{Lifestyle} Journal Writing 101: Creative Ways to Keep One

by | Mar. 18, 2011


Journal writing. Probably one in 400 people do it, yet we are told by leaders of the Church it is something we should be doing. Why? Because we are a record-keeping people, of course. I mean, how fun is it to look back at journal entries after years and remember special experiences you probably would have forgotten about?

I know, this doesn’t make the actual act of writing in your journal any easier. I bet we can all come up with quite a few reasons why NOT to write in a journal: too tired, takes too much time, my life isn’t exciting enough, I don’t like my handwriting (okay, that was a stretch, but you get the idea). 

There are plenty of examples of diligent journal writers. Take President Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of the Church. He kept a journal for 63 years! His last entry was two days before he passed away. Now, if President Woodruff could make time for journal writing, I think most of us can as well. 

These days there are a lot of different ways to keep a journal. Here are a few ideas that have worked for me and some of my friends:

   1. Video journal. My freshman roommate taught me this one. She and her husband take 15 minutes every Sunday evening and videotape themselves talking about their week. It is quick, easily accessible, and something the whole family can participate in.

   2. A blog. I know quite a few women who use their blog as their journal. If you don’t want the whole world reading about your personal life, make your blog private. You can invite as many or as few people to view your entries as you want.

   3. Scrapbooking. If a picture says a thousand words, why not make it your journal? You can be crafty and journal at the same time. Done and done.

   4. LDSjournal.com. This website is awesome. I am much faster at typing than I am at writing and this resource helps me crank out journal entries in minutes. It is completely private, only you can log in, and it keeps them nice and organized the way you want. If you haven’t written for a while, it will even email you reminding you to take a few minutes to write/type in your journal. Brilliant.

   5. The old-fashioned way. Just get out a pen and a notebook and start writing.

The greatest thing about journal writing is that as long as you are doing it, there isn’t a right or wrong way. You can write about whatever you want. Let it be an outlet for expressing your thoughts and feelings, or just write down what you did that day. I can almost guarantee you won’t regret keeping a journal. If anything, you will regret not keeping one. 

*What are some journal writing techniques that work for you? Leave a comment below.

Ashley Bardsley is a contributing writer for LDS Living. The few things she enjoys more than traveling the world as an event coordinator include making and eating cupcakes, sleeping in and watching Saved by the Bell reruns with her husband.
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