Journal Writing: Purpose, Types, Importance & Benefits
Journal writing, also called journaling, in simple words is an informal way of writing or a method of penning down emotions, experiences, thoughts, events, etc. It can be a written or a typed medium of records where the person pens down the thoughts, observations, experiences, etc. This can be written on a daily or periodic basis, or when there is an urge to write. It can be a record of anything and everything.
Professional writing of any form has certain norms, rules, and specifications such as a particular number of pages, a clear topic or a specific theme, a conclusion, and many other dos and don’ts and restrictions. Whereas, journaling is a different ball game altogether, especially the unofficial informal personal journals.
You, the writer/the author have a free hand and are devoid of any restrictions. You are totally in charge of the journal and it is for your keep, you can share it in parts or share the whole thing or not share it at all. It is your own space, where you have complete freedom to be just yourself, express yourself the way you want to or the way you deem correct.
Having said that, journaling is not always informal. When it comes to academic research journals, there certainly are a set of protocols that needs to be followed. Here a properly well-researched, informative formal style of writing a journal is extremely important. If the content is written improperly or unprofessionally, there is the possibility of the academic journal getting rejected.
As we know by now that journaling is a record of penning down a person’s personal experiences and thoughts, which requires to be consistency and periodic. This skill requires consistency, practice, honesty, and above all commitment. Writing journals makes for creative, skillful, and successful people.
Journaling is the pattern of recording personal reflections, insights, and queries on certain specific assigned topics or personal thoughts/experiences/muses. The journal entries are also a type of reflective writing. As journaling provides the freedom and liberty to examine various ideas and different forms of writing strategies, it can also be termed a type of exploratory writing as well.
Journaling or journal writing does not require any technical or tough topics. The journal prompts are vast and simple. It can be about your routine, your exercises, your culinary journey, diet tips, thoughts in your mind, places of interest or traveled, or people around you, it can be almost just about anything and everything.
Most importantly there is a need for a flair for writing which can keep the readers hooked up to the journals. All these simple days today aspects can make for interesting journal prompts. These contents are just the perfect prompts for great journal writing.
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Purpose Of Journal Writing
Journaling has many forms and serves varied purposes. Some of these can be creative, informative, or personal. Journaling helps in recording and maintaining thoughts, practicing the craft of writing, etc. Journaling is an informal writing process where the thoughts and experiences are penned down, which can be used either to identify, correct, and aim for either our mistakes and flaws or set future goals.
Keeping an everyday account of day-to-day routine through journaling betters us as a person as it helps us identify our previous mistakes or the wrong decisions taken and helps improve our writing skills as well.
1. Improves Writing
Practice makes a man perfect is true. Hence, the more you practice writing, the better you get at writing. It helps improve the overall writing skills including better vocabulary and more knowledge of the relevant topics written. It encourages developing new techniques, styles, patterns, and content while increasing the range of the writer. It enhances creativity.
2. Sharpens Mind
When we pen down our experiences, we also tend to become more ardent observers. When we want to write about any particular topic, we pay more close attention to all the minute details of that topic. A regular habit of journaling knowingly or unknowingly ensures that we notice even the tiniest minuscule details of everyday life. This close observation of the world around us with great interest and inquisitiveness results in a heightening of senses.
3. Passion/Love For Writing
The most important reason for being a journal writer is the sheer love of journaling. It can provide a sense of pleasure, and comfort. It also may have a therapeutic effect on the journal writer when all the emotions and experiences are penned down. Reading our old journals helps revive our memories from the past.
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Important Suggestions for New Journal Writers
1. Privacy Protection
Store the journal in a protected private setting where there is less access for unwanted privacy issues. Ensure that the journal is protected and needs permission for access. Find ways to protect privacy like a new mail ID or account, strong new password, etc. Attach high priority to privacy and make sure it is an intentional act.
2. Total Focus And Meditation.
A few minutes of calm, composed, meditated technique benefits every journal writer. It helps retain focus.
3. Mark The Date Of Every Entry.
A very important and right habit that can be established for journaling can be this one of marking the dates for every entry. Proper date markings ensure chronological access to the journals date-wise.
4. Keep Writing
Make sure to keep writing. Do not pause or take a long hiatus. Do not stop the flow. Be consistent. Ensure to keep writing.
5. Be Truthful
Some truths are harsher than others. Do not be harsh on yourself, but do not lie to yourself either. Encourage yourselves to be truthful. Pace yourself, if harsh and bright, then slow it down.
6. Write Naturally
Be natural, be original, and be your true self. Do not mimic others blindly. As we know that the best part of journaling is that there are no rules. Go with what works for you and stick to what you are comfortable with.
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Main Types Of Journal
Journaling, as we know, is an art of writing and recording our day-to-day events and thoughts, but apart from that, there are many other types of journals as well. Though, only a few are commonly used Let us get acquainted with the different types of journals.
- Blank Notebook Journal
- The Dream Journal
- Plant Journal
- Gratitude Journal
- Reading Journal
- Food Journal
- Artistic Journal
- Travel Journal
The practice of writing consistently has many benefits, especially with journal writing as it does not impose restrictions on the writing style or the pattern. It allows you to express yourself most informally and simply. We have made a list of some of the major benefits.
- Achieve Goals: Goals are more easily achievable when you keep a track of the goals in your journal.
- Self-confidence: Writing imparts self-confidence.
- Improved skills of writing and communication: Continuous and consistent writing improves writing skills as well as communication skills.
- Strengthen Memory: When you are an avid reader and journal writer it strengthens your memory as you tend to read it over and over again as well as do lots of research being journaling.
