Start Writing In Your Journal Today! | Racheal Maus | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (20m)
    • 1. Hello!

    • 2. Getting Started Mentally

    • 3. Finding the First Words

    • 4. Doodles!

    • 5. Mistakes and Their Making...

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About This Class

If you struggle to start your Journaling Habit, then start right here! 

In this class you will get a full walk-thru of how to start your Journaling habit with No Judgment, No Expectations, and No Fear of making mistakes!

Journaling has long been a source of peace, meditation and relaxation to those with paper and pen, and you can start enjoying these benefits right away! Find stress relief, the contemplation of difficult situations, problem-solving and emotional healing, plus so much more when you put your thoughts to the page, exposing them to the light of day...



Meet Your Teacher

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Racheal Maus

Creating things is fun, but also really useful!


Hi, I'm Racheal from, and I love to make things from scratch rather than buy them. That's why whenever I give a gift, everyone makes a big deal out of it, and its how I show others I care while also getting to have fun along the way!

Creating things is a fun project for me, no matter if it's a clothes accessory, a paper craft, painting, re-finishing furniture or anything else I can dream up... I love to work with my hands!

So come along as I share my quirky building knowledge and cheater methods of making things;) I'd love to share what I do with you!

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1. Hello!: Hello everyone. I'm so excited that you decided to join in on this journaling, how to class. It's going to be really interesting. We're gonna go over some of the basics of how to start your journal entries, how to get your journal going, and how to keep it going by not judging yourself for having expectations. So I'm really excited to go over this stuff with you. It's going to be a little interactive. I have some spreadsheets in the project section for you guys to work with. And there's definitely a million writing exercises and prompts out there to help get you started as well. So let's jump right in with the supplies were going to be using today. Let's talk about a couple of the different journals that you could decide to use for your journal habits. So this is a pretty thick volume. It's one example. It's got kind of a faux leather binding and a nice cover. And the pages actually have a gold tinting to the edges. But you see the insight of this journal. It doesn't have any lined pages. And for some journal Rs, this is actually what they prefer because they like to a little bit of mixed media or the liked to draw and write for the elected just kind of come up with their own lines. Or I've actually written sideways along the page, sometimes gone down a little ways and then stopped and started filling in the rest of the space going the other direction. You can really make a journal like this your own in a lot of different ways. And this is also a thread binding, so you can see that it folds out very smoothly. It lays flat. And that's also a really, really nice for some people they prefer to have the easier writing surface. And then another kind of journal, it is one like this. And this is also a leather bound, goes real leather. But this one's a little unique because it has black pages. Now this is something that is kind of trendy right now, and you can choose to go with that if you want. You will, however, need to get a specific kind of lighter color or white gel pens in order for your words to show up very effectively. But you know, if you wanted to get black ink and then have it pretty much unreadable to everyone including you. That's an option too. But this is a southbound. So that's nice, thin and bendable notebook. It's really nice. And you can get these kinds of journals in many different color pages. Journal. And I'm gonna be showing you today that we're going to work in and you'll see me writing in is a spiral bound. This is another option if you want to have the journal open and lie flat. And also since it spiral, it can bend on itself. So this is one that I got from the Pirates of the Caribbean gift shop back at Disneyland. For anything. I was at Disney World several years ago and I had it for a long time. But a really, really enjoyed it. I've used a couple of times and then ripped out the pages and use of use it mostly as a notebook. So today we're going to be utilizing these pages. And I want to be showing you a little bit of my writing technique. 2. Getting Started Mentally: Okay, so let's talk a little bit about how to get yourself mentally prepared to write. You're going to see me illustrate a couple of things as they go along. So first of all, let's talk about judging yourself and judging your writing. There's a lot of people who they start writing on the page. And then they look at it in they're like, oh, that's stupid and they scratch it up or they tear out the page and I want to start over. They basically are just so judgmental of what they write or their ideas or their thoughts that they can't get anything out. So for example, if you start the page with deer journal and then you look at it and you feel silly or stupid. You're judging yourself. There is nothing wrong with writing these two words at the top of every page that you start. If you wanted to do something else, you could always start with today i, and that could basically be how you start your ritual of, you know, talking about your day or what you did, or were you kind of went with your thoughts or your ideas that day and anything like that. That's another way to do it. But a lot of people will see that and I think it's cliche, that's weird. And the other and I don't like it. That's fine. There's plenty of ways to start your journal that don't start with kind of a cliche vibe. One that I like to start with is actually more of a list version. So basically all start sometimes they don't know what else to write. Write down the things that I did that day. One. I got up early. Cool, awesome to I went to work. Cool. What about maybe 30 and to the store. Awesome. And then while I'm thinking about that, I'm like, oh, well I was at the store. And