About this Journaling Series by Eric Maisel
Inspired by Contributors to The Great Book of Journaling
This series of guest blog posts on various topics related to journaling, was created for a series called “Journaling for Men” that appears on the Good Men Project blog. It is designed to help everyone, and especially men who may be unfamiliar with journaling, learn how daily journaling can help them improve their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It brings together ideas from two of Eric’s recent books, Redesign Your Mind, in which I describe how you can upgrade and redesign “the room that is your mind,” and our co-edited book The Great Book of Journaling, in which we gathered contributions from scores of journal experts and enthusiasts. Please enjoy this series.
We hope that you’ll begin to include journaling as part of your daily self-awareness and self-care program.
Overcome Common Challenges that Get in the Way of Our Desire to Journal
In The Great Book of Journaling, contributors who teach journaling or who are lifelong journal enthusiasts share some of their top tips. In her chapter on journaling basics, Mari L. McCarthy explains how to overcome common challenges that get in the way of our desire to journal and that prevent us from creating a solid daily journaling practice. Mari explained:
Do any of these obstacles sound familiar?
+ I can’t seem to find the time to write
+ I used to journal but stopped when life got busy
+ I don’t know what to write about
+ I have too much I want to write about
+ I like the idea of journaling but not the actual practice
+ I feel bored/restless/anxious/overwhelmed when I write
+ I forget to journal (and then feel bad about it)
If you recognize yourself in one or more of these statements, you are in good company! These are common challenges that afflict even the most dedicated journal writers.
The good news is that you can use one simple guideline to help you overcome them all:
Write a little bit every day.
That’s it. Strive for consistency, not perfection. Some days you may write pages and pages without stopping; other days you may manage only a sentence. Either way is fine. Simply aim to write something in your journal every single day. If you miss one day, don’t beat yourself up about it; just start again the next day with fresh energy.
After a while, you won’t even have to think about it. Journaling will become an integral part of your day that you do automatically, like brushing your teeth or drinking your coffee every morning. Over time, you will start to see the positive changes journaling is making in your life — giving you a safe place to blow off steam, process emotions, explore ideas or set goals.
Take Mari’s advice. Engage in a little journaling every day, even just a few minutes’ worth. That a great way to maintain self-awareness—one of the best ways. Even if it’s only for five minutes, that’s fine. Build this daily habit and reap the benefits!
“Over time, you will start to see the positive changes journaling is making in your life — giving you a safe place to blow off steam, process emotions, explore ideas or set goals.”
~Mari L. McCarthy
Get your copy of The Great Book of Journaling: How Journal Writing Can Support a Life of Wellness, Creativity, Meaning and Purpose
Discover many different journaling techniques, prompts, and activities that can support you to enrich your life and health with journaling.
About the Author: Eric Maisel
Eric Maisel is the author of 50+ books. He is a retired family therapist, active creativity coach, lead editor for the Ethics International Press Critical Psychology and Critical Psychiatry series, and featured blogger for Psychology Today, where his “Rethinking Mental Health” blog has received 3,000,000+ views.
This blog article is inspired and informed by Mari L. McCarthy’s chapter entitled Journaling Basics in The Great Book of Journaling. Mari is the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer of CreateWriteNow, where she provides ideas, inspiration and therapeutic journaling resources for health-conscious people who want to heal their issues and express their true selves. She is the award-winning author of Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live and Heal Your Self With Journaling Power and the creator of 20+ Journaling Power workbooks.