16 Advantages of Keeping a Journal


First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write. – Madeleine L’Engle

Get out your day-planner and reserve 15-20minutes a day for your journal. That’s all it takes.

Journaling: Shaping the writer’s mind

Keeping a journal gives you the tools in hand to shape your mind and your habits with the pen in your hand.
Here’s how journaling improves what you write.

How it boosts creativity

  • Keeping a journal allows you to make new logical connections between thoughts.
  • It keeps you digging down and coming up with new ideas.
  • Jotting it down crystallizes passions and priorities.
  • Writing down goals signals to your brain that ‘this is important’. Your mind will automatically highlight opportunities and tools you come across that help you reach those goals.
  • Journaling requires you to think about the whys and hows of things.
  • Sticking to your journal perks your self esteem. Some people feel good when they write, others feel good when they have written. Either way, you win.
  • Writing helps memorize information, never lose that great idea again!

How it cures writer’s block

  • It forces you to tolerate yourself making mistakes, which is essential to overcome writer’s block.
  • Journaling helps you process stress and emotional events in your life when you focus on what you thought as well as what you felt, and thereby frees your mind.
  • Writing about your experiences increases self-awareness, which comes in handy when writing your stories.
  • Writing isn’t just about providing answers, it’s about asking yourself the important questions too.

The only way to become a better writer is by writing

Here’s how keeping a journal improves how you write:

  • Keeping a journal allows you to practice putting ideas into words.
  • You practice communicating ideas in ways other people will understand.
  • Writing about your own life shows you how events only have the meaning we assign to them. The same goes for your fiction.
  • Wording abstract ideas practices breaking down complex things into useful bits of information that is organized and coherent, which aids problem solving.
  • Taking notes of everyday life helps you pay closer attention to things in life, to be observant.