The 5 W’s of Journaling: Part 3 – When

5 mins read

This article answers the question of “when can I journal”?

Is anyone familiar with the saying, “Just write?” It resonates with many people who are just starting to journal and get stuck with the other familiar phrase, “I don’t know what to say…” This sentence, “Just write,” is often the mantra to help break the impasse of a creative block to help facilitate the start of many first journal entries. The power of journaling should not be underestimated, as we have learned that journals give us a place to put down our thoughts and make sense of them. Journals are a place where thoughts can become organized and perhaps be seen in a different lens. Journaling is also a habit of almost every powerful leader and inspirational speaker throughout history. Just to name a few, from Barack Obama to Nelson Mandela and Sir Winston Churchill, they all journaled.

So, let’s break down the benefits of what journaling is and what it can do for you by using the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where, and Why! This is the 3rd part of our 5 part series on The 5 W’s of Journaling: When.

So, When? In short, you need to journal when you feel it’s right.

Timing is essential as you must be in the correct mindset, often without distraction, to put your thoughts to paper. For some people this comes naturally, others designate specific times to journal; whether that is early in the morning to encapsulate that dream they have had, or right before bed to decompress about their day. Once you decide on that time it is important to try and stick to a schedule, especially when starting out because this will help create the habit. Essentially though, you will know when it’s appropriate for you to journal after trying a few different times. Figure out when works best for you and make it happen.

People may carry multiple journals in many sizes to ensure that they can journal whenever is appropriate for them. For example, you may have a large journal you keep by your bedside at home, while you have a small journal you keep in your car, and a medium sized one you keep at your desk. There is also the option of keeping an electronic journal for the times you don’t have a notebook and pen handy. While writing by hand has its benefits and many people prefer it for journaling, you can always create electronic notes that you can then expand on later in your journal. Having a journal that is accessible will help to encourage writing and will discourage the easily solved obstacle of not having one close by.

Just Write!

So, “Just write” because no matter what you put down no one is grading you. Journaling is a self-edited place where only you oversee what you have written and reflected on. You are the author of your self-care, and how you to choose to write it can produce powerful results. The benefits of journaling are endless and may offer insights into your life that you have never experienced before or haven’t taken the time to reflect on just yet. The “When” of the 5 W’s is just a starting point for you but the most important lesson to learn is to pick up a pen, paper, and “Just write”!

Next up in our series “The 5 W’s of Journaling: Part 4 – Where”.

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