and your journal writing.
So, there we go; next time you start worrying about journaling rules, just remember that there aren’t any! And if you’re ever feeling stuck and can’t think of what to write, just use the doodling method.