Your 2020 journaling journey guide

So, 2020 is here and you may be itching to start keeping a journal.

Some people begin journaling because it enables them to keep track of what they did when – and this can apply to anything from what they ate to when and how often they exercised. Others use journals to organise events and plan their social lives. Yet others use journals as a means of artistic therapy – a journal can double as a doodle book and a diary. It can also be used for creative writing.

While there has been increased interest in journaling techniques over recent years – arguably the most popular being the bullet journal – there isn’t a right and wrong way to keep a journal.  You don’t need to purchase expensive stationery or writing implements. You can start where you are with whatever you have at hand right now. And you don’t need to have a computer or smartphone in sight!

Like many of you, I hit the festive season feeling drained and exhausted. The pressure of chasing deadlines and ensuring that end-of-year business was all wrapped up left me feeling burnt out and mentally fatigued. I didn’t want to look at social media and the thought of looking at a screen – large or small – filled me with dread.

I turned to journaling as a means to get me feeling more energised and creative again. These are some of the things I learned:

  1. Writing thoughts and ideas down is incredibly liberating. Instead of walking around with a head crammed full of tasks that needed to be done before I went on leave I took the time to write down what I needed to achieve, and when I needed to achieve them by, each morning. My hours and days were more focused and I could then stencil in some time to relax and rest.
  2. Acknowledging how I felt at any given time was easier when I took the time to process it and to check in with myself. Writing down how I felt meant that I could let go of feelings more easily. I realised that I was pretty resentful of anything or anyone who made me think about the work that I had to leave incomplete, or that I have to return to. The truth is, we are really in control of nothing and no one but ourselves, so I accept that things are the way they are and that they will pan out as they should in the coming months.
  3. Once my thoughts and ideas were on paper my mind felt lighter and I could think clearly about goal setting. When you write something down you are able to connect the dots between how you feel, what you think, and how you plan to execute your ideas.
  4. There is no pressure. While journalling you are not constantly staring at a clock, a calendar, nor are you multitasking. You are able to think clearly – with focus and purpose. You are completely enveloped in the task before you.
  5. Writing and doodling allow those creative juices to flow. The amazing thing about writing, and writing implements, is that they become tools that transport you to a creative space – one where you link ideas and which is criticism free. You’re not stuck on being correct and absolutely precise. You are able to write (or draw) whatever comes to mind whenever it comes to mind.


There you have it – journaling really is as simple as that. The calm that it has leant to my frenetic schedule and life is something that I will be taking with me into 2020. Why don’t you give it a try too? If you are interested in learning more, or joining me on some fantastic writing retreats and workshops this year, I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line:

Happy 2020, and happy writing!



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