100 Quotes That Anyone Who Keeps A Journal (Or Wants To Start!) Will Understand

100 Quotes That Anyone Who Keeps A Journal (Or Wants To Start!) Will Understand

Journaling is a powerful tool, whether you’re looking to calm your mind, process your emotions, or raise your self-awareness. And if you’re not used to putting your thoughts on paper, don’t worry. There’s no right or wrong way to journal. 

This collection of quotes will inspire and motivate you to pick up your pen and start writing. Enjoy!

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” - Ernest Hemingway

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” - Joan Didion

"Keeping a journal allows people to identify underlying narratives and repetitive thought patterns. When an emotion is raw and fresh, jotting down notes creates something tangible to look back at later when in a less overwhelmed state. Often people are able to observe that they experience moments of heightened emotion through a lens of negative story-telling, explaining unfortunate circumstances by a belief that they are unworthy or unlovable. When their executive function comes back online, they can examine these narratives more logically and begin to dismantle them. This style of journaling helps to build confidence and create new thought patterns that may serve them better. " - Indigo Stray Conger, LMFT, CST

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” - Christina Baldwin"About 15 years ago, I worked with someone just starting out in recovery from severe addiction. This person also suffered from depression, PTSD, and low self-esteem. A part of their treatment program was to keep a regular journal. It became such an integral part of their healing journey that they went on to publish a memoir about their experience. Today, they're helping others navigate their way through mental illness and addiction." Chris Lemig, CHT

“Journaling is a great way to pay attention to “how it all came to be.” In looking back, you gain insight into (and appreciation for) your challenges, lessons, and perseverance.”- Melissa Steginus

"When I worked as a school counselor, many students that journaled reported feeling more centered and in control of their thoughts and their experiences. Some found emotional benefits and an ability to deal with problems more intentionally. Others used journaling to help solidify their dreams and goals. " - Tanya J. Peterson, NCC " 

I find the act of writing my thoughts out both frightening and healing. I am appalled at what is shackled in the depths of my heart, but I sense a release when it transfers from this inner depth of me to the page beneath my pen. My vision is beginning to clear and shrouded events are coming into alignment with some degree of clarity.” – Jenny Knipfer

"The biggest change I’ve seen in clients after they start journaling is decreased avoidance, avoidance of unwanted thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Too many people try to escape their problems and turn off their brains by staring at screens. Journaling becomes a safe and controllable way to expose yourself to discomfort. With less avoidance, clients come to therapy with a better understanding of their issues and are more receptive to working on them." Eric Patterson, LPC

"My patients that have adopted the habit of journaling find it to be a good emotional release.  I have seen it improve sleep patterns and decrease overall stress.  When a patient journals we are more able to notice patterns of mood and oftentimes what the external factors are that cause the changes in mood." Sonia Martin, LCSW

“Documenting little details of your everyday life becomes a celebration of who you are.” – Carolyn V. Hamilton

Each bullet journal becomes another volume in the story of your life. Does it represent the life you want to live? If not, then leverage the lessons you've learned to change the narrative in the next volume.” – Ryder Carroll

Journal writing gives us insights into who we are, who we were, and who we can become.” – Sandra Marinella

“The pages afforded glimpses into my soul where I'd hidden it, behind masks of paper and ink.” - Rachel L. Schade

I journal my joy, and my joy expands exponentially forevermore. So be it.” - Amy Leigh Mercree

“Writing is the only way I have to explain my own life to myself.” - Pat Conroy

"A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to 'become.' It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.” - Brad Wilcox

“Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distill what’s important and what’s not.” - Martina Navratilova

“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.” - Julia Cameron

“Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.” - Robin Sharma

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” - William Wordsworth

“Journaling helps you to see and appreciate how strong you are within.” - Jeremiah Say

