My 5 Best Tips for Journaling (and Life?) w/Giveaway


A journal and the gift of journaling as a regular activity has the power to empower and transform your life! 



I have been thinking about communicating what is most significant in my own writing time to help encourage journaling as a lifestyle. Maybe you journal regularly, maybe you are at the place where you are reading about journaling more than actually journaling.

Why do we do that? We decide we are  interested in something and long to experience a specific activity in its fullness so, instead of jumping in the pool, we saunter to the edge, dip our big toe in, look longingly at the clear blue water…then turn and go back to our comfy poolside lounge chair!

Wait, what?



Journaling is NOT like that, my friend. I will add that LIFE itself is not that way either. Now I do understand there are different personalities and some are a little slower in venturing to the deep end and others are cannonball types. I know it also takes all kinds to make this world the flavorful, colorful, beautiful place it can be…BUT the fact is the fun is on the deep end. I promise it’s true. The deep end is where the wild starts, where the challenge is and where you will swim with a smile or sink trusting you will breathe underwater if necessary.

I think I will get more into that pool theme and overcoming your fear of the deep end tomorrow, but for today, I  just want to give you what I think are my  5 best tips for developing and maintaining a journaling lifestyle that will carry you through to old age. Loving that I can write that sentence. HA! Spoken from the crypt…OK, well at least for a very long time!



  1. Write Like You Talk – Writing in your journal is about communicating from within, right? It’s not about making a great impression. It’s not putting on high heels, your cutest little black number and ruby red lipstick, MUAH. More often, it’s like a knock on the door when you just got out of the shower, and you answer anyway struggling to  hold your robe closed, while your hair is half falling out of the towel wrap on your head.  Life is like that too.The fact is while writing in my journal, I have spent years of learning to be naked on paper. Raw, real, and well just me for better AND worse,  through all kinds of trials, interruptions and circumstances. Trust me there is a lot of worse in my journals. But there is also perspective in time- things that could not have been seen but in retrospect; Also personal transformation and experiences I know I would forget if not for the pen and paper. Nothing fancy, nothing hidden. Put it out there, IN there. That is what your journal is for. One piece of advice given to beginning writers is to find and develop their unique “voice”. The fact is when I finally began sharing my writing, I had been developing my voice in my journal privately for the majority of my life. Authentic journaling will be like a training ground for your future, a playground for the life you want, a hospital for your soul. What you write on the pages of your journal, eventually comes out in your life, in one way or another.
  2. Kick the Critic to the Curb- The last thing the world needs is another critic. At least in the head! OR at least the last thing your journaling habit needs is an inhibiting presence whatever shape it takes. I will admit, the writing in my journal is different today than it was thirty years ago, heck, I mean, I’m older, wiser…mature. HA! Or perhaps age affords me the luxury of  knowing how to articulate myself better with my pen to the degree that teenage rants and expletives are less satisfying. Either way, when you are afraid you are doing it wrong in your journal you are already defeated. Kick that critic to the curb and get on with saying what needs to be said. Journal your way to VICTORY! Your voice matters. It needs a place to start.
  3. Go With The Flow- There are days I journal and the words flow like lava from a hot volcano. There are times I stare at the wall, out the window, at my Bible, at my cat with pen in hand wondering. Just wondering. It looks a lot like nothing. Do you realize thinking thoughts requires time? Sometimes the pen stops because the mind needs to wonder, imagine, think, ponder. Despite what this overly busy culture says, sometimes the best thoughts are thunk, while doing nothing. Or something else…like living. Or driving, cooking, gardening, showering. Go with the flow. Anytime you’re not journaling, you are living. AND living life is obviously very important if one wants to have something to journal or write about, after all.
  4. Create Time and Space- When and where will you journal? Well, that might vary and it might also depend on the focus of your journaling. I tend to go through seasons or phases with regard to space. The majority of my journaling timewise is done in the morning. But that does not mean that I do not journal at other times. I do. I keep a journal with me almost always. I just prefer quietness which is a hard to come by commodity, unless you lurk in the wee early hours of morning before all variety of busyness  comes barging in on the day. As far as creating space, I am going to dedicate a whole post to that, but wherever my focus is maintained and my heart happy is good. I recently created a special space- more like repurposed and decluttered a messy but favorite desk for morning Bible reading, journaling, prayer and reflection. I am really enjoying it! Truth is I will write anywhere and anytime. I’m easy…. like Sunday Morning.
  5. Inspire Yourself-I think one of the greatest gifts of keeping a journal is tapping into your own well of inspiration. I promise there is more to you than meets the eye, and also that there is more to you than you currently know or believe! How do you discover the inspiration that is within? I know you know the answer…YUP…journaling. Every moment you are alive and breathing you are POSSIBILITY! Honestly, you’d be surprised what you have inside you. Open your eyes to the present, be willing to dig deeper. Be available for adventure. I am telling you, YOU are inspiring, created by a Creator  full of an endless supply of inspiration…you just need to tap into the source. (Covering that later this week!)


You ready to dive into the Deep End in your journaling journey? Are you ready to explore the MORE on the other end of the swimming pool? Which tip speaks to you most? Will you or do you implement any of these tips? I would love to have a conversation here.


I wanted to do a few giveaways and the first one is for the cutest bag I found (I had to get a few), perfect for carrying a journal, pens and small calendar…which I am including! The Sketchbook and Monthly Calendar are perfect for on the go planning, journaling and living! 

To Enter: Join the conversation by leaving a comment, question, thought below. I will use a Random Name Picker to choose the winner. Entries close Midnight Friday. I will draw the winner on my Hubby’s Birthday Saturday! Good luck. One entry per person. Sorry US only for this one. You must leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win. Easy, Peasy! Good Luck.


