How To Be a Journal Entry Junkie

What Kind of a Journal Keeper Are You?

by Christie Perkins


So you’re thinking about by-passing this article?  Yeah, hold up. I caught you.

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Gasp. (That is actually the echo of your gasp… I could hear it.  Almost.)

I know.  I know.  But, I’ve done my fair share of gasping too when it comes to journals.  It’s pay back.  Let me share my gasps with you and we’ll call it even.  Just hear me out for a minute.

Caution: What you are about to read may be upsetting.  Totally G-rated, but a strong emotional pull if you’re a journal junkie.

 Trashy Journal Throwers

I’ve heard horror stories that could cause me serious psychological issues.  My eyes have rocketed out of their sockets at friends who told me they have thrown journals away.  So, you would rather have a Hobo hanging over your 5th grade crushes than your grandchild?  You’re little “generational mini me” will one day be heart robbed over her heart throb and your words of wisdom will be hanging out with a Hobo instead.

Nice.  I guess he probably has heart throbs too.  But, still.


Faux Journal Keepers

Then, there’s the Faux Journal Keepers.  It sits there prim and proper on the nightstand.  It looks like a journal (big dead giveaway are the gold leaf letters inscribed delicately across the top… it says “Journal”); it smells like a journal (why do all journals smell a little musty?). But anyone that takes a sneak peak (but shouldn’t have) will see that it is really not a journal.  It’s just a book full of empty words; empty promises.

Seriously.  Can you imagine opening a box of triple chocolate cheesecake just to find a box full of cheesecake crumbs, how dumb!  It’s just empty promises.

That’s so lame.  And thinking about that cheesecake gets me all worked up.


Profuse Excuses Journal

You think: but I have a lame life; I don’t have anything good to write about.

You’re so funny.  You should write that you have a lame life.  Because I guarantee “little generational mini me” will connect with you because they feel that life is lame and they will open your journal and realize that it’s completely normal to see everyone else’s life as glamorous.

And who knows maybe journal keeping will lead to a glamorous life because you’ll realize that writing about the crusted over dishes isn’t quite fulfilling your wishes.  You will have to purposely make journal entry moments.  Nothing wrong with that.

And really.  It’s okay to have lame moments in life.  We all have them.

I don’t have time.  Yeah, that’s another excuse I’ve heard.  The solution to that is listed below.  Yep.  I’m going to drag you along to the bitter end.

But we don’t just write in our journals for the “little generational mini me’s” we do it for ourselves.  We discover how to solve problems; we find our answers by talking to ourselves (it’s fine) and receiving a little insight.  Start small.  If you don’t have a Celebrate The Day Journal, start one.


Pyro Journal Keepers

Ok.  Prepare yourself for this one… I’ve even known journal keepers who find delight in making their journals a little fuel for the fire.  Ahhhhhh.  It puts smoke in my eyes.  That’s one gloomy fire: the death of a journal.  If you want a little more light and delight from your fire try burning Shepherds Pie, not your journal.

Yes, as you can tell I’m a journal entry junkie … and not too fond of Shepherd’s Pie.

Take a look at these few tips to make your Journal Entries more awesome.


10 Simple Tips to Getting Started As a Journal Entry Junkie


  • Leave the 1st Page or Last Page Blank.  I like to use this page to mark my big moments as they come.  I just simply date it and put a notation next to it.  (Example:  November 13, 2014: Started my blog).  It just gives a quick slick overview of important moments in my life.  I like to include my church callings here or other big assignments.  Sometimes I don’t realize it was a big moment until later.  That’s okay.  Sometimes I mention it after the fact, sometimes I don’t.  But, I never include my bawlings about how I never can find enough time… that just fills in the gaps in my journal.


  • Write Your Full Name.  Usually somewhere around the first page or two would be great.  But if you want to be creative and a little mysterious flip open to a random page and decorate it with your name.  Or sign off the last page with your full name.  Whatever.  I always use my maiden name along with my married name.  Regardless of where you put it just make sure it’s obvious who’s journal this is.  Then when the Hobo is reading it he will have a name to go with your juicy details.  Fantastic.


