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In today's fast-paced world, more and more people are turning to journal writing to calm their nerves and sort out confusion. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Journaling" explores the history of journal writing and explains how to get started keeping your own. It points out the benefits of journaling and gives guidelines so that you can determine the type of journal that is right for you. If you are ready to begin writing, it discusses the elements of a good journal and helps you decide what to write about.
Writing a journal is a very personal thing and you should do it in your own way rather than expect to be told how to do it. This book will give you a good foundation from which you can use your imagination to create a written record that means something to you. My own journal is a mixture of travel jottings, scrapbook, reflective diary and reminiscences of a full life.
So read this book, enjoy it and then write something...anything! The main point of the book is worth reinforcing - write whatever you want just as long as it brings you either pleasure, comfort, satisfaction or a mixture of all three. Good luck!
I also didn't like this book's strict adherence to the idea that you should force yourself to write every day for a certain amount of time to get yourself into the habit. I'm not saying this isn't a good thing to do - I think that in many cases it would be - but I don't think journal writing should be something you force yourself to do. If you start out with that mentality, it's less likely that you'll have fun with writing in your journal. The book says that deciding to keep a journal is making a commitment, and that if you don't think you can stick to a regular writing schedule then maybe you shouldn't make that sort of commitment. I disagree with this. I think that getting yourself to write in your journal every day is a good way to give yourself the habit of writing in your journal, as is having a regular writing time, but the most important thing is to enjoy it, whether you write every day or only every couple of months.
In the section on the family journal, which is a journal that all the members of the family get together to write in, one of the suggestions the book gives for keeping teenagers participating in the family journal is to take away privileges if they refuse to participate. I think that journal writing should be something to enjoy, and punishing teenagers for not participating in it makes it nearly certain that they won't view it this way. Journal writing should not be seen as a chore, and if this mindset is imposed on teenagers then it's much less likely that they'll want to keep a journal after they're grown up.
All in all, I think that this book focuses too much on journal writing as a responsibility and a method of goal-setting and self-improvement, and not enough on self-expression, creativity, and enjoying journal writing.