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Do you even journal, Bro?

I received a journal for Christmas, and am not really sure how to start. A little background: my oldest daughter is an aspiring author, and frequently asks why I don't write much. So, I figured I'd get a journal to try as a way to connect with her in that area. She gifted me one for Christmas, and I've started the new year by writing a bit in it each day. It's very random, and is essentially just a bit of rambling. Is this a good way to get started? Any other suggestions for journalers out there?
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
I use a bullet journal. I don‘t use the Bullet Journal system though. I just use it to keep track of recurring bills, beers I like, books I’ve read, things to do, and other random stuff I can look back on and think “wow, I was awesome back then”.

Not at all a “dear diary“
 
Just ramblings, daily highlights, short and/or long time goals, etc. Just use it as a window into your personal life. Someone down the road will want a glimpse into your life. What was it like back when ...
 
I started writing a diary in March 2020, when in complete lockdown. Still going today. Why did I do it? Well, to find a use for all my fountain pens. Sometimes a different pen every day, sometimes the same pen for weeks. All in all I'm wirting 'little thoughts' on what I achieved during the day or what I'm aiming for. Nothing to win me a Nobel prize for literature, obviuosly. But who knows ?
 
Kinda what I do too. Just write some random thoughts and ramblings in my notebook. Been doing it since 2010 and I have a few books filled now.
 
No rules. Start with something you want to write about, and write about it.

One thing I find keeps me interested (but this is just me), is not making it all about myself, but about interesting things that I learn, or interesting things that are happening in the world. Of course, some of what I write is about myself.

But again, that's just me. If you find something that you enjoy writing about, you'll keep it up. If you make it a task, something you think you should do, it may make it harder.
 
You might want to consider maybe using it as a common place book. A place to write down quotes or ideas you like, or some random thoughts or a list of goals you want to expand on later on. I find that for myself at least keeping a journal puts too much pressure on what I want to write down and put into words
 
Experiment and figure out what you prefer. If you're a creative type, you could benefit from a 'morning pages' type of approach, where it's basically a brain dump. You could also go the route of using the same few prompting questions every day like what are you grateful for, what was the best or worst part of the day, who did you most enjoy interacting with and why...

I tend to go back and forth between free journaling, prompts, and exploring interesting topics that I heard or read about. I'm a daily Bible reader, and sometimes that will serve as a topic as well.
 
Experiment and figure out what you prefer. If you're a creative type, you could benefit from a 'morning pages' type of approach, where it's basically a brain dump. You could also go the route of using the same few prompting questions every day like what are you grateful for, what was the best or worst part of the day, who did you most enjoy interacting with and why...

I tend to go back and forth between free journaling, prompts, and exploring interesting topics that I heard or read about. I'm a daily Bible reader, and sometimes that will serve as a topic as well.
I do not know if I "journal", seems sort of teenage girlish (no offense intended). I do however jot down some things that I want to remember or reflect on. Notes from the book I am currently reading, thoughts for the day of a verse from my daily bible reading that really spoke to me that day, aspirations, epiphanies. I full well expect it to be published some day and sit right besides Marcus Aurelius' meditations....if there are still actual books when I am dead and my musings are famous.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
Yes sir, I journal off and on. I have a bunch for various purposes. One for house projects. One for hobbies. One for spirituality. One for “deep thoughts.” A bunch of pocket notebook with random “want” and “to do” lists. I tried starting a novel in one, but pretty much fizzled after about page four. Pretty much I write when I feel like it and don’t stress about it if I don’t.

There are times I want to write because I just enjoy the feeling for running a fountain pen over nice paper, but don’t know what I want to write. I usually default to writing things I’m thankful for because I do try to cultivate gratuity. Or I’ll just practice my penmanship by copying poems and prayers and things like that.

The other thing I’ve thought about doing, but haven’t yet, is go online and google for journal prompts. There’s lots of that sort of thing out there. The only problem I have is inevitably I surf over to B&B and, well, you know...:badger: distractions ensue
 

AimlessWanderer

Contributor
I don't journal, but I do write stuff down a fair bit.

For me it's more a kind of "thinking out loud" type of activity. I find it a useful tool for getting my head around stuff. I don't retain it though. Once a page is full, it's done, gone, and forgotten. What I was thinking yesterday, or a month ago, should not hold me back on what I'm thinking today. If I'm taking in yesterday's thoughts, I'm missing out on today, and prefer to live in the present. So, I never read them back, and certainly have no interest in anyone else ever reading them. When a notepad/book is full, it is disposed of.
 