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” - Natalie Goldberg

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” - Hal Elrod

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” - Maya Angelou

“Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.” -  Mina Murray

"Keep a notebook. Travel with it, eat with it, sleep with it. Slap into it every stray thought that flutters up into your brain. Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter. And lead pencil markings endure longer than memory.” - Jack London

"I guess in my diary I’m not afraid to be boring. It’s not my job to entertain anyone in my diary." - David Sedaris

“As there are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write.” - William Makepeace Thackeray

“Never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.” - Salman Rushdie

“A diary is useful during conscious, intentional, and painful spiritual evolutions. ... An intimate diary is interesting especially when it records the awakening of ideas.” - André Gide

“That is what journaling is about. It’s a break from the world. A framework for the day ahead. A coping mechanism for troubles of the hours just past. A revving up of your creative juices, for relaxing and clearing.” - Ryan Holiday

“Writing eases my suffering. Writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.” - Gao Xingjian

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” - Louis L’Amour

“Your journal is like your best friend, you don’t have to pretend with it, you can be honest and write exactly how you feel.” - Bukola Ogunwale

“We can only open our hearts to those we utterly trust, such as the accepting page.” - Gillie Bolton

“Putting pen to paper is a mystical way to access your most profound truths” – Marie Forleo

“In the journal I am at ease.” - Anais Nin

“Writing distills, crystallizes, and clarifies thought and helps break the whole into parts.” – Stephen Covey

“A journal is your completely unaltered voice.” - Lucy Dacus

“I don’t journal to ‘be productive.’ I don’t do it to find great ideas or to put down prose I can later publish. The pages aren’t intended for anyone but me. It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found.” - Tim Ferriss

“Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating—all the various ways we can be wrong.” - Zadie Smith

“Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell.” – Louisa May Alcott

“This pouring thoughts out on paper has relieved me. I feel better and full of confidence and resolution.” - Diet Eman

“Don’t bend, don’t water it down, don’t try to make it logical, don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” - Franz Kafka

“If you’re serious about becoming a wealthy, powerful, sophisticated, healthy, influential, cultured and unique individual, keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory.” - Jim Rohn

“I love my journal as much as I love my phone. I find it to be a big part of my self-care to reflect on my day and write words that inspire me.” - Franchesca Ramsey

“Journaling is paying attention to the inside for the purpose of living well from the inside out.” - Lee Wise

“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” - Jennifer Williamson

“In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself.” - Susan Sontag

“What a comfort is this journal. I tell myself to myself and throw the burden on my book and feel relieved.” - Anne Lister

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” - Anne Frank 

“People who keep journals have lived twice.” - Jessamyn West

“Your subconscious mind is trying to help you all the time. That’s why I keep a journal — not for chatter but for mostly the images that flow into the mind or little ideas. I keep a running journal, and I have all of my life, so it’s like your gold mine when you start writing.” - Jim Harrison

“Journal what you love, what you hate, what’s in your head, what’s important. Journaling organizes your thoughts; allows you to see things in a concrete way that otherwise you might not see. Focus on what you think you need to find in your art.” - Kay Walkingstick

“For years I’ve been advocating the power and pleasure of being grateful. I kept a gratitude journal for a full decade without fail – and urged you all to do the same.” - Oprah Winfrey

“Because being CEO can feel lonely, I journal religiously as a way to express my thoughts, feelings, and aspirations. Looking back at earlier entries helps me reflect on challenges and celebrate progress and successes.” - Rana el Kaliouby

"Is not the poet bound to write his own biography? Is there any other work for him but a good journal? We do not wish to know how his imaginary hero, but how he, the actual hero, lived from day to day." - Henry David Thoreau

"Paper is to write things down that we need to remember. Our brains are used to think." - Albert Einstein

"Often as a poet I find that I am somewhat outside an experience I want to hold onto, consciously taking mental notes or writing them down in my journal—for fear that I will forget." - Natasha Trethewey

