- Your job is to document what’s happened, and how it affected you
- A good journal isn’t about revenge
- Stick to the facts
- Don’t accuse or speculate with the intent to accuse. Blaming others leads to a victim mentality. Yes, sometimes we are victimized, but wallowing in the mentality doesn’t help.
- No name calling
- Capture some detail
- Draw. Even a bad drawing is better than no drawing.
- Write what you can use – plans, lists, etc.
- Read your journal from time to time. If you don’t read it you won’t improve, and you won’t get a lot of the value it can provide. You also won’t learn what content is most valuable to you.
- Try not to write for the sake of writing, or for some kind of effect – journalling is not an effective way of getting attention, and all that stuff is annoying to wade through when you’re reading it later.
- Be honest about yourself. You are the primary audience, are you fooling yourself?
- You probably won’t appreciate the drama you write
- Don’t use an adjective unless you must. This is useful advice for all writing.
We all have moments when we just need to vent and poop all over the page. Fine, do it on a legal pad, fold the sheet and stick it in your journal. Look at it a month later and if you really think it’s got value leave it in there. Most of the time you’ll roll your eyes and toss it, and it’s gone.
Following these rules will give you a journal that has more value in the future with the added benefit of being less of a liability today.