How To Start Your Journaling Journey


Jot this down: Journaling is everywhere. We don’t know about you, but lots of ladies in our lives have told us that they journal. And we’re not talking a middle school-esque diary type of situation, we mean taking the time to express yourself through words and let out your thoughts in a seriously cathartic way… using pen and paper (or your smart device, but we digress).

It sounds amazing, right? Funny enough, our diary days are long over and we didn’t know where the heck to start. So we called in a favor to get some advice from the journaling queen herself: katie dalebout.

Katie is an author, podcast host, contributor to refinery29, and a professional at journaling and using it as a tool on the path to self-care and self-awareness. Lucky for you, she gave us a little starter kit on how to get that journal going and how to keep it up. Pens, at attention.

the void: Why is journaling so important?

To me journaling is important because it gives you self awareness. It’s hard to know what i’m really thinking unless I see it on paper, and journaling helps me to figure that out.

the void: How has journaling changed your life?

I don't know if it’s changed my life per se but it has helped me to make my relationships deeper and my therapy deeper because I know what I am feeling. And I think it’s made other people more aware, more aware of how they need to grow or what they need to change. Then they can take action, but awareness is the first step.

the void: How do you make journaling feel like less of a project?

Just do it. You can write in your phone. You can do this anywhere. At a coffee shop, you can do it while you are on the subway. That’s what I love about journaling… it’s free, it’s easy.

the void: Can you journal if you’re not a writer?

YES! This type of writing is innate to everyone. If you can text, you can journal. If you can write an email, you can journal. It’s simply writing as we speak. So it’s talking to yourself like you would to a really close friend.

the void: how do you recommend someone maintain a journal practice?

I don't actually like to make this another “should” on your laundry list of wellness and life to-dos. The beauty of journaling is that you can do it in the morning when you first wake up, you can do it in the evening, you can do it when you are on the go.

I will say when you are getting started with something new, it might make sense to set a commitment for the week to write a page first thing in the morning or to jot down how you’re feeling when you are going home on the train. Just make a mental note of what you're going to do, and stick with that.

The void: if someone reading this right now wanted to start journaling today, what tips would you provide?

I would recommend the following 3 steps to start journaling:  

  1. Just start. There will be resistance, but do it anyway.

  2. Ask yourself a good question, something open-ended like: “how are you actually feeling?”

  3. Answer honestly. Write unfiltered and rawly express what you need to let out. Write exclusively for YOU.

Get writing, gals!

Follow @KatieDalebout for updates on her podcast, events and more! And check out her website for more info.