I encourage you to share this post as I continue to be on a SM break (which means not spending time hanging out with some of my favorite people at some of my favorite SM hotspots!?) TEMPORARILY! I appreciate the love, tweets, tumbles, presses, Pins, FB shares etc.



Published by enthusiasticallydawn

Dawn Paoletta is the author of Journaling for Discovery and Delight. Her writing is included in several anthologies and her poems have been included in the Wickford Poetry and Art Exhibit and Books. Dawn is currently working on her next book. Inquiries at

25 thoughts on “My 5 Best Tips for Journaling (and Life?) w/Giveaway

  1. What a lovely giveaway Dawn – thanks for the chance to win!

    I enjoyed reading your tips. Journaling is one of those areas where I have to let go of all my perfectionistic rules and just do it! I have lots of beautiful journals filled with blank pages that I have never started because I’m afraid of messing them up. I often find it easier to write and draw in less intimidating spaces.


  2. Great article. I write in my journal every day without fail and spill my inner most thoughts into it. Would love to win this competition, would be a happy day for me. Thanks Dawn for your thoughts and reading your words always makes me smile. Lisa


  3. Slowly, but surely, I am getting back to journaling on a regular basis – thanks in part to your blog posts. Paying attention to “The Nudge” is the other part of my journey. Thanks for your words, and the possibility of winning this giveaway.


  4. Great article and tips for journaling. I had been staring at a blank page for nearly a month. Partly because I thought the paper was just too nice to make a mess of with my handwriting and partly because I wasn’t quite ready to look into a journaling mirror. Last night I went for it and made my first journal entry for 2016. I felt a sense of relief afterward. It was as though a weight had been lifted. For that moment, I felt renewed.


  5. I journaled for awhile and then stopped but with reading your article I am encouraged to start again. I stopped because I felt I had nothing to write about but realize I have lots to say. Thanks for the article and the encouragement to do it again.


  6. I’m following, though I haven’t done a lot of writing lately! But, I AM a journaler; just probably NOT a “deep end” sort of person. In fact, I NEVER learned how to swim, so I stick to the shallow end and love just sitting there relaxing. And, this may be how I do my journaling, too…just sitting and relaxing and letting the thoughts come to the brain, through my fingers and onto that blank page!

    Always great to be following your thoughts and guidance for this journaling journey!! And, love that you are including a giveaway!! I was planning to use the “Planner Boot Camp” journal that I decorated for that – and dropped out on you!!


  7. As you know, Dawn, I am soooo passionate about journaling, and I love all your tips. they are both practical AND inspirational. We need both. When I wrote my book, I lamented a bit that I was instructed NEVER to instruct. The book had to be inspiring only…meaning encouraging others to write. And yet, I have found so often women aSk what kind of journal to use (a very important question as it turns out), where to journal, when to journal, etc., etc. These details really do make a difference, and often the difference between writing or not. So I love what you are doing here. I hvae really felt a need for a new place lately. I do love that my journal is a portable feast and that I can transport it anywhere (love gardens, tea rooms, and museums…oh, and parks). but it also really helps to clear a sacred space at home. Thanks for that reminder. All the best on your Lenten fast. I’m sure you are journaling abuot that, too.


  8. Hello, Dawn! I have had some physical problems and I have been venting about all in my journal, hugely. It does help!
    I noticed that bag in the giveaway has purple flowers–just my favorite color is all!


  9. I truly appreciate this series Dawn. I use to journal and it fell by the wayside due to life. Thank you for reawaken an old passionate friend to me. I love the bag. You must share with me what it is so if I don’t win I can get my very own.
    Melissa W.


  10. Very wonderful tips for Journaling Dawn!! Please do not put me in your giveaway, I have plenty of journaling resources, would like it to go to someone who needs them. I can totally relate to making things pretty–words, handwriting….which leads to subject. Although I am pretty blunt in my videos on what is happening in my life, I tend to censor my writing–not good. I have a beautiful Midori, and a beautiful fountain pen to write with, so I tend to want to write “beautiful things”. I think I need a composition book and a Bic!! Ha!!! Thank you and I am enjoying your posts as always!!


  11. loving this series…and getting splashed by your cannonball as I float on my pool float lounge thingie here in the deep end! I am sipping a drink with a bright pink paper umbrella! 🙂


  12. Dawn, you’ve convinced me to jump back into journaling! Please enter me in your lovely give-away… and wish your husband a happy birthday 😊


  13. Dawn, I love the way you write. Kind of tapping and challenging me to let go and I need that. I went through a phase of one writing in my journal only when I wanted to vent. I am thankfully over that but still I hold back, I think I’m afraid someone will read it, they would, its sad. I’m taking your encouragement though and throwing caution to the wind… tomorrow.


  14. Love reading your thoughts and encouragement! “Maybe you are at the place where you are reading about journaling more than you are actually journaling.” Yes, why do we do that? I have been deeply pondering this myself. Not only about journaling but about various things in life.


  15. Thank you Dawn for doing this. It is the perfect thing for me right now. I’ve been struggling with how to start my journal. Now I know. You are very special and I appreciate you in my life.


  16. I’m getting here too late to be in the drawing….which is totally okay. Do you know how many journals, waiting to be filled, I have collected around the house? I’m sure you know what I mean.

    Just wanted to say that I am GUILTY of those first couple. I hate to admit how often I hear the voice that says this doesn’t look good, isn’t interesting, what will people think when they read this after you’re gone? Ugh. Sometimes I want to take a baseball bat to that voice. I’ve never been able to totally escape it.


  17. I would love to win this. I want to start a mom & daughter journaling time with my sweet daughter. They would become precious memories to look back on later on in life. Plus it’s a great way to spend valuable time together. The conversations are endless. What a wonderful giveaway this is!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: