Benefits of Journal Writing:

by Carole Bourne

It is virtually impossible to write a journal and not discover more about yourself” Stephanie Dowrick

Journal writing can cleverly bring clarity to a confusing or an overly emotional situation.   It can spring clean the corners of your mind making way for new fresh thoughts.  A good dose of journal therapy is like a great friend that supports you all the way, and never judges.  Hooray for journal writing.

Journaling is the perfect partner when you need to connect more intimately with your true self.   A little alone time with your journal can often reveal exactly what’s needed.   Whose knows,  journal therapy may be just the sort of  medicine you need right now.  I know it certainly is for me.

Journal writing can be whatever you want it to be.  It can be short or long. For daily reflection, to record specific memories (new baby) to release stress, to find out what you really think, to vent, and vent, and vent, focus on an area of life that needs your attention, gain clarity, fine tune your goals, explore your emotions or ask for divine guidance.

It is for all these reasons I personally find journaling quite revealing and incredibly satisfying.  Your spelling can be bad, writing messy, page filled with swear words (if you feel that way inclined) – either way it’s the one place where you can be the least inhibited, totally open and explore what you feel needs to be explored.

For the past decade journal writing has cleverly known exactly when to re-appear back in my life. It has recently shown up (yet again) and will stay for as long as it needs too;  a few weeks, a month or even longer.  For this I am truly grateful, as great insights always follow.

Journal to reveal:

At the moment I’m asking my journal one question each morning “What is it I need to know today?” Sometimes the answers are short and sweet such as spend more time with your boys, drink more water, clear more clutter or go for a walk in nature.   Three minutes and its all done.

Other times it is lengthy as the words on my page do their best to bring depth and insight into an area of my life that needs attention.  These type of journal sessions usually take at least twenty minutes or longer.  I do my best to stop my thinking (getting in the way), and simply let my pen write, and write and write.

My hand seems to know when to stop.  I’m impressed.  What I read back is a revealing intimate conversation with the deepest part of me and of course a higher guidance.  I can’t help but discover more about myself.

As Stephanie Dowrick shares in her book Creative Journal Writing: The Art and Heart of ReflectionIt is virtually impossible to write a journal and not discover more about yourself”

Journal prompts especially for you:

If the above question doesn’t appeal to you then you may be drawn towards starting your journal writing session with a different prompt.  I listed a few below which I have gathered over the years from a collection of books and writers.

I feel most in tune with life and myself when ……………..

The reason I feel rushed is …………..

I don’t want to write about …………

Why I want to journal ……….

I remember ……………..

What can I do about ……………

What should I concentrate on in the coming years ………………..

Why am I confused ……………………..

My attitude to money comes from …………………

If you are already a journal lover please share your unique connection with journaling.   You might be a follower of Julia Cameron’s morning pages I’d love to hear your insight and stories.

xx Carole


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Joh January 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm

I have been journalling for over 20 years! It is my one true lifelong friend (along with reading). It’s my sincere record of learning. I have a blog to demonstrate to the world my learnings that I am comfortable with, yet my personal journal is where I just blah. It feels good. It saves me from being negative in my conversations in the world. I can’t speak highly enough of the personal joy of journalling. As a teacher, if I encourage my students to journal I feel I have achieved something of value.


Carole Fogarty January 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

Happy New Year Joh, great to hear from you again.

Gosh, I’m very impressed 20 years of journalling. I must say even though journal writing has come in and out of my life I have a distinct feeling that it may be staying this time.

I’ve also recently started morning pages from Julia Camerons book the artists way. 3 pages of uncensored writing I find very cleansing.

Peace, love and mango’s (may the season never end)



NHE January 30, 2010 at 2:03 am

I’ve noticed that I need to journal when I feel confused. I always get clarity on situations when I write. It’s such a wonderful part of life.


David @ A Happy Pocket Full of Money February 2, 2010 at 12:23 am

Journal writing is so important. The amazing thing though is that we only appreciate it’s power down the road when, in weeks, months and years to come, we open it again and read what we wrote. Then, and only then, does the true amazing power of journaling become clear as day and activated!


Vitaliy May 5, 2011 at 4:55 am

I thought I’d add my two cents here as well.
I’ve read an interesting book on journaling (can’t recall the title at this moment) but nevertheless, it talked a lot about not censoring. So I don’t! However it seems that when I write a negative entry, the following day seems to go very badly. I am in a terrible mood the next day or sometimes longer.

Has anyone else experienced this?
Maybe someone has some input on this?

Thank you


Carole Fogarty May 5, 2011 at 7:29 am

@Vitaliy I certainly haven’t experienced a negative day after journaling negative thoughts. In fact I probably feel a little clearer and lighter once I get worrying/negative thoughts out of my head and down onto the paper. For I feel like I’m “letting go”. Carole


Rick August 30, 2011 at 9:14 am

Yes, I can definitely attest to this feeling. For my overly analytical self, sometimes journaling makes me focus even more on something I just need to set aside for the moment.


Tara September 6, 2011 at 4:33 am

I love to journal, for me my journal is my best friend. I have noticed when I am not journaling there is a disconnect within myself. I love what you have written 🙂


Kyle Thielk July 12, 2013 at 2:18 am

I only recently discovered the benefits of journaling. It took me a while to become accustom to writing without holding back, but once I got the hang of it, I really started to see the benefits. Personally the biggest benefit for me is a greater focus on what is important.

I am such a strong believer in daily journaling I created a free little tool to help:, I just hope it can help someone else as well.


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