Let me just put it out there – Journaling can truly transform you. This art form is not one of those new age fad, popularized by creative Bujo influencers on Instagram, but has been existing for thousands of years. I am pretty sure a lot of us had been journaling since childhood, confiding our deepest secrets, incidents, anger, happiness between the pages of a well-guarded diary.
While growing up we didn’t have fancy stores like Kiki K selling pretty journals for the sole purpose of putting our thoughts out there. My siblings and I would fight over the plain-looking yearly diary that my Dad used to receive from the office or as gifts. And we were supposed to write inspiring quotes and essays in them. And yet I had managed to collect a considerable amount of journals back then. Mostly documenting embarrassing teenage days and apprehensions about the future. I was an introverted child, who loved to be in the comfort of my room – writing, reading and being silly. Journaling was a habit that unknowingly soothed me.
Writing Gratitude Journals
A few years ago I changed my style of writing journals. I realized that over a period of time my journals contained mostly incidents that evoked emotions of sadness or anger. I understand that journals are a source of outbursts, but I didn’t want to look back and find a stack of anger and resentment as memories. I wanted to have a journal that I would look forward to reading. That everytime I held it in my hands, a smile would spread across my face.
Thus began the journey of writing gratitude journals. I frequently started writing about happy incidents, collecting and cherishing beautiful moments that life had bestowed on me. If I had to express anything negative, I would always write about how I overcame it. As the days progressed, more and more colorful pages started being added to my journal – pictures of happy times with friends, being silly at a party, successfully ticking off my to-do list and achievements.
Believe it or not, it changed my outlook towards life.
I don’t follow any template to write a journal. I believe it’s a completely personal choice. I like sticking all the little gifts I have received, origami paper-flowers, pressed flowers and sometimes pictures or poems. I write about incidents, things I did over the week and weekly/monthly goals.
Journals should a happy a place which can comfort you in the times of need. Along with my art journal, these are probably only a few aspects of my life not impacted by technology. There’s a child-like pleasure in using colorful pens and pencil colors, doodling and making collages.
Last year I wrote my first travel journal, documenting my 9 days road-trip around Tasmania and a few places in Sydney. It is one of my most cherished possessions. Inspired by a lot of popular Bujo, I bought washi tape to decorate the pages. I had collected a lot of brochures and maps as well (and tickets too), which I believe added a visual angle to my travel stories.
Get Started, Now!
If you are new to journaling, don’t be intimidated by all the colors and well-planned bullet journals that are available on the internet. You just need a paper, pen and a bunch of thoughts to get started. You can start with something as simple as “What makes you happy”. That’s actually how I began my 2019 journal as well. I was overwhelmed by a lot of changes in the previous month and writing it down really helped me to find some space in my head.
So, what are you going to write today?
I regularly post my artwork and journals on
Instagram – @paperandprose.
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