Effective Journal Writing


Effective Journal Writing


“The unexamined life is not worth living,” wrote the Greek philosopher Socrates, and the personal or professional diary may be one of the most important ways of doing so.

Although it may not be classifiable as a literary genre, it could be the most important as it allows a person to connect with his inner voice and discover his personal truth. After a hectic schedule with little time to think or think, the author can view his diary both as a place and as an act that allows him to communicate with himself and communicate with the soul, to clarify, to process to understand and accept what he does he transfers from his head or heart into his book and often reaches parts of him that he never could. For this reason, writing journals can be considered as thinking on paper.

To capture something through the written word is to give it form and make it real, and the diary can be the stage on which it can be illuminated. It can become an anchor in the lifeblood of a human being and the dock to which he can return after the drift of each day.


Unlike other literary forms dictated by rules and formats, periodicals are personal, highly individualized typescript collections that are contributed to at a frequency that serves the author. Nevertheless, it can serve many purposes.

With most people bargaining about life at a frantic pace and having little time to process events intellectually or emotionally, diaries can serve as breaks in which they can digest everything – or opportunities to catch up with what may prove to be just one has to interpret and accept fleeting abilities.

They can convey a gradual understanding of who they are, especially inside.

They allow them to examine their past and set the course for their future – to where they have been and where to go.

They can promote organization and structure in both their personal and professional lives.

They can serve as archives or histories and document and preserve what the memory is not always easy to remember.

They can be used to develop ideas and demonstrate classroom learning and replace traditional exams.

Her entries mark the milestones of her life.

They can serve as tools for life management.

They can result in smoother writing and higher speed, and serve as thresholds for other writing genres.

After all, they can be seen as methods by which the writer communicates with himself and communicates with the soul.


Throughout history, several journals have been published, including the Chinese historical documents of AD 56, The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, the diary of Anne Frank of 1952, and the myriad of electronically accessible blogs that have served as personal documents Memoirs or autobiographies to capture the lives of their authors and to provide their readers with the resulting insights. Whether today’s journalist keeps his work private or published remains in his will.


Because of the personalized nature of a journal that is not limited to or influenced by other genre parameters, the frequency with which an author contributes, the formal or informal writing style he uses, the intentional elimination of the conventional sentence structure, grammar, punctuation , the insertion of doodles and / or sketches, the use of a purposely purchased journal, or a simple spiral or computer application such as Microsoft Word and its length are selected by the author to achieve his goal in the implementation of the project.

Since most people lead multifaceted lives, they may choose to create several separate journals, such as their personal, student, and professional aspects. For the purposes of improvement, they can not be equated with any amount of true or false benefit and may be designated by any number of identifiers, including “journal” itself, “diary”, “journal”, “notebook” or “workbook”. ”

“(Nonetheless) we define a diary as an ongoing, dated chronicle of events and ideas that contains the author’s (or writer’s) personal responses and reflections to those events and ideas,” says Dannelle D. Stevens and Joanne E. Cooper in her book “Journal Keeping” (Styles Publishing, 2009, p. 5).

However, there are several writing techniques.

1). Conventional: The conventional method adheres to standard sentence, spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules, but may require more time to create and express pauses between lines or entries.

2). Free Writing: As the relaxed, less structured, free, or mind-based writing eliminates pauses and the obstacles inherent in more traditional grammatical use, the journalist may be less inhibited in his attempts at expression. For example, he can write continuously for different time intervals without ever lifting his pen off his paper. This technique offers many advantages.

on). It frees and makes the brain clear.

b). It can serve as a warm-up phase for a later, formalized literary expression.

c). It is self-generating and self-generating, almost like a rolling snowball.

d). It determines the voice of the person.

e). It promotes expressiveness.

f). It can develop ideas in their raw, raw form. Although their value may not be immediately apparent, the process provides a way to capture these values. “First, original ideas are often hard to find and yet free to write because they have no limitations and encourage, support and even cheer on the production of words in any form,” noted Stevens and Cooper (ibid., P. 80).

3). Forced free writing: Forced free writing uses the same literary style as disregarding the rules. It is to “force” the journalist to deal with a particular topic or topic, eg. B. “Why am I?” It’s hard for me to be positive today. “or” How do I feel about resigning from my job? ”

4). Creating Lists: Some journalists find it easier to avoid phrases altogether and express ideas, thoughts, observations, and feelings in a list to make explanations more accurate at a later date. For example, the person who is considering resigning has in my list “Fear,” “Unknown,” “Uncertain,” “No money,” “Something new.” Lists can also bypass the edges of a topic for which he does not have time to deal with or express formalized structures, and they can serve as the key points he may want to explore in the future.

5). Dialogue: A journalist can use the dialogue method to talk to himself or parts of himself with whom he can not necessarily connect and make them “different” or “disconnected” until he can reclaim them. He can also use the dialogue to practice what he feels as a difficult or tense conversation with another person. Both methods use objectification.