then I have a beginner to a page. And then at that point it's like, okay, that's where my actual journal entry started, is this story that I want to write down about when I was at the store, this mean lady Ramya over with her shopping cart or whatever. So that's another way that you can start that just kind of prompts your mind gently into a mode of expressing what happened to you that day and whatever you'd like to put on that page. So it's very important that we don't judge any of these situations. You don't judge anything about them out, not how cliche They are, not how weird they sound, not how stupid they sound on how childish they sound, and certainly not. And this is the worst one, your handwriting. Let's all take a good look at Rachel's handwriting and her horrible spelling. That just happens because I think I just tried to write too fast and I'm not really paying attention. This has always been me. I don't know if I'm dyslexic or what, but my handwriting and my spelling and my penmanship is just really kind of awful. But you know what, I don't I don't really care. It doesn't matter because I'm trying to get my thoughts out of my head and onto a page. That's my main goal. So as long as I achieved that main goal, I don't have to worry about how ridiculous this chicken scratch loads make sense. Okay? Number two, let's talk about letting go of expectations. Expectations are really, really going to challenge you in the beginning because we all have a preconceived notion of what our journal should be filled with. So expectations are going to be the thing that gets in the way of you continuing to journal after you've started. So let's say you get through all of this, you stop judging how you start and you start writing about your day and it's cool. But then say you run an entire entry and then the next day you write another entry. And maybe maybe page number two has a certain vibe that you didn't expect was going to happen and you don't really like it. And so you're like, I don't know, I don't like that, but that's not cool. So you take that page out, you just do just like this. Now, let's pretend like that never happens. We'll just start over. I like this, but we'll, we'll try to keep doing more like that. What you're doing in this moment as you're sticking to an expectation of what your journal should be like. And your journals now is going to be that way. Your journal is going to become whatever it becomes and you shouldn't judge, will have expectations on it, then it's just going to be limited. So the next thing that I want to talk about is hating your work once you're done, this kinda goes along with that, that whole concept of this torn out page that you didn't like. The idea of not liking your work after it's done. It's kind of a combination of, well, we first talked about judging what you're doing, your ideas and your thoughts, and having expectations. Maybe your standards are too high. Maybe you think that you should be coming up with the answer to world peace in your journal. Whatever subconscious expectations that you have, they're gonna start causing you to misalign if you don't see the result that you subconsciously or trying to find, then you're not going to like your work and that's gonna be a problem. So while you're, while you're starting, b, be gentle on yourself. When you've started to write and you're kind of getting a vibe going. Don't think that it should be something that it's not just let it be what it is. And then once you've gotten some work done and you're so you've finished an entry and you look at it, don't hate it. It just basically appreciate it for what it is in that moment, that day. 3. Finding the First Words: So sometimes the hardest part for a journal or is coming up with what to say on any given day. So entries are not all the same and they don't all have to have the same topics of the same ideas or the same flow. Sometimes I've written poetry instead of an entry. Sometimes I've written a ShoppingList pay has I had no other paper at hand. But an entry is just that it doesn't have to be something grandiose or earth-shattering. But here's a couple of ways that you can use to start your entry if you're feeling stuck. The first way that I start every entry is to basically just use the date. So Today is February fifth of 2019. So this particular page, I start with my date and then I would just start writing, right? Because this comes very naturally to me with practice. And it will come very natural to you as practice in the future. But today, let's start with this sentence starter. There was a moment today when, and basically, you can say almost anything at this point. There was a moment today when I felt a certain way. There was a moment today when I realized something in particular, there was a moment today where I remembered a moment maybe in the past. So this can go a lot of different ways. All you have to do is write this first sentence and I think to yourself, what moments happened today. Ok, so that's one way to do it. Let's say that you use that on a bunch of times and then it stops working for you. Or you just want to change it up and have a different one every day. Let's do this. This week. I felt like I, and this could also go many different ways, but it's a little more limiting because we've already said that you have a feeling. So there's a feeling. But you could you could expand on this because it's felt like i, so instead of this week, I felt, and then all you can really put in maybe would be an emotion that might be the only more creativity that you have at the moment. But with adding these last two words this week, I felt like I, now you've kinda put the ball back in your own core. It's not only about emotions. You could say, I felt like I wanted to do something. I felt like I could fly. I felt like there was a place in the world for all the little children. And I mean, you never know you could go almost anywhere with a sentence like this that you do have to think a little bit outside the box. Let's try another one. I almost can't explain this. So this one's more challenging and you might try if some of your other prompts are starters aren't really working for you. Or if you're feeling some complex emotions. I almost can't explain this. This is a concept where a kinda challenges your brain to think in