  • Write Your Age Next To Your Name.  This is always a tough one for me.  I always have to recalculate how old I am… lovely brain.  But, it’s fun to have how old you were when you were going through something.  I like to include the full name of my husband and children and their ages.  I have it there for an FYI and because my mom’s way into genealogy.  She spends so much time searching for something that could be just handed over on a gold leafed padded journal stacked with all the needed information.


  • Use Full Names of Others.   Always, always, always write the last names of others.  My only exception is my children because I include their name and age at the beginning of my journal.  And I will often write the relationship (husband’s niece, brother, neighbors geese).  Of course I know who they are but it’s funny what time does to the mind.  Clarify who you are writing about.  And no, I don’t use middle names… maybe I should.


  • Use Ages.  I do this so I don’t have to calculate anything.  And Yo Joe who reads my journal (ahem…when I’m dead) will have a better picture of the situation.  Any time I mention my kids I put their age next to their name.  All other adults fall into a category without a marked age… unless they are 88 or something.


  • Title Your Entries.  Use something simple that will help you locate the entry when needed.  I always refer back to my journal for information, memory jogging, and leisure reading.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received things I’ve needed through my own searching of my own journals.  Titles will help you sift through and find what you need.  Titles are an essential, unless you only write once every decade or so.  Then just a simple 10 minute search will do.


  • Date Your Entries.  This comes as an obvious tip.  And of course, include the year.  I love to write what day of the week it is.  If I’m too lazy to get off the couch to check the date I just write May 4th… I think.  Yep, got a few of those floating in my journals.  If my date is wrong at least the day of the week will ALWAYS be right.  You choose your battles right?  Some days I wimp out and just stay on the couch.


  • Include Pictures.  So, you find journal entries boring?  Add pictures.  And if you can fill your journal with pictures you can get through the book faster, right?  Word of caution: if people know you have pictures they might be a little more snoopy.  It might be fun to add your family picture, school pictures, infested toe pictures.  Try it; tell me how it goes.  I’ve never done it so be my guinea pig.


  • Start or End Your Journal With What You Learned: Quite often I will write my testimony at the end of my journal.  Of course it is scattered throughout my journal but I like to include it at the finish of my journal (usually it takes me 1-2 years to complete a journal).  Maybe if it takes you longer to get through a journal you could pick a time of year to include this.  A good time would be the end of the year, your birthday, St. Patrick’s Day, etc.


  • Get Into the Habit to Grab It.  Set aside a time when you can and will write.  I love to write on Sundays but maybe it’s easier for you to write on Wednesday nights or Friday mornings.  Whenever the time, just get into a habit to grab it.  Tell yourself you will write for just 15 minutes.   I have a few quick and lame entries when I don’t have time to write.  It’s merely a series of incomplete sentences that tells enough of the story… leaving the creative part up to the reader.  (Example: Played piano. Tripped down stairs in skirt. Red face.  Pretended nothing happened.  Embarrassing. Good night.)  Yes.  It’s true.


So, what do you say?  Do you want to be a journal entry junkie?  Please comment.  What do you do?  But do tread lightly if you have horror journal stories.  My heart’s only been tested for chemo, not journal tragedies.


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3 thoughts on “How To Be a Journal Entry Junkie

  1. Journaling! Wow here we go with another sucker punch! I did really well starting the year! I actually wrote down several childhood memories and then…. Not sure what happened I got distracted and now haven’t written anything for a few months. I need to get after it again! I guess TODAY IS THE DAY! It is as good as day as any! I have a hard time playing catch up (it’s totally overwhelming) but there are definitely things that need to be shared. It would be a lot easier IF I would write regularly and consistently. That 15 minutes a day can really help! I’m sure I can find 15 minutes somewhere in my day! I’ll give it a try! I know EVERY worthy goal or cause is entitled to extra help right? Especially if it is family history!

  2. I’ve never in my life been called “trashy” before! Keep inspiring me maybe one day I will actually start a journal.

    • Haha! You are far from trashy, girl!!! You’re a classy girl with a great memory! We should have journal party… would you come?

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