My Journaling Roots: Books on Journaling



Today, I’m reaching back in time and sharing my strongest journaling influences. In my early twenties, I worked full-time in the fitness field as a Personal Trainer, and Fitness Instructor. Eventually I  held the position of Personal Training Director, helping to mentor and train up and coming staff and other fitness influencers in that field. I know what it is to be an influencer, and to be influenced, to inspire and be inspired.

During the years I immersed myself in my career, and lived from gym to gym, and home to home as a traveling consultant, I also immersed myself in writing. Journaling was my “other” life. My writing life was relegated to the moments I wasn’t leading classes, creating class formats, managing others, training others and squeezing my own physical pursuits in,  as well. When I journaled, it was like I came up from under for air. It was the place I felt I knew who I really was.  The pages of my journal were like home, no matter where I  found myself. You might say, my journal was like my true north. Ultimately, my journal reflected my True North…but that’s a story for another day.

Books can have great influence over us. Some of the journaling books that have truly impacted my life the most are here in this stack. I actually had to re-purchase a few of them as I had let them go years ago.

In the interest of keeping short posts, I will share a bit through writing and  video in a few posts. If you have questions about any of these books that I am sharing, feel free to list your question in the comments below and I will share on the video or a future post!

I’m pretty sure the first book that I connected with, and ALMOST came out of my closet, secret,  journaling life because of, is Wild Mind- Living  The Writer’s Life by Natalie Goldberg. She had me with short chapters and life snippets. I felt like there was someone else out there who actually thought like I did. Furthermore she had a name for the way I thought, and it resonated greatly with me. Wild. Mind. Wild Mind. I didn’t think of myself as a writer then, so the subtitle  felt completely fake to me…yet, I could not deny when I opened the book and read (at the time) I felt at home, like I had just walked into a living room, where everyone knew my name…enter Cheers music here.

But, truly it shook me into considering that maybe my journal musings weren’t completely weird. That perhaps, there was something to the hours I spent happily scratching out thoughts on paper. Maybe even, I might not be a fraud…because a journaler is not a REAL writer, right? This was what I thought…but something clicked and was affirmed. I felt like I lived a split life. There was an emerging  person within me, that was a stranger. She freely expressed herself in the journal. But, when she lived I closed the journal, she disappeared.

After years of journaling, the result of the journey is this: the girl on the pages has emerged, and continues to emerge daily. No longer when I close my journal do I shut myself in, but instead now, live my life as an open book, as one emerged.

This book, was one of my earliest journaling influences, many moons ago. Has there been a book that has influenced your journaling? Tell me how.

I will be sharing other influences to my journaling which are more reflective of my current journaling lifestyle.

Thanks for joining me on the journey!


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

9 thoughts on “My Journaling Roots: Books on Journaling

  1. Poem Crazy was the first book I read that encouraged me to pick up the pen and start writing myself. I also enjoy re-reading Natalie Goldberg’s Old Friend from Far Away, and Janet Conner’s Writing Down Your Soul. There are several titles here that I’m excited to add to my resource file 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Molly, I loved that book! It is a newer one to me than the others. A friend bought it for me at a used gift shop for my birthday because she said it reminded her of me, and it is one of my most treasured books…for both reasons, gift from friend and great read! I will check out the others you mention! I look forward to connecting with you over our mutual journaling love!


    1. Doris, that is a fabulous way to begin, or continue! I love Simple Abundance. I read bite sized portions of it now and again. I have not read it through, but it is on my shelf, and I love those types of books that you can nibble at instead of devour at once. Thanks for sharing!


  2. The book that influenced me the most was Anne Frank’s diary. At the time she wrote and at the time I was reading her writings, we were the same age. What struck me most was that, despite the horrors and fears that Anne and her family were going through, she still wrote about the mundane and the simple joys to be found in each day. In those pages, she allowed herself to be real with all the childish or petty feelings one has at that tender age. She taught me that I can allow myself to be real in my writing no matter how boring or childish I feel it is. My diary/journal would be my confidante and allow me to be me until I was strong enough to show that person to the world. Almost 40 years later, I still journal. Thank you Anne!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I love Anne Frank’s bold statements of irrepressible spirit in the face of dyer circumstances… Yes, Diarists, who have impacted my writing life is another thought as well…Thanks for being here and there and everywhere with me !


    2. How interesting. I wonder how many others she influenced in that way, as well as inspiring us in so many other ways.


  3. I have used journaling off and on as a coping mechanism throughout my life. It was just something I did. I don’t know what inspired me to start but sometimes I need inspiration to keep going. I will definitely check out some of these resources!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: