You want it to be perfect

If you’re a perfectionist, It’s hard to escape the feeling that you’ll mess it up or embarrass yourself or cringe yourself out. You care so much about getting it right that you end up not enjoying it or even end up giving it up altogether. You might try so hard to make your handwriting nice to the point where your hand hurts at the end. You might also write almost like you expect someone else to read them. 


Ways to overcome it:

  • Perhaps this perfectionism is a great place to start! Maybe that’s the first issue you need to confront in your journal.

  • Put less pressure on yourself. Practice self compassion. Accept that it’s not going to be perfect. it might not even make sense and that’s okay! You can’t expect to have deep, compelling and introspective writing flow out of you like Jane Austen the first time or even the tenth time. Bear with yourself and keep going. Even if it’s just a sentence or a doodle a day then know you’re doing great.

  • Use an old notebook or one that you don’t particularly like, so you don’t feel compelled to make it pretty.

  • Get a smaller sized journal so you don’t get bored of looking at the same cover over and over again and it’s easier to carry around, keep to yourself/hide. AND it will be quicker to fill up so you will feel accomplished finishing the whole thing.


You find it boring 

Ways to overcome it:

  • Stop yourself writing before you’ve finished what you’re talking about. This way you’ll have a place to pick up from the next day and your enthusiasm isn’t curbed for writing!

  • Collect journaling prompts. This gives you a way to structure your entry and provoke exciting thoughts.

  • Write it as a letter to yourself. Your past, present or future self! Doesn’t matter which. It is sometimes easier to formulate the words better this way.


You try to write everything that happened

Ways to overcome it:

  • You feel like you might lose these memories if you don’t write them down but most don’t mean much anyway. Better to have a little written down than no memories at all because you’re so overwhelmed trying to include them all that you don’t write anything.


You feel like you don’t have enough time

Ways to overcome it:

  • Write in Short sentences. Or use power words! A few emotions that you felt that day and maybe what caused them.

  • Utilise Bullet points

  • Use different methods of journaling like you could type it or draw doodles. whatever you find easiest to get your feelings out.

  • Set an alarm. This helps especially if it’s at the same time every day as you will naturally start to graduate to journaling at that time of day.

  • Have it right next to your bed. This way you can do it straight as you wake up or right before you go to sleep. This promotes the creation of a journaling habit because it’s in your sightline at least twice a day and you can create a routine with it.

By Farlan- Netwomen ambassador