Definition of a Journal

Famous author Ron Klug believes that,

Journal is a place to record daily happenings.

However, as he also says it is far more than that:

A journal is also a tool for self-discovery, an aid to concentration, a mirror for the soul, a place to generate and capture ideas, a safety valve for the emotions, a training ground for the writer, and a good friend and confidant.

Mary Louise Holly clarifies this point well:

It is a reconstruction of experience and, like the diary, has both objective and subjective dimensions, but unlike diaries, the writer is (or becomes) aware of the difference. The journal as a ‘service book’ is implicitly a book that someone returns to. It serves purposes beyond recording events and pouring out thoughts and feelings… Like the diary, the journal is a place to ‘let it all out’. But the journal is also a place for making sense of what is out… The journal is a working document.

Formats of Journaling

Usually there are two formats of journaling

Freestyle Journaling
Structured or Guided Journaling

Freestyle Journaling

Freestyling is the best way to clear your mind of clutter. It gives you a golden chance to tap into your creativity. Letting words and ideas flow will eventually help you create characters, design plots and extract ideas and themes for poems. In this type of journaling, you can write about anything from meaningless to meaningful.

Structured or Guided Journaling

If you are creating a scrapbook or memory book, then you need to employ the structured or guided style of journaling. In this style, you are required to fill blanks and answer questions related to an event or season for the purpose of preserving memories.
Some Topics and Writing Ideas to Make Your Own Journal
I still regret…
The one and only wish that I can give my life for…
Last time I was brave…
I do not care whether…
I love my life because..
I envy…
My first love
I still regret…
The time when I totally lost it
The youngest person whom I know
I want to be like…
There are some blessings and there are some evils in my life

You can check out creative writing topics for more innovative and inspirational ideas for your journal writing.
Types of Journals

There are several types of journals of which the following are common

Gratitude Journals
Memory Books
Creative Journals
Idea Journals
Family Journals
Dream Journals
Reader’s Journals
Personal Journals
Inspirational Journals
Science Journals
Art Journals
Travel Journals

Benefits of Writing a Journal

Journal writing has a number of advantages which cannot be overlooked in any case.
Know Yourself

“It is virtually impossible to write a journal and not discover more about yourself”

-Stephanie Dowrick

Scribbling in a journal help you discover the real You in a different manner. When you pen down all your thoughts, ideas, notes and stories on a page, you are actually expressing your inner self-that inner self which has always lived in you unexpressed and neglected. Self awareness is the key to advancement. Journal writing helps you redefine your perception and clarify your personal and professional goals.
Improve Your Mental Health

It is natural for your mind to carry negative thoughts and feelings about yourself and others. If you reach a level where your negative thoughts surpass positive thoughts, your mental health will be deteriorated.

As a result of this, you won’t be able to concentrate on your goals and everyday matters. Psychologists believe that by writing down all negative thoughts and feelings in black and white, you will begin to feel lighter and all your frustration and failures will fade away.
Hone Your Writing Skills

If you are aspiring to become a writer, journal writing can serve as the best exercise. When you write down all the things which are going on in your mind, not only you become clear in expression but your ideas also become coherent and fine tuned. During the journaling process, you are likely to come up with a unique idea which may be a topic worth researching for an article or a creative piece.

Author's Bio: 

This article has been contributed by Feisty Ash. Read more at about the creative and journal writing.