Jumpstarting Journal Writing

We are encouraged to write in our journals. It is part of the family history mission of the church. It is an important gift that you can pass on to future generations. It is also a great way to remember the ways that we have been blessed. Journals give us the opportunity to see how we have grown from our trials. They are also a great place to vent (at least mine is). If you have recently decide to renew your efforts of writing in your journal here are some ideas to help you get going.

1) Set aside time every week to write. It is best if this is the same time every week, because that way it becomes a habit. In college I had a friend who would write a page in her journal every night. I have never been that prolific, but since she started the habit at a young age, she has carried it with her. I am sure that her children will enjoy reading those experiences in the future.

2) When you are writing in your journal, you do not need to become caught up in the grammar, spelling and punctuation. The best writing happens when you allow it to flow naturally. This allows the stories to come alive as you tell them. If it really bothers you then you can write your journal on a computer and edit it when you are done.

3) It is important to write about what is happening in your life. This means both the positive and the negative aspects of your life. Your journals can be an inspiration to those that read them in the future, but people are usually more inspired by the struggles you have overcome, than the supposedly perfect life that you have led.

4) If you are struggling to find topics to write about, you may want to reflect on your love of the gospel. You can share testimony building moments, humorous moments from your childhood, decisions that you have made and where those choices led you. You can talk about your brothers and sisters, your parents, your spouse and your children. You can share the ups and downs of normal every day life. It might be interesting to share the events you complete in a normal day. If you do this every year, you can look back and see how much your life has changed overtime.

5) When you mention a family member in your journal, try to remember to use the whole name the first time. This is helpful to people who may be looking back at your journals and trying to learn about your family. You may want to list the names and birthdays of your children as well. This helps when looking for family ties.

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