I journaled when working retail, things having to do with work impacts like weather, events, sales going on with our chain and other stores in the area. I kept all sorts of things like that on paper so that when I was asked why things were different, from one year to the next in our sales. I started to think about keeping one with my new job even though it's not retail never know when things like that may be important.
 
Thanks everyone for the responses so far. One kinda silly question: Pen or Pencil in your journal? I see some have mentioned using a fountain pen....which I personally don't think is for me. I keep meaning to bring a pen upstairs to use, but so far have been using the pencil that was on my bedside table for some reason....
I'm also considering changing WHEN I write in it. It's been an evening before bed thing, but sometimes it gets late and I'm forcing myself to do it. The plus side is, I'm keeping the journal by the bed. If I do something different timing wise, I may need to find it a new home. Oh well, I'll figure it out.
 
Thanks everyone for the responses so far. One kinda silly question: Pen or Pencil in your journal? I see some have mentioned using a fountain pen....which I personally don't think is for me. I keep meaning to bring a pen upstairs to use, but so far have been using the pencil that was on my bedside table for some reason....
I'm also considering changing WHEN I write in it. It's been an evening before bed thing, but sometimes it gets late and I'm forcing myself to do it. The plus side is, I'm keeping the journal by the bed. If I do something different timing wise, I may need to find it a new home. Oh well, I'll figure it out.
Not a silly question, although again it comes down largely to preference. But since you mention already having the journal, which somebody gave you as a gift, it's worth considering whether the paper would even work well with a fountain pen. Some papers are not fountain pen friendly; the ink will bleed through, or "feather" (spread out too much). Moleskine, for example, is a popular brand of journal that has a rather poor reputation for fountain pen compatibility, although it may depend on the specific pen and ink.

I do use paper that plays nicely with fountain pens, and use fountain pens most of the time. But every now and then I will write a bit in pencil, or with a gel pen, or even with a ballpoint, just on a whim.
 
Thanks everyone for the responses so far. One kinda silly question: Pen or Pencil in your journal? I see some have mentioned using a fountain pen....which I personally don't think is for me. I keep meaning to bring a pen upstairs to use, but so far have been using the pencil that was on my bedside table for some reason....
I'm also considering changing WHEN I write in it. It's been an evening before bed thing, but sometimes it gets late and I'm forcing myself to do it. The plus side is, I'm keeping the journal by the bed. If I do something different timing wise, I may need to find it a new home. Oh well, I'll figure it out.
I didn't think I would like fountain pens either, but I do. I have a handful of them now with 5 inks I cycle through.
 
Experiment and figure out what you prefer. If you're a creative type, you could benefit from a 'morning pages' type of approach, where it's basically a brain dump. You could also go the route of using the same few prompting questions every day like what are you grateful for, what was the best or worst part of the day, who did you most enjoy interacting with and why...

I tend to go back and forth between free journaling, prompts, and exploring interesting topics that I heard or read about. I'm a daily Bible reader, and sometimes that will serve as a topic as well.
I just read an interesting Art of Manliness article today that gave me a new journaling prompt. It's called the George Bailey effect. It's an alternative for those of us who don't seem to benefit much from a gratitude journal.
 
I write and maintain a journal. It's not a daily journal, but it helps me take a load off my mind by writing my thoughts, complaints, troubles, habits I need to eliminate and things that needs to be done in near future.

It's a very basic journal, that if anybody else reads, he/ she will only regret getting a peek into my stormy thought process and troubles.

Let me give you an example :
I smoked 2 packs a day, whenever I felt really bad about it, I wrote about it along with the general stuff.
In about a year, I reduced my smoking and by a few weeks over a year, I quit smoking cold turkey.

It helps to put things on paper, it becomes personal ( I cannot explain it ), but even more personal than keeping it all in your head.

Pen or pencil : whichever you usually use, no special stuff, otherwise it becomes an excuse later, especially when you don't want to write a journal but you know that it'll help you.
 

tankerjohn

A little poofier than I prefer
I keep meaning to bring a pen upstairs to use, but so far have been using the pencil that was on my bedside table for some reason....
You're in good company. Reportedly, Ernest Hemmingway and John Steinbeck preferred writing with pencils. So does my daughter. I think pencils get a bad rap because most people don't progress beyond the cheap yellow pencils they used in school. But there is, in fact, a whole world of pencils out there.
 
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