• Bijal Patel

The Art of Journaling

2020 was the year of self-discovery and growth for many of us, my twitter poll showed that many of you journal under your covers when half of the world is asleep. It’s your sacred space, right? You’re having a conversation with yourself and it’s helped you so much, you just haven’t realised it. And if you don’t journal then you can start, no one needs to know about it, keep it as your secret. Journaling has many mental health benefits and I’ve been screaming about bibliotherapy for a minute now because let’s admit it, everyone needs a therapist at some point in their life.

Books help me escape, it might not make you feel the same way, but journaling helps everyone and anyone you ask who does it will agree. Many have stigmatised it as “she’s away with the fairies” or “she’s spiritual because she writes her little poems in a book,” but that’s not true. Anyone who thinks that is in their own Neverland.

1. Get a book with empty pages

2. Fill up those pages

Seems easy, no? It’s not. The first step to journaling is actually doing it and that’s the hardest part. Staying consistent but true to yourself is a task within itself but it only takes a few minutes out of your day and once you get into the habit of doing it, you’ll turn it into a daily practice. You don’t need to overcomplicate it and write about negative moments or feel as though you have to be in a dark space… I wake up in the morning and write sentences of gratitude, or affirmations, or a to-do list for the day. Anything that’s on your mind can be put onto paper.

“He has broken me. I have been crushed into a million pieces… I am going to spend the rest of my days in bed and wallow in self-pity…” – this can be put in your journal.


“Thank you, God, for waking me up this morning. I am grateful for the roof over my head and the food on my plate. My family is healthy, I am healthy. I am ready to conquer my day with positive thoughts.” – this can most definitely be in your journal.

You can write how you feel, a short story, a poem, quotes from a book, music lyrics (70% of my journal,) a love letter, turn it into a burn book (for my mean girls,) your goals, your worries…

Who inspires you to journal?

· Cleo Wade – Heart Talk, Where to Begin, The Heart Talk Journal

· Alexandra Elle – After the Rain, In Courage journal, subscribe to her journal prompt emails, listen to her podcast

· Elizabeth Acevedo – The Poet X, Write Yourself a Lantern Journal

· Kelly Vincent – True You Journal

· Reyna Biddy - A Psalm for Us, I Love My Love, May God Help Us Find Our Way, listen to her spoken word, listen to her podcast

Will you share your journaling journey?

I already do! I post some prompts on my IG under my highlights and every poem I post is a journal page within itself. Some of my poems are very personal and some are inspired by and from other people. I’m a writer so I am open to sharing some of my pages, it takes a lot of courage for me to do so but I overcame my anxiety over the years. I learnt that sharing my work has inspired many, I refused to believe it before but the compliments in my DMs prove otherwise. If sharing my work inspires you or is relatable, let me know because I often hide my work in fear that no one cares to see it.

"I don't always pray. But when I do. I feel. Your softness on the other side of conversation. The love in your listening. I don't care what they say. You are the best listener. Because you say nothing at all." - Katrisha Rose

I’m not a good writer, my journal won’t look pretty…

Some of my entries are SHIT! My writer’s block gets to me and I can’t write anything and that’s okay. As long as I write a sentence or two, I’ve got somewhere and it’s better than nothing. There is a lot of pressure on making journals pretty and pink which is not a concern for me because no one sees my books but me. No one will see yours either, keep it private, keep it hidden, pierce your pen into the paper, cross out words, doodle, write random words – I do all of it. My journal is not pretty, yours won’t be either because they’re not supposed to be perfect. Just light a candle, play your favourite music, sit on your bed and write.

"You don't have to know what you're doing to succeed, but you have to be willing to try..." - Alexandra Elle

To my writers… I posted this poem on IG but here it is again:

Happy journaling…

readwithBP x

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