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Soul-Wise Living
Soul-Wise Living

How to Start A Journal ~ 7 Simple Steps

Journals inspire. Journals bring clarity. Journals offer sacred guidance. They can also be overwhelming. Here are a few ideas on how to start a journal.
Does an empty Journal cause you to go fuzzy and blank with your writing?

Does an empty Journal cause you to go fuzzy and blank with your writing?

When you open a new journal, all those blank pages looking up at you can be daunting.  I know. I’ve been there before. The crisp, neat, clean sheets used to mimic me as if to say “Go ahead, write on me, I dare you, your words, they have no wisdom.” Once you’ve caught the journaling bug and you know all the amazing benefits it can give you, those blank pages are an invitation to understanding yourself better, gaining new insights and hearing the sweet whispers of your own inner knowing.

Here are 7 Simple Steps to starting a Journal:

1) When you pick up your pen, put your Perfectionism Down!  Don’t think that you have to have beautiful penmanship or that you can’t cross out words or even doodle in the middle of an entry. It’s allowing your own personality ~ your handwriting and words ~ to embrace the pages that will allow creative expression happen.

2) Set a timer. Start with just 5 or 10 minutes a session. Let’s face it….do you really have the time to spend hours writing? And, you do not have to write for hours to gain simple and sacred insights!

3) Allow entries to be incomplete once the timer goes off, finish your sentence and allow the entry to be incomplete. You can always come back to it tomorrow or maybe, it’s incompleteness is actually genius in disguise!!!

4) Ask for Guidance.  However, you ask, prayer, affirmations, meditation, take a moment before putting pen to the paper and ask that you may receive support and guidance in your writing for sacred wisdom.

5) Consider using “I” prompts When beginning to journal, use “I” prompts such as ” I am…”;  “I feel…”  “I think…” and my personal favorite “I wonder…”

6) Keep Starting Simple Don’t try to solve one long-time problem in a short entry. When you start a journal, keep topics simple. You will discover soon enough how answers will come to you when you adopt this attitude.

7) Go with the flow. You may start an entry with a topic in mind but find you are distracted toward another one. Go with the Flow. That’s your inner voice trying to lead the way. Trust it! The discovery will be so worth it!

Once you get the hang of writing by using these simple steps when you start to journal, you will discover what a sacred tool this can be for you.

It will become a treasured way spiritual awakening tool that will allow you to hear the whispers of your soul and guide you toward greater joy and abundance in your life.

Interested in knowing more??? Consider joining me for my Sacred Soul Journaling Workshop in August~ with so much information and awe-mazing bonuses!

If you are a seasoned journaler, what other tips do you have? If you are new to journaling, which of these steps are you going to use first? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

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34 Comments »

  1. Laura, I agree with you about the value of “I wonder…”. It does an amazing job of putting me in a space of creativity, non-judgment, and possibilities.

    Your suggestion to keep topics simple was great. I’m totally prone to asking overly big questions, so this will be very useful, I think. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Kathleen!!! So many of us try to overcomplicate things in all areas and that includes journaling. Just this AM, I started an entry and it felt heavy with a big question. When I simplified it, BAM ~ the answer appeared quickly and easily ~ all because I asked (and wrote) “I wonder what the first, easy step is ….”
    Wondering is good! Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kathleen Watson — July 7, 2014 @ 11:41 am

  2. I love journaling! In the past I have often suggested this tool to my clients and sometimes got a bit of resistance only to discover that the idea of writing in a journal can be really overwhelming. I have a 21 day Journal Challenge on my website to help get people started with all kinds of prompts and tips, but the one I get the most positive feedback on is when I point out that its your journal. If every day works, write every day. If one sentence work, write one sentence. If you want it just to work out your thoughts once in a while, then just write when you need it. Use the tool in the way that works for you and you’ll get a lot more out of it.

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    I agree, Bonnie, tools are only as good as knowing how to use them to suit your own needs. That’s why journaling is such an incredible tool ~ you can create what works for YOU. The trick, though, is to be able to do it so that you can get out of your own head and do it soulfully ~ more on that next week!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Bonnie Copeland — July 7, 2014 @ 4:28 pm

  3. Journaling is SUCH an important tool. My clients, both infertility and non fertility related, all seem to benefit from journaling.

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Dorothy!!!! It really is so very important…I wish more people did it or had the COURAGE to start!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Dorothy Pang, Fertility Coach & Acupuncturist — July 8, 2014 @ 4:14 pm

  4. After years and years of NOT having a journal I have recently started one. I love it! I appreciate the 7 simple steps you have listed. I can use them for sure.

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Good for you Michelle!!! I stopped for about 5 years in my early 30’s. Guess which time of my life was the one I was most lost during? Glad these steps will help!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Michelle Castillo — July 9, 2014 @ 12:07 pm

  5. Laura I believe journaling is such a wonderful tool for connecting with ourselves, witnessing our experiences and processing emotions. I love your seven steps to starting and especially appreciate the permission to leave the entry incomplete after 20 minutes of writing and the reminder to ask for guidance. Brilliant! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    The perfection of incompleteness~~~Kelley~~~ what I love about it is in that space of being curious about it, signs will show up throughout the day to create completeness for you!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Kelley Grimes — July 10, 2014 @ 3:22 pm

  6. Laura, I love new paper of any kind – journals, sketchbooks, notebooks – they all seem to hold such promise! I used to get over the fear of starting a sketchbook by writing a disclaimer in the front. It basically said that the sketchbook was my practice place and if someone else picked up the book to look at the sketches, please don’t judge. Until recently I have been an inconsistent journal keeper at best. What I am finding works for me now is to write all sorts of things in my journal including quotes I like, insights I’ve had, gratitudes and more “traditional” journal entries. I am looking forward to giving your “I wonder…” prompt a try, especially the “I wonder what the first easy step is?” Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    OH a disclaimer in the front!!!! I ADORE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Stacy from Custom Built Life — July 10, 2014 @ 11:47 pm

  7. Laura, You do guide and simplify with these 7 steps – like that there are ‘7″. #4 – Ask for Guidance – is simple has become so very important my efforts to journal. Thanks – I always learn from listening to you at your events or reading here just the right I need now to tap into my inner wisdom for guidance. Your gift of tapping into and sharing with others how to tap into sacred wisdom anywhere and always is amazing. Looking forward to add this step to my routine!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Thanks so much Cindy ~ as always ~ I’m so honored to support your ability to hear your own soul’s whispers! Sending you Lots of Hugs!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Cindy Key — July 11, 2014 @ 6:16 am

  8. Love your post, Laura! I do not jounral per se. I write throughout the day and am always carrying paper around to scribble any impromptu gems or unexpected epiphanies. I love your tips… especially the one about putting down your perfectionism down. Come to think of it.. maybe I AM a journaler, just not in the way that i had heretofore thought of it!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Shelley! You are ~ there are no rules to journaling. It’ about getting snippets of those AhhA’s we all get from our own inner wisdom and learning from them in whatever fashion that works!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Shelley Lundquist (@letmemoveyou) — July 30, 2014 @ 9:44 am

  9. My life is such a therapeutic tool that I cannot imagine life with it! Your advice is priceless for the many who struggle with finding the time and desire to keep one, Another favorite starter for me is “I remember when …..” and even more telling “I don’t remember when …”

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Those, Candi, are GREAT prompts too!! They allow you to look at your journey and lessons!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Candi Deal — July 30, 2014 @ 9:55 am

  10. Love this tip list for journaling! My favorite tip from your list is to allow entries to be incomplete. How true that sometimes just writing a few words can bring a memory back to you that might have otherwise been forgotten. Thank you for a great post!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Sheila ~ in the incompleteness….profound healing can occur! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Comment by Sheila Callaham — July 30, 2014 @ 10:13 am

  11. I myself got inspired through Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages over a decade ago and I have not stopped writing since. But I think this is a wonderful blog post to those that have thought about journaling for a long time but do not know how to go about it. Sharing it on my page for those beautiful souls !

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Thank you so much, Nadia, for sharing. Morning Pages inspired me NOT to drop my pen at a time when I was challenged!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Nadia — July 30, 2014 @ 11:59 am

  12. Excellent – Set your perfection down….we try to get it right so often instead of just connecting with our inner self freely. Writing in a journal is a great way to let things flow. Wonderful tips Laura!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Thanks, Debra! You don’t know how much of a gem you just wrote Excellent ~ set perfection down. Excellence~ doing things with passion and purpose~ allows one to live soul wise. It’s that pesky perfectionism that brings us right back into our ego-self!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Debra Oakland — July 30, 2014 @ 12:30 pm

  13. OOooo! Love journaling.
    I love how you say it is a way to hear the whispers of your soul and incompleteness is genius in disguise.
    Lots of wisdom here Laura!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Thanks, Joy. Happy Penning to you!!!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Joy — July 30, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

  14. I have been journaling for years and it is an amazing experience that everyone should try and use to understand themselves just a little more. Great work!!!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Mary! Isn’t it a sacred experience that you can do everyday~ short entries and long entries alike give rise to great wisdom from within!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Mary Robertson — July 30, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  15. Thank you Laura for this amazing post. I loved the 7 steps and especially the keep startng simple. I have a tendency to do this in all my writing and journalling needs ato be a safe space for me. Blessings Debra

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Safe Space around you to find the sacred space within, Yes, Debra!!!! Yes.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Debra Reble — July 30, 2014 @ 3:16 pm

  16. Hi Laura,

    Believe it or not, once I get to the end pages of one journal, I look forward to starting with 150-200 new blank pages! From one journaling queen to another…ROCK ON! xoxo Peggy

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Oh, I so understand what you mean Peggy! I’m burning through one right now and am 2x as far as I usually am in the time period since I opened it! Yes, ROCK ON!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Peggy — July 31, 2014 @ 3:15 pm

  17. Laura, what wonderful tips. I love the ‘Ask for Guidance’ tip. for many years I begin by asking my Source and guides “What would you like me to know.?” Then I listen and write. Thanks for sharing such empowering tips!

    [Reply]

    Laura Clark Reply:

    Such a simple question, you ask, Linda. And such profound wisdom you must receive!!!! HUGS!

    [Reply]

    Comment by Linda Joy — August 1, 2014 @ 5:06 am

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