How to Write a Diary: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Write a Diary: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Write a Diary: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

A journal is a wonderful way to express emotions, record dreams or ideas, and reflect on routine in a safe, intimate space. There is no right or wrong way to use it, but there are some basic tricks to make the most of your writing opportunity. If you're not sure what to write, use inspirational phrases to start new records.


Part 1 of 3: Having subject ideas

Write a Diary Step 1

Step 1. Write about the day's events

Think about everything that happened during the day and record the high points or what you felt. Even if it's been another day like every other day, you may be surprised at the depth of thoughts and feelings that surface once you start going into detail.

  • Feel free to dive into a specific topic as you list the day's events.
  • For example, write about the English test you took at school. Do you think it went well? Would you like to have studied more? Looking forward to seeing the note?
Write a Diary Step 2

Step 2. Reflect on your goals for the future and how to reach them

Make a list of short-term and long-term goals. Then read each item and detail an action plan to achieve the objective in question. Break the goal down into smaller steps and tasks that can be done piecemeal to take the weight off your back.

  • For example, you can list short-term goals, such as studying for a math test or going to the gym for an aerobic workout.
  • Long-term goals might be: choosing a university course and applying for entrance exams, or saving money to buy a car.
Write a Diary Step 3

Step 3. Make notes about your feelings and mood for the day

You don't need to contextualize emotions – just describe them accurately. Later, you can build on these feelings and thoughts to make a more detailed record of the day. Focus on one emotion or thought at a time to explore it deeply.

Let's say you're sad. Write in your journal why you are feeling this way and what events may have contributed

Write a Diary Step 4

Step 4. Copy inspirational phrases and explain the personal meaning they have for you

Such phrases can come from anywhere: from a famous person, from your favorite book or movie, or even from a friend or family member. Any sentence that generates thoughts is a good start. Copy it in the diary, mentioning the source. Then explain the meaning in your own words.

Take a sentence like, "There's no way to move forward without taking the first step" and write a page with your interpretation, explaining what the first step you should take to make certain dreams come true

Write a Diary Step 5

Step 5. Explore your favorite subjects or hobbies in depth

Make a list of topics or hobbies you love. Maybe you're a fan of movies, sports, food, travel, art or fashion. There are endless themes to choose from, as long as they are interesting and a source of inspiration. Then select an item from the list and write about it in your journal.

  • Are you into sports a lot? Dedicate a page to explain why you love a sport, what your team is at heart and what personal goals you have in relation to sport.
  • Love to paint? Register your favorite painters, the most expressive painting styles in your opinion, the names of your latest works and ideas for future paintings.

Part 2 of 3: Recording Personal Stuff

Write a Diary Step 7

Step 1. Write the date at the top of the page or on the first line

Maybe you don't log every day, so it's nice to date it so you know when you last wrote. Since the journal is for a long period of time, dates also help with organization and contextualization (when you are going to reread the records in the future).

If you like, also note the time, day of the week and location

Write a Diary Step 8

Step 2. Start writing with a subject in mind

Most people pick up the diary when they feel they need to put something down on paper. It can be any theme – something that happened that day, a dream you had, a plan for the future, an event, an idea that came up, a strong emotion or a mood.

While writing, feel free to go off course and talk about whatever topic you prefer! However, having something in mind before you start helps get you started

Write a Diary Step 9

Step 3. Start with "Dear Diary" if you like

This is a personal choice, so start with what feels right. In the beginning, talking directly to the journal can be like talking to a friend. Maybe you prefer this style if you're new to this universe, but you can also “talk to yourself”.

Write a Diary Step 10

Step 4. Write sentences in the first person

Diaries are very personal and, in this context, it is good to use sentences in the first person, as they are a free space for you to be the center of the world! Many people find this aspect very cathartic, especially if the intention is to explore personal thoughts, emotions and reactions.

For example, write something like, "I'm looking forward to this week's volleyball game. I've practiced a lot and feel ready, but I'm so nervous I can barely eat."

Write a Diary Step 11

Step 5. Be honest

The diary is cathartic for many as it is a way of letting go of inhibitions and being truthful. Feel free to record your emotions, whether positive or negative, without hiding anything. Remember that no one will ever read what you've written, so let go of your chains.

  • An example of honest writing is: "I'm jealous of Felipe's new car. While I'm happy for him, I think it's very unfair that I get a zero car from my parents kissing me while I drain every day to save money and I just might buy a used one."
  • Are you afraid someone will find and read your diary? There are ways to avoid the problem. If it's a physical journal, use a padlock, and if it's digital, protect the file with a password.
  • Many people have epiphanies about themselves and their relationship to true journal writing. Open your mind to get to know yourself better during the process.
Write a Diary Step 12

Step 6. Don't worry too much about spelling and grammar

The diary is a safe place to let off steam without the pressure of judgment from others. Therefore, write freely and without inhibition. The important thing is not to produce a perfect and error-free text – the important thing is to get your feelings and thoughts down on paper. Scribble the first things that pop into your mind as you reflect on your day, your mood and your emotional state.

Some people like to take a few minutes at the beginning to write anything without thinking too much

Write a Diary Step 13

Step 7. Be very detailed to preserve certain moments for posterity

The diary helps to perpetuate thoughts and emotions. In addition, it allows you to immediately record events that have just happened, that is, when the details are still fresh in your head. Because memory sometimes betrays, especially over time, recording events in vivid detail is a way to preserve the moment exactly as it happened.

Not everyone does well with detailed writing, so don't feel obligated to write long, verbose sentences. If you find it easier to express what you feel in a few words or even in list form, go ahead

Part 3 of 3: Making a journaling habit

Write a Diary Step 14

Step 1. Choose a specific time of day to write in your journal

Many people find it difficult to find a window to engage in the diary and others simply end up forgetting about it. One thing that helps is setting a specific time for writing each day to cultivate the habit. Eventually, the habit becomes routine, but in the meantime, schedule a reminder on your cell phone!

  • How about taking a moment before going to sleep for the activity?
  • Don't create an impossible schedule. Plan to write something three times a week if you can't dedicate yourself to the diary every day, for example.
Write a Diary Step 15

Step 2. Don't write too long at first

You don't need to reserve one large window per day for the diary! In the beginning, a good goal is a ten to fifteen minute session. Scribble the most urgent and expressive feelings and emotions, and if you have more time during the week, go back and add the details!

  • You can even write items in list form instead of running text if time is short.
  • Planning for an extended session can be counterproductive. Journal writing is a form of relief valve, not a boring obligation. Take it easy!
  • Choose a freer time to write without haste and without other obligations to fulfill.
Write a Diary Step 17

Step 3. Make illustrations if you prefer to draw rather than write

Some people find it easier to express emotions through drawing. If you feel like you're more likely to meet your goal of using the diary if there's art in the middle, take this approach!

Quick drawings can also help you record something to remember later in the absence of time to write


  • Journal writing should be a cathartic experience and not a chore. Enjoy the moment!
  • To disguise it, stick a label with "Math Notebook" or "Escribation Notebook" on the cover.

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