How to Write Meaningful Journal Entries

Once I’d been keeping a journal for a few months I found a lot of my entries were rather shallow. I wrote about the weather, the things I did and other somewhat boring entries. Although, there is nothing wrong with writing these things. Tracking the weather is something I personally gain a lot from. It can be satisfying to list what you actually accomplish in a day. The act of writing in your journal alone is setting up the habit of sitting and writing something.

But rereading such entries can be terribly boring and repetitive. So, what’s the answer? How do you break out of writing only these surface observations of your life?

Make your entries rich in detail, use timed writing, focus your senses, mine your memory and use lots of journal writing prompts.

Those are just some of my suggestions for writing meaningful journal entries. Please add more in the comments section if you feel like sharing.

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    • iHanna

      I think it is important to remember to write about the things in your life that occur every day; how it looks in your apartment or desribe the people you meet every day. Because in a year or two everything have changed around you, and the “common” will be forgotten if you don’t try to write about it. I hope you understand what I mean?

    • Heather Goldsmith

      Hi iHanna,
      Yes, I know exactly what you mean. A very valid point. Thanks for adding your comment. ;-)

    • Dawn Goldberg

      I’m not sure if this breaks journal-writing code, but I don’t journal every day. I write when I feel I need to work through an issue or to record thoughts and feelings that don’t seem to be contained. I’ve gone weeks without journaling.

      I’ve just recently filled my first journal, and it’s really chronicled deep changes in my life over the past year and a half. I can look through it and see how I’ve developed and grown. If I wrote every day, it wouldn’t be as meaningful to me.

      I do see the value in describing some of those seemingly mundane details. I just haven’t found journaling to solve that need yet.

    • Heather Goldsmith

      Hi Dawn,
      No, I don’t think there’s any code to break. What works best for you is the code you need to follow. Congrats on reaching the end of a journal. It really is an amazing process. Thanks for commenting. ;-)

    • Affy

      We have to do a journal for school, and I’m not sure if I’m formatting it correctly. Is there any specific format for writing a journal? My entries look somewhat like this:
      Dear Journal,
      Or is that more of a diary entry? Hopefully you get my drift. =)

    • Heather Goldsmith

      Hi Affy,
      Really, it doesn’t matter what format you use. If you’re comfortable using the way you’ve written above, go for it. Write which ever way makes you feel more inclined to write again and again. Thanks for asking your question here. ;-)

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    • andy

      any of u know a good free electronic version of it?