There are many reasons NOT to write in your journal, or why you can’t get started. Students tell me they don’t know where to start, they don’t know what to write, they don’t know how to do it right, their handwriting is terrible, they’re afraid to mess up their beautiful new journal, or they don’t have anything important to write.
All of this suggests to me that in the back of their minds they have some hidden RULES about journalling. Like most ego-mind-based rules, the rules are harsh, self-rejecting and intolerant of the need to learn, try new things and make mistakes. But journalling is a way of being kind, enabling and accepting of yourself.
I have a ton of suggestions for what and how to write and begin in your new autumn journal, and how to use your journal to make your life work for you. Notice this is about making your journal work for YOU, not about you squeezing your amazingness inside the tiny pages of a journal, because you’re not going to fit in there! I do not have any rules for journalling.
THERE ARE NO RULES, you do not need any more rules!
I used to have one rule, to number your pages, give each entry a title and index it at the front. However, although this idea is excellent, I forget to do it myself most of the time (because I’m too busy being excited about what’s coming out onto my pages and I’m in flow with it and once you’re in flow, you just want to keep it going as long as naturally possible).
So my one main “rule” is to get yourself into flow in your journal. This means writing about something that is exciting, interesting, fun, uplifting or that brings you satisfaction. I don’t suggest spending long writing about anything that’s giving you a hard time, but when you need to work out challenging issues, I have some purposeful methods. Write about something that has enthused you, or something that catches your attention like the way your cat arranges himself in the sunlight just where you were going to sit.
There’s a need for guidance to get the most out of your journal writing, but the most important thing is to follow your own ideas, your own preferences, and your own quiet inner voice. Writing stuff like this in your journal helps you progress and make good things happen in your life far beyond the journal pages.