Journaling 101

Aye what it is. What’s up. *Cues bed frame squeaks* Nonetheless, I hope you are feeling okay today. I am. I’m hoping all this good feeling can transfer throughout your entire week..month..year..but I digress. So, journaling. What is it? Everyone is talking about it. But what does it really mean? In the time of self-love and self-care awareness, journaling seems to be the number one task to complete. On the contrary, I was talking to my best friend, and she being the G that she is expressed she understands the act of journaling, but not necessarily the process. Then, we thought about other women who have said the same thing. They get the concept, but the act is a different story. With that, continue reading to learn more about benefits and tips for journaling. Get comfy. Its a how to.

Journal: verb| write in a journal or diary.


I’ve been journaling since I was in high school. Actually high school is when I embraced all things writing related. It was a friend, whom I just might name my child after, who put me on. I was going through a overwhelmingly frustrating time in my life, and she suggested I get a journal and write it all out. She said it would make me feel better, and it did. I’ve been taking my journaling life seriously ever since that point leaving me with countless notebooks full of feelings, ideas, poems, short stories and feats. It has been a process though. In the beginning I didn’t know what I was doing, now journaling is such a pertinent part of my life, when I do not, shit hits the fan.

With that, the definition google gives for the word journal is insufficient. Let me dive in. The root word of the “journal” is jour meaning of or relating to one day. The root word jour is also found it words such as “journey” and “sojourn”. Therefore, to journal is related to your daily life path and current position in life. Your journal and what you write inside is a reflection of your whole being. It is a reflection of your daily, nightly, past, and present person. And the benefit of it is understanding yourself holistically–Mind, Body, and Spirit. The journal is your bff, main bitch, side piece, business analyst, and the fried chicken, glass of wine, or blunt you crave when shit gets tough.

In essence, I have three main objectives for journaling. And in true fashion the objectives vary according to my needs and emotional stance. They are:

  1. Release all frustrations, worries, and concerns
  2. Gain insight through introspection
  3. Breathe life into my thoughts, ideas, and dreams

Break it Down, B:

Now, it is highly unlikely that you will hit all of those objectives at the same time, so I will break down what steps should be taken for each objective.

Objective 1. Release all frustrations, worries, and concerns

Somedays all I want to do is scream, cry, yell, punch a wall, or take a nap in hopes things get better in the morning like the bible says. The gag is, when things are on my mind I cannot sleep even if I wanted to. This is where my main bitch comes in. It can be 4:00 in the morning, and my journal will not care if it is summoned. With that said,

Step 1: When your goal is to release frustrations, worries, and concerns complete the following step: Free-write. Simply get it all out. Dump all of those worries, concerns, questions, frustrations. Don’t worry about how it looks. Keep your cute gel pens at the bottom of your purse. Don’t worry about how it sounds. These pages are for your release. Release whatever it is on the pages–burn them if you are feeling froggy. Then take yo ass to bed.

Objective 2. If your goal is to gain insight through introspection.

So maybe you’ve noticed some growth areas you need to address. And say maybe you want to understand your feelings and habits better. Well, this is the objective for you. This objective deals with the self-evaluation, self-reflection, and deep emotional diving. This is the part of self-love and self-care we want to avoid because it can get hard, but we cannot avoid it if the goal is to grow. That said, let’s take the sting off with the following steps.

Step 1: Write out emotional dealings, feelings, concerns of the heart, etc. Whatever is bothering you or whatever you notice, write it out. This could be an insecurity or something that you’ve carried for a long time. This could be a habit. This could be the root of a habit. I don’t know, and I don’t mean to get too deep here all the time, but damn our people have to heal, but I digress. Write out the bug, but don’t leave the journal.

Step 2: Respond to yourself with hope and action. You probably just wrote out some real shit. You might have come to terms with some things about yourself and your life you didn’t want to. But don’t leave it there without out following up with something that will inspire hope, peace, and prosperity. For instance, follow up that free write with a gratitude list. Jot down the things you are grateful for in reference to your life or your being as a whole. Write a list of the things you love about yourself. Follow up with personal advice. If it was your girlfriend expressing what you wrote, what would you tell her. You know we give our best advice away. Keep it for you this time. Follow up with a full prayer. You can even make it a prayer you will recite daily until the issue is resolved. Follow up with action steps. What action steps will you take to reverse or change this thing? Think about how you want to alter the reality you just wrote and map it out. Take a moment. Pause. And ask God or your inner spirit woman to advise you. Believe it or not, asking my inner spirit woman to write through me is how I gain all my wisdom. Let that marinate.

Objective 3. If your goal is to breathe life into thoughts, ideas, and vision

This objective is a personal favorite, but it still requires work. Maybe you just want to become a Boss and you have all the ideas. Awesome. The journal can be used for that too! Within this objective do the following.

Step 1: Write out your fantasy, dream, vision, and/or goals. This step needs no explanation, but break out those colorful gel pens.

Step 2: Write out your why. I suggest you write out your why, so you will not forget when going for your dreams and goals get hard. The why will later be used as inspiration and fuel to keep going after your desires.

Step 3: Break down your long term goals and short term goals. Think about what you want long term and create SMART short term goals to support them.

Step 4: End this journal session with actions steps and an immediate to do list. Write out 1-3 tasks you can complete within the next few days or weeks that will get you closer to that ultimate vision. Repeat this step until you walk into your vision.

LAST THING: Bring your writing to the Women’s Circle Open Mic.


Pay Homage:

Write it down on real paper with a real pencil. And watch shit get real.

Erykah Badu


  1. Journaling is more than writing. It’s a lifestyle.
  2. Women’s Circle Open mic welcomes all stories, testimonies, and writing.
  3. As always, you got this!


Thank you for reading! I hope this helps.

Be Classic & Don’t forget to subscribe.