Journal Writing Tips: Journal Themes 6


 ONCE journal writing has become a regular part of your life, you may want to have more than one, keeping different journals for different purposes. Here is a list (in alphabetical order) of journals that I keep or have kept at different times in my life. I invite you to browse the list for ideas that may work for you.

Art Journal — Use illustrations, mixed media, photography or other forms of art to convey feelings and record events. When you need or want to do so, art is an excellent way to move outside the box of your verbal, thinking mode.

Dream Journal — Keep a separate dream journal by your bed to record dreams immediately upon awakening. One method is to record your dream on the left page and some thoughts about interpretation and/or impressions on the right.

Goals Journal — Keeping a goals journal can be both illuminating and a lot of fun. A goal journal helps you record and prioritize what’s important, as well as help you develop steps to reach your goals.  And when kept in a separate journal — as opposed to jumbled in with your regular daily writing — your goals are easy to review and keep updated.

Healing Journal — When you’re going through illness or loss, a journal devoted to your physical and/or emotional healing can help you work through the emotions and other issues as they arise. In addition to writing about your feelings and thoughts, use your healing journal to record the kindnesses of other people, write down comforting quotes, and paste mementos or pictures of loved ones.

Quote Journal — Collect your favorite quotes in a special journal dedicated for the purpose. You can organize them by theme, or write them in the order you come across them. Use them for inspiration, comfort, or as writing prompts on those days when you don’t know what to write about.

Reading Journal — A separate reading journal is handy for keeping a record of the books you’ve read, your thoughts and impressions about the stories, the authors, and any quotes or excerpts that resonate for you. I like to write down the first lines of every book I read.

Spiritual Journal — Use this journal to document your spiritual life, record specific prayers, conversations with your higher self, inspirational sayings, and daily meditations.

Travel Journal — Use a pocket or purse-sized journal to capture the details of your travels. You can glue brochures, ticket stubs, snapshots, etc. into the journal next to your written impressions. These become great sources for future memoirs.

Worry Journal — This is what I call my daily journal — a catchall for all the things on my mind. Once I’ve let my worries flow through my arm and out my fingers onto the page, they seem much less intimidating.

Writing Journal — If you’re a writer (other than journal writing), keeping a writing journal is beneficial. In this journal, record thoughts, ideas, research notes, particular writing struggles, and anything else related to your writing work.

Journal themes are limited only by your imagination. Can you think of other themes I haven’t listed? Share them with us!
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Image Credit: Jenna Carver

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6 thoughts on “Journal Writing Tips: Journal Themes

  • Eduardo Marciano

    Actually, I think that some of those differents ways of journalling could “meet” each other in a singular journal. And it also can be a good way to have always something to write about: you simply write down everything in the same journal.

    Congratulations for your blog. Nice one.

    • Amber Lea Starfire Post author

      Eduardo, thanks for your comment. Absolutely. They can all be done in one journal.

      Sometimes, I’ve found it easier to keep track of projects, thoughts, travel notes, etc., by keeping them in separate journals. For example, an art journal might need to be a different size or use a different kind of paper than a writing journal, depending upon the art media. And I like to keep my reading journal separate from my regular writing journal so that I can quickly scan first lines, quotes, and review my thoughts about the books without having to search through pages and pages of other stuff.

      A person might have separate dream and travel journals, but keep their daily, writing, reading, and art journals together in one.

      It’s all about playing and finding out what’s best for you 🙂

  • Renee Cassese

    Hi Amber
    What great categories for journals. At the present time these are the types of journals I am keeping.
    A visual art journal that incorporates themes from any kind of journal.

    A dream journal
    A morning pages journal
    A haiku/tanka and art journal–the create ideas for my blog
    A retirement journal–to plan all aspects of my future retirement from financial, to geographic decisions and beyond
    A poetry journal
    A writing journal for my short story work
    A gratitude journal

    Of course I don’t contribute to each one every day but try to get to most of them a few times a week. Morning pages is a daily routine.

    Oh, I also have an inspiration journal in which I put clippings from magazines. It includes: quotes, books to read, scrapbook idea pages, writing information, poems I like, and many other things.

    • Amber Lea Starfire Post author

      Renee, such great journal ideas. I don’t know how I left a gratitude journal out of my list … because I also keep that regularly. I love the idea of a separate poetry journal, as well as a retirement journal … kind of similar to a goals journal, but for a specific purpose or long-term goal. Thanks for sharing!

  • Davis

    Having lived in the SF Bay area, I have tried most of those and settled on an all-purpose day journal that I keep on my Mac and a travel journal that I write longhand in a bound journal loaded with drawings, maps, photos and printed ephemera that I pick up along the way.

    One of the uses of my day journal is to make a story of my life with my wife for the benefit of our children and grandchildren, now far away. I plan eventually to edit it into a “year in the life” so that they will have a picture of how we have lived.

    The travel journals are mostly my own adventures (though I once drug her along on a jungle trip that turned into some bad craziness) and at the moment I am blogging about a trip I took a dozen years ago that wound up looking for a lost tomb.

    I never thought of myself as a writer, but I now write incessantly. I did a few magazine articles, but nowadays I have more fun writing for myself.