Journal Writers Companion Book Alyss Thomas ReviewHow can you get the best results from your journalling?  Journalling offers you lots of luscious fruits, but are you gathering them?

Journalling is not a leisure activity, but a set of tools for being focused, centred and competent in any area of life. How do you know if you would benefit from some new journalling guidance and information?    


  1. Do you think you already know what journalling is and how to do it, so there’s nothing you need to learn? If so, you are missing out on so much more than you realise! In order to be good at almost anything, we need some tuition and guidance, someone to show us and give us permission to go into spaces and activities we would not risk venturing into on our own. . Modern journalling methods are not taught at school or college, and in fact if you ask a tutor they may not offer any sense of direction other than keeping a log or being self reflective. Skilful, directed, and  focused journalling methods can open up the world to you, and enable you to achieve results in life that used to feel out of reach


  1. Maybe you think journalling is writing a diary, keeping a record, splurging your feelings or just writing what you feel like when the mood takes you. If you look at it like this, then of course it is not an especially important activity, – and you have missed the purpose and the point. Modern journalling is just so much more than this – it offers you infinite resources and once you have some training your world will open up exponentially.


  1. If you’re like most beginner journallers, you think it’s fine to write when you feel like it, or you believe you do not have time to write every day, or you think it is ok to do some every few days – because you have not yet prioritised taking daily time to clarify and focus your own mind.   In fact what could be more important than staying centred as a result of tuning up your focus with daily journalling?  Journalling is mindfulness with pen in hand. It’s an essential resource for a fulfilled and successful life, and we can’t operate well on an empty tank. Regular focused journalling is a healthy, productive and rewarding habit, and just like going to the gym or eating well, you need continuity to receive the benefits.


Many people think journalling is a leisure activity, and so they do not give it priority when they are very busy or when life is particularly intense or difficult. In fact these are the times you need your journalling practice the most!  Focused journalling can help get you through all kinds of tough situations more effectively.


  1. Do you over-plan and over-organise, or try to make your journal or planner perfect? Bullet journalling is very satisfying, but it is not the only thing that journalling is about. It is possible to spend too much time organising and scheduling and making everything incredibly neat so your life feels under control – except that your life is NOT entirely under your control. You always need to respond to what actually happens, and how you really feel on any given day.  If you bullet journal, it is essential you engage in the regular review processes, and not just the planning and diarising. You need to take time to evaluate a project both mid-way and when it has been completed, so that you bring attention to all stages of the cycle if you are to learn from it. And most of all, once you have clarified your intentions, refined your focus and aligned with your goals, then you need to get out of the way and allow things to work out organically.


  1. Is journalling something you always do alone? Yes, your journalling needs to be kept private and only shared, if ever, with your permission. Yes it’s likely that the other members of your household will not understand what you are doing. But having a sense of community with your journalling work makes an enormous difference.  My students really enjoy sharing the journey of deepening into journalling. The sense of belonging, the support, and the fun and enjoyment, enable you to go further and deeper than you could travel on your own.


  1. Journalling is not just once thing! If you art journal, then for artists it’s all about the backgrounds and the imagery. If you bullet journal, then for entrepreneurs and business folk it’s all about the lists, or if you are journalling a project then you think doodling in the margins is a waste of time. Journalling is many things to many people, but one of the important themes I have seen arising in so many of my journalling students is the need for authentic, embodied, real personal expression. We need this just like we need freedom and fresh air, but so many of us do not know where and how to get ourselves into flow with self expression. One of the important things is to unlearn rules we have unconsciously learned, such as that we must conform and fit in and be the same as everyone else, that our work is not good enough, that we are no good at writing/ art/ creativity. So I encourage everyone to keep messy, splattered imperfect journals covered in washi tapes and glued-in projects, where you are free to try things out, and where you can blend different ideas and techniques to your heart’s content.



If you’re interested in taking your journalling further, join the mailing list so I can let you know when the next courses are starting or drop me an email ( I will not bombard you with emails or sell your address to spammers!  I run both introductory and advanced journalling courses online,  and I also run a monthly online Spiritual Art Club where you are supported and guided to find new forms of self expression with art media. I would love to hear from you. If you’ve read The Journal Writer’s Companion,  I’d love to hear how you’ve worked with it and where you’d like to go next on your journalling adventures.



What previous students have been saying:


I can’t thank you enough, I have learned so much and this has really opened up my world.”



“I didn’t really know what to expect, but it has far exceeded any expectations I could have had, when I look at my life a year ago everything was so different. I feel much happier, and more relaxed, somehow!”



“I’m so grateful. I didn’t know all of this was possible for me, and it’s so exciting!”