At Young Authors Publishing, our main mantra is “We believe all kids are story worthy.” It’s in our newsletters, our emails, even our signatures, and we make sure the message is prominent because it’s something we truly believe. Regardless of where children come from, we believe that they have every right to share their stories with the world. There’s a magic that comes when our young authors put pen to paper, and we want you to experience it as well, right from the comfort of your own home!
Journaling is a part of our writing curriculum and something that not only our Young Authors do, but it's also one of the primary ways I share my story (to an audience of 1 no less, but still). While not always a consistent journalist, I find it a soothing method for expressing my emotions, showing gratitude for my daily life, and keeping a running list of all my many ideas. When I journal, I’m entering a judgment-free zone. Nothing else matters for those few moments, and journaling becomes a safe haven where I’m able to express myself in ways I can’t always articulate aloud.
I encourage almost everyone I know to start and keep a journal. I’ve noticed that many people become semi-hesitant at the thought of journaling, associating it with the diaries they remember from childhood. However, the amazing part about journaling is that it can be anything you want it to be! There’s no rule, rhythm or rhyme when it comes to journaling, nothing to submit to someone for approval or publish online for anyone else’s perusal. Of course, these are always options, but remember that journaling is made by you, for you. If you want practical ways to start journaling, here are three things to get you going!
1. Dedicate Time - Set aside dedicated time to journal. One of the “hardest” parts of journaling can be consistency, but only because we rarely go into journaling with a plan. Setting aside a dedicated part of your day can help journaling become a part of your routine rather than feeling like an unwanted writing assignment. I find that either the start or end of my day is my favorite time.
2. Try Guided Writing - It can be hard to write when you don’t know what to write about. However, remember that journaling is a rule-free zone! A fun way to start writing is by finding journaling prompts and topics online to help move you along. Here are a few to get you started:
What are the top 5 things I’m grateful for today?
When do I feel my happiest?
Make a list of everything you’d like to say no to.
Write the words you need to hear.
Answer: how can I be more kind to myself?
3. Brain Dumps - One of the easiest ways to journal is through brain dumping. Following the “rule-free zone” guidelines, brain dumping is when you jot down everything that comes to mind, whether it makes sense at the time or not. Often times, this means no full sentences and no punctuation (and often my paper looks a little jumbled, but that’s okay), and you may even find yourself doodling. However, this is perfectly fine! I’ve found that some of my best ideas come from brain dumping because I’m not focusing on proper grammar and semantics, but I’m letting my ideas flow as they will.
For me, journaling is the best form of free therapy I’ve come across. I’m able to express myself and share my ideas in a way that shows me I’m story worthy in a 100% judgement-free zone. I’ve created new ideas and projects through journaling, and I’ve even been able to discover things about myself that I figured out through my writings! I encourage you to give it a try. Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, journaling can easily become your best friend. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!