“When we objectify an experience, a relationship, our feelings, our concerns and our commitments, we gain some control and can look at it from a different perspective to re-understand it,” Stevens and Cooper (ibid., P. 40). 89).

By this separation, the journalist is no longer in the center of unresolved feelings, fears or fears, so that he can judge them by the written word, without being overtaken by them. Writing redirects the experience through the brain.

6). Other methods of expression: If the journalist uses visual skills, he can supplement his entries with any number of doodles, diagrams, sketches, drawings, and emojis.

While there is no standard format for writing journals, most commonly used are the conventional, rule-free, and dialog-based formats. Examples of this can be found below.


My flight from Aruba landed at 2 o’clock this afternoon. After waiting for some time on the luggage belt, I took my bags and called a taxi. It was actually cheaper than leaving my car in the long-term parking for ten days. Since it was quite early, there was no rush hour traffic, so I managed to get home in 20 minutes.

My apartment seemed different somehow when I entered. The first task was unpacking. This is the least popular part of a journey. But it was worth it, because the journey itself was fun. I feel more relaxed. I have a little tan. Maybe I’ll go back there next year.

Usually free:

Oh no! Like the movie Groundhog Day. Started over again. Janet. Pooh! Ugly feelings. He broke up three months ago. No, not again! Millions of people in this city! Had to meet you today! Go on, you … get out! Out! Give me a break!


This is not the first time it has happened.

Me: I know.

Me: But why?

Me: You know why.

Me: No, not me. If I did, I would not ask you now.

Me: Well, you know. If I know, then you know it. You just do not want to remember.

I do not know what to think of it. Anyway, it seems fun to go to parties and I would like to be one of them. But every time I try, I feel such fear internally.

Me: I know. I am the one who gives it to you.

Me: But why? What purpose does it serve?

Me; Do you like to party?

Me: No, I just told you that I do not do it.

Me: Does sometimes scare you stay away from them?

Me: Yes, of course! I just said that.

Me: Then maybe that’s the purpose of keeping you away.

Me: What are you against me or something?

Me: No, we are the same person.

Me: Why are you stopping me and why do I want to leave?

Me: Do you remember the bad incident that you had at ten at your party?

Me: No … wait! It’s coming back to me right now. I forgot it.

Me: Well, I did not, because you never dealt with it. Do you want that to happen again?

Me: No, no, of course not!

Me: If I get scared then it keeps you out of the way, so it will never happen again.

Me: I completely forgot that! But why are you so sure that it will happen again?

Me: Because there is a chance that it will happen a second time, until you completely deal with what happened the first time.

I: How do I turn it off once and for all so I can enjoy parties again?

Me: Deal with it! To process! Do not just push it away and pretend it never happened because it happened. Make it smaller. Do not worry anymore, until nothing is felt. Then we will go together, in harmony, not in conflict, and really enjoy the experience.

I: Then we are really one!

Me: If you deal with it, we will be.


Although magazines reflect the author and thus fulfill its purpose, but can be associated with six aspects.

1). Written or recorded: information, ideas, thoughts, observations, questions, feelings, emotions and reflections, as well as any visual entries such as scribbles, emojis, sketches and drawings are recorded on paper or electronically and stored in a file computer hard drive or on a USB stick.

2). Dated: Because Journal entries document and retain excerpts from a person’s life, they should be dated to maintain order so that the person can later assess their growth and development in terms of their personal and professional interactions, skills, insights, and strengths. It can help him understand how and why he has developed as a result.

3). Informal: Informal entries, thoughts, incomplete sentences, and phrases should facilitate expressiveness and avoid the limitations that can arise from structured writing. The extent to which the journalist strives to comply with standard language usage depends on his writing skills and needs.

4). Flexible: The journal offers the highest degree of choice and flexibility in terms of composition, purpose, format, length and type of entries, including the persons with whom the author wishes to share them.

5). Private or public: As stated, the journalist may choose to keep his work under wraps, pass them on to close friends, read parts of them to other students, or hand them over to a professor if used as part of the grading system of a course. Celebrities, politicians and athletes can earn considerable sums by publishing their journals.

6). Archiving: As a person evolves throughout his or her life, previous journals can serve as archives preserved and significantly contribute to remembering events and understanding their own evolution. While entries are important, the silent intervals between them can also be enlightening. “Historically, magazines have been very important in understanding and exploring everyday life,” Stevens and Cooper noted (ibid., P. 7).


Although keeping a journal has many benefits, there are eight main benefits.

1). They promote clear thinking and understanding.

2). They promote personal growth and development.

3). They enable the journalist to process and integrate difficult life events.

4). They enable him to sometimes explore and sort out difficult and not clearly defined emotions and emotions.

5). They allow the person to learn from their experiences and possibly adjust their attitudes and behaviors to them.

