In the first session of every journal-writing workshop I teach, we spend a little time sharing (and debunking!) the myths and rumors we’ve all heard about “the rules” of proper journal-keeping. So when I saw this question online, I knew I had to make an episode about it.
Should I start a certain way? Does each entry need to be a minimum length? Do I have to use pen and paper? Do I have to write every single day? I think people ask these questions because they want some structure, and want to hear some of the “best practices” that have worked for others — not because they want to be boxed-in.
Starting from my favorite pet answer, “there’s no wrong way to write,” Jayde Gilmore and I work backwards into a select few guidelines for best results, including: dating your entries, practicing complete honesty and exploration of feelings.
Your turn to answer: What journal-writing “guidelines” have served you the best? In what ways do you “break the rules” in your journal? Post your responses at the bottom of this webpage, in the comments section.
You may email your own journaling question to be featured on a future episode of JournalTalk. Or, pick up the telephone and leave a voicemail with your question at 1-805-751-6280 (only normal toll charges may apply). When your question is featured, we will send you a thank-you gift for sharing your voice! (JournalTalk Q&A, Episode #30, July 7, 2015)
Audio Editing: Netrix Marketing
Voiceover: Thomas Gerrard
To Listen: Click on the “play” button > at the top of this article.