What is a Journal?

What is a journal? Before we learn how to write a journal we need to understand what a journal is.

A journal is not a diary in which you record something every day, but rather a place to record your deepest emotions, your thoughts and feelings, your ideas; it is a place of self reflection. This is what makes a journal such a powerful tool for creative writers.

Your journal is a place to.....

• Record your thoughts.

• Write letters to yourself.

• Write letters to people you love.

• Brainstorm new ideas.

• Record events that take place in your life.

• Record events that take place in the lives of people close to you.

• Record inspirational messages and quotations.

• Keep treasured photos safe.

• Sketch drawings and cartoons

• Plan paintings

• Record your deepest emotions

• Solve problems

• List sources of inspiration

• Experiment with new pieces of writing away from the critical eye.

• Reflect

• Record meaningful books you have read.

• Keep anything worthwhile remembering.

From the above it is quite clear that a journal is not a diary.

The table below summarises the difference between a journal and a diary:



Place to record ideas

Place to record the days events

Place to reflect

Place to help you avoid embarrassment

Book you write in

Book you write in

Entries are spontaneous

Entries are recorded daily

Helps improve your creative writing skills

Does not help improve your creative writing skills

Writing space is umlimited

Daily writing space is limited

Recommended Links

Click here for journal writing ideas, journal writing topics and prompts.

More journal writing ideas, journal writing topics and prompts.

Journaling Prompts: All About Me

Return from What is a Journal to the homepage

Journaling tools some basic choices

Types of journals some suggestions

How to write a journal in 12 steps

Journaling Software

Classic brainstorming techniques and brainstorming methods.

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