how to get started journaling

How To Get Started Journaling

There’s been a lot of talk amongst creatives lately about journaling (Exhibit A, Exhibit B). It’s not surprising, because journaling is such a useful and customizable tool for everything from creative inspiration to memory keeping. It can be a great way to keep yourself engaged in both your faith and creativity.

When I was a kid, my illustratively-talented brother used to draw caricatures of me. This was insulting on multiple levels—first because the features he highlighted weren’t necessarily positive; second because those illustrations were always so dang good. I’ve always been a fan of drawing and illustration, but I’m not really naturally talented at it. And ever since I read this article about how doodling is good for your brain, I’ve been incorporating it into my routine. So my journaling looks pretty much exactly like the photo above. If I’m listening to a sermon or speech, I pull out key words and phrases. Then I write them out in different styles, and colour over them with the twin tip markers I always have in my bag. It’s kind of like an adult colouring book, but with words (those are totally cool and I really want to make one. What do you all think?).

So let’s say you’re already convinced journaling is good, but you’re still just kind of like, “blah journaling. I should probably do that.” Well, ain’t nobody got time for duty hobbies (you know, the ones that you do because you feel like it makes you a better person or something). I’m going to take you through a few steps to get you started on your merry journaling way (without the duty).

How To Get Started Journaling | Elsie Road Magazine

Step 1. Pick a kind.

There are a ton of different kinds of journaling: gratitude, prayer, art, dream, idea, freewriting, inspiration, Bible. You can also go with the classic Dear Diary record keeping journaling, or you can be like me and just do your own thing.

Step 2. Get your supplies.

Because new pens make everyone want to journal. This can be as involved as you want it to be—pick up a plain notebook and some coloured pens or invest in a really pretty journal.

Step 3. Build it into your routine.

Besides my word journaling, I also keep an incredibly precise health diary. Someone asked me recently how I was able to stick with it. The answer is: it’s part of my routine. Every night after I brush my teeth, I sit down and record the day’s details. I keep my notebook right by my essential oils (which I also use every night. I think this is making me sound really cool.) and there’s always a pen there. Rarely does it feel like an inconvenience because I’ve built it right in, and I’m thankful for the positive effect it has on my health.

So instead of being weird about your health, try feeding your faith or your creativity with a little journaling. But if you want to be weird about your health I won’t judge.

Are any of you avid journal writers? What’s your favourite type? Do you know any great shops for supplies?

Looking for more journaling and writing ideas? Follow along on Pinterest.

Follow Elsie Road: A Magazine for Christian Creatives’s board The Storyteller. on Pinterest.

How To Get Started Journaling


    1. This is SO cool! This is a discipline I have recently picked up too. I have multiple amazing pens and I try write words in (as fancy as I can) script that God has given me for the day. Great discipline and act of worship

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