6). They facilitate the presentation of future actions and strategies.

7). They improve his communication and writing skills.

8th). You can relieve him emotionally and improve his mental, emotional and physical condition. “An additional benefit of journaling is that reflected writing reduces stress and improves one’s health,” says Stevens and Cooper (ibid., P. 15). “There is solid scientific evidence that journaling improves both emotional and physical health, benefiting both healthy and unhealthy individuals who regularly report disquieting or traumatic events in their lives.”


While journals can perform many functions as explained earlier, it can be reduced to two basic functions: recording and reflection. The first is to document the efforts, activities, actions, interactions and feelings of a person who is self-explanatory, but the second may be more important than it is obvious at first.

“The function of reflective thinking is … to transform a situation in which there is an experienced darkness, doubt, conflict or disorder into a situation that is clear, coherent, determined and harmonious.” wrote Stevens and Cooper (ibid., p. 21).

In addition, the reflection of a person allows one to examine, examine, and examine an experience, and then gain some degree of learning or modify its future actions based on it.

Although there are several methods of reflection, the diary makes it easier by providing concrete evidence of a person’s evolving thought processes, leading to valuable but often fleeting insights into understanding. As a channel for self-knowledge, it can be seen as an important tool for life assessment. It allows journalists to reconstruct past experiences, derive meaning from them, and make relevant corrections for the future. In essence, it allows him to record something that has happened outside of him, and then think about how it has affected something inside him.


These examples illustrate the fact that there are two basic ways of learning and that the diary can play a role in one of them.

1). Information Learning: Acquisition of facts, knowledge, tools and skills through reading, learning, teaching and training.

2). Transformational Learning: The reflection on experiences and the ability to learn from them, which triggers changes in thoughts, beliefs, feelings, perspectives and behaviors.


As a useful tool, the journal can serve as a springboard to many goals. There are three important ones.

Personal development:

Personal development can be seen as a transition from a simpler, lower life phase to a higher, more complex one. One of its characteristics is the journalist’s ability to think about an experience and to construct a new sense of self. The hallmark of this changing perspective is the person’s reorientation of what others believe, feel, think, and want what they think they are doing, regardless of their opinion or approval. Synonymous with this process is the identification of thought systems, which prove to be resistant to change.

“Critically reflecting assumptions underlying beliefs and behaviors that stimulate adult development,” Stevens and Cooper (ibid., P. 33). “Journal writing is a powerful tool for adults who want to make sense and critically reflect on their lives.”

To express this dynamic on a deeper level, Piper said, “The growth of our souls can be defined as a steady increase of empathy, clarity, and passion for the good.” Our life is a journey toward a certain kind of wisdom. ”

Process negative experiences:

“… inhibiting traumatic events and feelings over time acts as a constant stressor that undermines the body’s defenses,” says Stevens and Cooper (ibid., p. 16). Writing about them, especially in a diary, enables a person to transform disorganized, chaotic and fierce negative experiences into a linguistic form that creates new mental paths, desensitizes and processes them, and sheds new light and understanding she throws . This process can bridge the conscious and unconscious parts of the mind and allow the person to regain gaps or lost memories.

Write letters:

Journals offer people the opportunity to write letters to others to express conflicts, injuries, and feelings that they would not be able to express in the presence of the recipient, thereby fostering the resolution of problems, the feeling of healing, and the creation of a possible closure , “Even though they were never sent,” Stevens and Cooper (ibid., P. 150), “letters relieve you by saying the things you want to say, but never want or could …” You can too Written are parts of yourself, your child, your inner child, your adolescent self, your present self, or your future self.


Since journal entries are very individualistic, there is no right or wrong in terms of content, style, length and format. Nevertheless, there are numerous topic possibilities. Here are ten of them.

1). What is in my thoughts?

2). What did I learn today?

3). What did I do well today?

4). What could I have done differently?

5). What are my feelings?

6). Why am I angry, scared, sad, depressed, excited, enthusiastic?

7). What do I want to achieve next week, next month, next year, when I retire?

8th). What can I do to grow as a person and challenge myself?

9). What do I appreciate and why?

10). What am I grateful for?


Since writing journals can be considered as an unprocessed thinking process, it can serve as a basis or catalyst for writing other genres as follows.

-It can be published in its existing form.

– It can form the basis for a short or full length memoir or autobiography.

-It can provide excerpts for a treatise or autobiography.

– It can provide ideas for articles, flash fiction stories, short stories, novels, poetry and / or creative nonfiction.


While magazines can serve many purposes, the following quote may be last to capture.

“My diary is like my connection to my previous activities,” concluded Stevens and Cooper (ibid., P. 211). “With my background as an archaeologist, I know that the past is very important in my presence The Diary is the historical connection to my life Children, even my nieces and nephews, will see who I am and what I’ve done to my life “

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