- Tracking the Progress and Growth: Maintaining a properly dated journal helps set goals as well as helps in tracking the growth and progress
- Reduce Stress and Anxiety: Journaling is known to have a soothing and therapeutic effect on the writer.
Apart from the many benefits of journaling, it is also a great way of organizing ideas and thoughts by maintaining a daily journal. Nonetheless, it is not very easy to figure out good topics/content for journaling. Have you at any point struggled or were unsure about the topic to write in the journal?
Worry not, we are here to assist you with some brilliant ideas and prompts which are quite interesting. These prompts enhance your knowledge, sparks creativity, and provide you with loads of content to help you in your journey of daily journaling.
Many times the mind goes blank, and you feel clueless about what to write. Here are some of the journaling prompts/ideas which can be used to write journals daily. Having a list that is innovative and knowledgeable helps in writing as well as gaining knowledge.
1. Self Care Tips
Self-care tips is a prompt where you get lots of content to write in a daily journal. By choosing this topic you can grow and increase the content by having sections and subsections related to this topic. You can give some tried and tested, valuable, easy to do, DIY, sustainable self-care tips.
2. To Be Achieved Life Milestones
There are some small-time and big-time goals. The small-time goals could be tidying the closet, completing homework, finishing a task, etc., while big goals such as owning a house, buying a car, getting married, and bagging a job from a prestigious reputed company. These can be called milestones.
We can journal on these life milestones as it keeps reminding us what our milestone is and whether we need to achieve them or stick to the achievement. For the big milestones, we need to focus, on all the above listed are major goals and there are many more such goals in each of our lives that holds a lot of significance to us. Any such life milestone goals can be chosen and written in detail.
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3. Write About People Who Inspire You
We come across so many inspiring people in our day-to-day lives. It need not necessarily be a celebrity. It could be your parents, a friend, a teacher, or anybody else who has been a strong inspiration to you. You can write about those inspiring personalities and how you are inspired by them.
We meet so many people daily on a personal level or witness inspiring people through the media. The journal could be about anyone whom you admire, look up to, want to be like them, or even reflect on the reasons you are inspired by them.
4. Family History Journal
Can be there something more interesting than writing a journal on the family lineage? It could be a perfect pass-on gift cum guide for future generations. It is one of the most perfect prompts for journaling. It helps generations aware of their previous generations. It could be some special personal moments or significant events from the past that can be recorded through journaling. You can try and collect the details from your previous generations.
5. Political Journal
One more interesting and vast topic for journaling. You can write a political journal about the current political occurrences, old bygone eras political events which can be either local political journals or even national and international political occasions. It can be about well-reputed senior politicians.
6. Beauty Tips
You can write journals about beauty products, DIY packs, hair care oils, and products, homemade ubtans, herbal beauty products, natural beauty products, simple home intake products, local application, henna hair coloring, and Mehendi for hands and legs, essential oils usage, and many more. Like other categories, this also is a vast continent and has many options such as sticking to only skincare or only hair care, or overall beauty tips.
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7. Culinary Skills
There is a whole lot of content available for journaling on this topic. The content is unexplainably huge. It could be Indian, Continental, Mughlai, etc. Then again there are south Indian recipes, North Indian recipes, recipes of sweets, namkeens, starters, main course, rice, sharbat, chutneys, ice creams, cakes, curries, rice varieties, roti varieties, and many more.
8. Importance of Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation can be the main topic or can be a sub-topic for health care tips or self-care tips. A lot of informative healthy asanas, mudras, and breathing techniques, meditation techniques, the power of yoga and meditation can all be penned down under this content of journaling.
There is a whole lot of other journal prompts available which have huge content and are easy to the journal. Like step by step how to do, what to do, self-defense techniques, parenting, daily routine journals, diet tips, gardening tips, house cleaning, old traditions, photography, and so on.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the main purpose of journal writing?
The purpose could be just a flare or interest in writing or keeping a record of all the daily activities. It is a great form of stress reliever.
2. Name the elements of journaling.
These are the most basic and general guideline structures for academic journaling.
- Title. The title plays a very significant role as it is the first indicator that provides the reader with an insight into the article. It provides a brief glimpse of the research and the concepts.
- Introduction: An apt crisp introduction is very important as it introduces us to the topic.
- Main body: Main body contains the important, informative content of the journal.
- Conclusion: As the term is self-explanatory, the topic is concluded without crediting or disregarding anybody, leaving the readers to come to an understanding.
- Acknowledgments: Acknowledging of the references used for our journals.
- References and citations: We can use references and citations for the journals which require them. It needs to be thoroughly checked and referred.
- Keywords: Critical. Keywords play a major role.
3. Is journaling for everyone?
Journaling is for everyone. There are no restrictions or prerequisites for journaling, anybody and everybody can maintain a journaling habit. It has many benefits which include therapeutic benefits as well.
4. Is journaling difficult?
Nothing comes easy, but it has to be mentioned that journaling due to its lack of restrictions and rules is far more comfortable and easier to write.
5. Should we journal every day?
Yes, everyday journaling is a good writing practice and it is one of the best methods for consistent and great personal growth and good emotional clarity. It is never late to start by practicing good habits. If you have not been consistent at journaling before, then you can start to be consistent now.
To Sum Up
Keeping a journal is the most valuable gift to ourselves which helps in practicing the art and craft of writing and helps develop and improve our writing skills. Journaling taken seriously with total commitment and dedication does help in more ways than one Maintaining a journal helps to develop reading skills, writing skills, and analytical and critical skills which is essential. Journal writing has a huge platform and can be written for self-happiness and self-growth or as a profession either way it has many benefits. Get started, be innovative, be natural, develop a flair for writing, pick great topics, and go ahead with journaling. Be creative and innovative with your journals. Happy journaling.