WTRW: Journals

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For What to Read Wednesday this week I was thinking about family and Thanksgiving being tomorrow and Christmas soon to follow. It made me think of how much I love this time of year and how much I love my family. And not just my family that is with me on Earth right now, but my family that has passed on and the family to come in the future. I love knowing that we're all connected as a family. It reminded me of how sometimes when I write in my journal I think about the things I want my posterity to know about me, about our time, or just some truths I've learned in my life. Of course not every time I write is with them in mind because I definitely have gone on angry, unbecoming rants in my journals, or talked extensively about the mundane day-to-day of my life.

And one year I had a goal to write in my journal everyday and some of those entries are just "I'm tired." Though those two words were a pretty accurate portrayal of my life. But I digress.

I have been writing in a journal since second grade. Not continuously everyday, or week, but I love writing in my journals and even more I love going back and reading my journals. It's fun to see what was important to me when I was eight or nine years old, what impacted me as a teenager, and what life lessons finally got pounded into my head as a college student. I truly love reading my own journals! I also enjoy reading journals of my ancestors or other people who lived before me. If you can't learn from the past you're doomed to repeat it, right? (This is probably why I also love non-fiction so much).

So I thought I would encourage you to write In your journal more, or to get a journal and start writing because no matter where you are In life you have wisdom and personality to share with those who will come after you. I have gathered a list of journals and pens that I love and that will help you (I hope) to love journaling as much as I do. Or I think they're perfect gifts for anyone in your life too. A way of saying "I think you have something awesome to say."


  • A spiral bound soft cover. My current journal is from a company called Fringe. I actually bought two of these journals because I love them so much. Mine are spiral bound and have a soft faux leather cover (one is a wine color and the other is brown). It's college ruled, has 192 pages, and is just so beautiful. I couldn't find my exact ones online but I foundsimilar journals on Amazon from the same company.
  • Plain black hardcover notebooks. This two pack reminds me of some journals I bought in the past. They are small enough to fit in nightstand without taking up too much room but not so small you feel like you can only fit 3 sentences to a page. These have rave reviews and right now there's a $2 coupon for them on Amazon.
  • A Mom and Me Journal. Above I stated that journaling is something that helps me think about my family. That's why I love the concept (and have heard really awesome things about) of this journal! A journal shared by a mom and her son (or daughter) where you answer prompts and write back and forth to each other. A way to see the world through each other's eyes and gain new perspective AND grow closer together. I can't wait until my son can write so we can do this together.
  • 5-Year Journal. If you feel you're not the most verbose or don't know what you would write in your journal this is the perfect journal for you. The 5 Year Journal asks you a question for everyday of the year. Underneath the question is a place for you to write your answer for the next five years. This makes it easier for you to go back and read what you wrote (because when the year is over you start at the beginning again). And the room for writing isn't extensive so you can keep your answers short and sweet. It's a fun journal I've been eyeing for years.
  • A gratitude journal. Showing gratitude can change your life. If you're feeling in a rut a gratitude journal could be just the thing for you. Sure any journal could be a gratitude journal but it's easier when the journal is asking you questions and guiding you to find the things you are grateful for each day.

Journaling Pens

When it comes to writing in journals you definitely want to use a pen. Pencils fade immensely over time and then your memories and thoughts are lost. While any pen will work, I personally prefer a fine point pen and will recommend a few of my favorites here that won't break the bank.
  • Pilot G2 gel pens. These are reliable, write smoothly, and are refillable.
  • Sharpie Art Pens. I love, love, love the fine point on these and all the fun colors they come in.
  • Zebra Pen Journaling Set. This comes with pens and double ended markers. They make journaling a more fun and creative art project than just writing down your story.
  • Pigma Micron pens. These pens are the most expensive of my list at $1/pen but there's a reason. They're awesome! My husband got me these last year and I have loved how smooth they write and the fine lines they make.
  • RSVP Pentel Pens. My last rec is the cheapest (less than $4 for an 8 pack) but an old reliable. The RSVP pens come in fun colors and write smoothly. The lines aren't the finest but if you just need a good pen and nothing fancy these are great pens. Also great to give to kids who lose things often as they are cheap to replace. My favorite color to write with was the turquoise and the purple from this set.
I hope that you will consider taking up journaling even as a casual hobby. Would you like to hear more tips for journaling? Let us know in the comments below!