"I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train." - Oscar Wilde

"When I go back and read my journals or fiction, I am always surprised. I may not remember having those thoughts, but they still exist and I know they are mine, and it's all part of making sense of who I am." - Amy Tan

“You must remember that your story matters. What you write has the power to save a life, sometimes that life is your own.” - Stalina Goodwin

"A word after a word after a word is power." - Margaret Atwood

"Tears are words that need to be written." - Paulo Coelho

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster." – Isaac Asimov

"Words are a lens to focus one's mind." Ayn Rand

“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” - Barbara Kingsolver

“Sitting for even five minutes with a journal offers a rare cease-fire in the battle of daily life” – Alexandra Johnson

“To write a diary is to make a series of choices about what to omit, what to forget. A memorable sandwich, an unmemorable flight of stairs. A memorable bit of conversation surrounded by chatter that no one records.” – Sarah Manguso

“Keeping a journal: The short entries are often as dry as instant tea. Writing them down is like pouring hot water over them to release their aroma” – Ernst Jünger

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” - Flannery O’Connor

“I must try to set aside half an hour in some part of my day, and consecrate it to diary writing. Give it a name and a place, and then perhaps, such is the human mind, I shall come to think it a duty, and disregard other duties for it.” - Virginia Woolf

“Always carry a notebook. And I mean always. The short-term memory only retains information for three minutes; unless it is committed to paper you can lose an idea for ever.” - Will Self

“The true purpose of illustrated journaling [is] to celebrate your life. No matter how small or mundane or redundant, each drawing and little essay you write to commemorate an event or an object or a place makes it all the more special.” - Danny Gregory

“If kids reflect on their days, they will become better problem-solvers of life.” - Trevor Carss

But I promise you that if you will keep your journals and records, they will indeed be a source of great inspiration to your families, to your children, your grandchildren, and others, on through the generations.” - Pres. Spencer W. Kimball

“He captures memories because if he forgets them, it’s as though they didn’t happen.” - Donald Mille

“Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” – Jen Williamson

“The best time to begin keeping a journal is whenever you decide to.”Hannah Hinchman

“Journaling can be an excellent way to increase self-awareness, discover and change habits.” – Akiroq Brost

“If you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair.” - Madeleine L’Engle

“A good journal entry- like a good song, or sketch, or photograph- ought to break up the habitual and life away the film that forms over the eye, the finger, the tongue, the heart. A good journal entry ought to be a love letter to the world.”Anthony Doerr

“I write awe-thoughts flowing in my mind.” - Lailah Gifty Akita

You’ll write it not because there’s no possibility it’ll be found but because it costs too much to not write it.” - China Miéville

“These handwritten words in the pages of my journal confirm that from an early age I have experienced each encounter in my life twice: once in the world, and once again on the page.” - Terry Tempest Williams

“When my journal appears, many statues must come down.” - Duke of Wellington

“Successful journals break the deadlock of introspective obsession” - Alexandra Johnson

“There are certain things that make me relax, like writing my journal. That’s the only time that I’m relaxing. It’s the only time I really get to examine myself.” - Jessica Simpson

“I find the experience of keeping a journal much more creative on paper than on a computer. When I write, I’m physically immersed in the world and slow down, whereas on-screen, I use my senses in a less engaging way – and I skim more.” - Keri Smith

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” - Jodi Picoult

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” - Sylvia Plath

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” - Lisa See

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” - Anais Nin

“I started writing a journal, and I was learning so much along the way.” - Jay Leno

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

“Journaling increases your self-confidence. It helps you look at far you’ve come and how you overcame previous seemingly ‘impossible’ obstacles.” - Jeremiah Say

What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it.” – Sir Walter Scott 

“Keeping a journal implies hope.” - Erica Jung

 “A diary means yes indeed.” - Gertrude Stein

What's your favorite quote about journaling? Let us know in the comments. And while you're at it, make sure to subscribe to Silk + Sonder today. 

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