new words in different terms. Because you're giving basically your prefacing. You're saying I almost can't. But then you're saying, but I am the end and you can, you can use this as a way to write more abstractly to maybe use concepts instead of facts to, to, to write in more of an esoteric by. You could also add to the end of this something like, but I'm going to try. And basically saying a statement like that is a way for you to just start off on the right foot. If you were to read this a year from now, you would kinda be like, whoa, what's going to happen? What happened me on this day? This is interesting. And the same thing kinda happens to your brain as you write this sentence. It kind of forces your brain to think in a fresh way. So this is a good sentence starter. If you look in the project section, you will find a PDF that is called writing exercises. And there are several options on that patient is a couple of different sentence starters. There are different than these ones. And there are things that you can try writing on that page for exercise purposes just to practice. Or you can actually utilize them in your own journal and start a whole entry off of them. All right. Go ahead and get to practicing. Okay. 4. Doodles!: Let's talk about doodling. It's really important in your journal to have a few fun little doodles here and there. Because not only do they add character to your pages and they make you kinda look at him and be like, yeah, it's cool. But they also kind of leave a sort of association in your, in your memory. So I have journals where I have doodles that I did because I didn't know what to write that day. Or I was dealing with something that I couldn't put it into words or I was facing a really big challenge. And does nothing I said ever seem to measure up to the way I felt. So what I did was I worked on a doodle or a picture or a little drawing. And I'll be the first to admit I have terrible, terrible drawings. And I think my skill as a artist, when it comes to pen and pad, or really, really low. But that didn't stop me. And the reason that I really appreciate a lot of those doodles is because when I open the page and I see something that I drew, it takes me back to that time in that place and I remember what I was going through. And to me that that's more valuable sometimes than the words that I might have just tried to force myself to put out there. So value Doodles because they can be highly versatile. First, they can definitely be something that you emotionally resonate with. They could be something that you connect an emotion or feeling or an experience too. Second, you can use them to cover up mistakes, which is probably something I should practice more often because I make a lot of mistakes. My spelling is terrible and my penmanship has a lot to be desired. So doodling can be something that you use to kind of cover up the fact that you goofed up and you drew or you wrote something incorrectly or you crossed it out and then you don't like the way it looks. And another thing you can do with doodles is you can basically use that as another way to meditate or relax. If you don't really feel like stressing yourself out by forming full sentences. Or if you just don't feel like sitting still. Doodling is honestly active meditation. That's why they have a lot of adult coloring books. That's why a lot of people create Mandela's, which was really pretty designs that are kind of symmetrical and beautiful from the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies. So those things are very, very helpful and beneficial. They go right along with the values that journaling brings to you. So definitely I think they go hand in hand, so don't be surprised if eventually, even if you resist it, you find a couple of little doodles in the margins or across an entire page of your journal. 5. Mistakes and Their Making...: So let's talk a little bit about making mistakes. Mistakes happen, whether we like it or not. And it's basically what we do with it that determines whether or not we're going to be okay with it in the future. So looking back on your entries, if you see a bunch of mistakes, what are you gonna do? Are you going to be like, I can't write or hashtag, I got problems with spelling. Or, you know, judge yourself harshly. You really wanna make sure that when you glance back at your previous pages and all the entries that you've so dutifully put in that you're proud of them. So if you're really judgmental of things like your mistakes or your scribbles, or maybe some accidents that you made with your handwriting. Then definitely practice the skill of fixing your mistakes but doodles so that you can see something pretty when you look back and not be so hard on yourself. I would say Think of your journal as like Canvas and less of just a bunch of lines for text. Forgive and forget, because you're never gonna write anything if you don't let go of the mistakes that you made. And then also when thinking about your journal and you're looking back over those pages, think of it like it's telling you a story, but it's a true story. And so it's full of pitfalls and problems and triumphs and really rough days such as be gentle trainers to be to judgey or ashamed of your work. Because really in the end, it's all beautiful. If you're a little crafty or you want to get into something a little different, you can definitely check out my other skill share class. That's all about creating a thread bound journal. Thank you so much for hanging out with me for this class today. I had a lot of fun going over my horrible handwriting and my various horrible misspellings with you. All I know is it's probably silly and funny and weird to you, but I have never been able to spell well and I write too fast and my penmanship is terrible and for some reason, I will capitalize random letters in the middle of words for no apparent reason. It's kind of embarrassing, but it's just another way for me to show you guys that no matter what kind of issues you think you have with journaling or writing in general. They are nothing compared to what I have exposed to you today. So definitely get out your journal, get out a pen or even vicious as simple notebook or some writing paper. Just start writing today and have fun with it. Don't be hard on yourself. See you next time.