Day 2: 31 Days of Journal Writing

31 Days_2Connecting with your purpose: why do you want to keep a journal?

Soooo, you want to keep a journal. Great!


People keep journals for all different kinds of reasons.

  • Keeping track of their life.
  • Recording decisions and actions because someone is holding you accountable for what you do.
  • Processing your thoughts and feelings because when you let them out, you can think more clearly and even let go of the weight of them.
  • You like the way your brain works when you take the time to empty out those thoughts and feelings, process them, and move on.
  • Idea generation and brainstorming.
  • You have a really great personal story and you want to capture it while its fresh in your mind.


Or at a very deep level, seeing your life in ink (or on a screen) makes it feel like it matters more. Like you are taking the time to connect with each day by taking a few brief moments to reflect.

Any of these sound familiar to you? Maybe a combo?

Your journal prompt on Day 2 of 31 Days of Journaling is for you to explore this simple question for yourself. I recommend you write it at the top of a blank page and then see what comes up.

Prompt for today: Why do I want to keep a journal?

Knowing your purpose for keeping the journal will help you decide several other elements to this process.

The first is, where will you store your journal? Where will it live when you’re not writing in it? And because of where it lives, where will you write? How will you access it?

If your journal is digital and on your computer, then you will likely need to be at your computer to write.

If you are using an app, then you could write in your journal anywhere from the waiting room at the doctor’s office to the living room sofa to the playground while the kids are running around.

Pen and paper are mobile too, but maybe not always as discreet as something on your phone.

Then again, it is nice to work with pen and paper first thing in the morning or right before bed.

See what I mean – there are a lot of possibilities. And in my experience, when people start journaling and then stop, it’s often because they think they have to do it this way or that.

They forget that they can try one way and if it doesn’t work, they can try something else.

The process of keeping a journal will always lead to the benefits you are searching for. Just because the way you do it isn’t working doesn’t mean keeping a journal isn’t working.

It just means you need to try another way to journal.

If you start keeping a journal with pen and paper and it feels like pulling teeth, take the pressure off yourself by switching to a Word document or try voice recording.

Think about the purpose of your journal and choose a tool that will both help you to achieve that purpose and is one that you can commit to using.

Then, you’ll want to consider the time of day that will work best for you. If you’re doing this 31-day challenge and committing to journal every single day, you may want to consider setting an alarm on your to ring at the same time everyday so that you remember to pull out your journal and write. Life is crazy and busy and it’s very easy to forget to do this.

Finally, keep your purpose in mind as you start to dive into your journal and find your voice. For most of us our journal is not the place where we need to use the same kind of writing we would for an intense research paper.

Using your experience journaling to find your voice can be a powerful exercise that helps you with other elements of your life, especially if you are a writer or blogger.

The reason you write your journal may be for personal growth and exploration, but the writing you do out in the real world is very different. Use this time with your journal to discover what you sound like without a paycheck depending on it.

This writing is all about you and for you.

You can write incomplete sentences, use slang, write everything in upper case letters, or even take the time to create your own entirely new dialect.

They say Leonardo da Vinci wrote in his journals in code. And if you’ve got big ideas and secrets you want to keep, maybe you should too.

Happy exploring your purpose! Tomorrow we’ll dive into one of my most favorite journaling topics and the number one question I get asked: I want to keep a journal, but I’m afraid someone will find it, so I either don’t write or I hold back. How can I keep from worrying about this?

Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit or


  1. 31 Days of Journal Writing Challenge | 5th Oct 15

    […] Day 2: Why do you want to journal? […]

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