27 Powerful Quotes About Journaling That Will Inspire You to Write

If you like to journal, you’re really going to love these quotes about journaling! It’s all about inspiration and motivation, my friend! Plus… knowing that you’re not the only one who has this… um… relationship… with pen, paper, and motivational quotes! 😉 

Text powerful quotes about journaling on white background over image of open lined journal on rustic wood table.

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How to Use These Quotes About Journaling

Reading these journaling quotes will absolutely inspire you to pick up your journal and start writing! 

Quotes like these can help you to gain a perspective that you’ve never have before. Sometimes they’ll remind you of a certain feeling or knowledge that you used to have but had forgotten.

Memorize your favorites. 

Write them down in your journal with doodles or whatever you like to do that will make them stand out.

If you’ve been a little bored with your journal lately, use these quotes as motivation to look into more creative ways to journal

Powerful Quotes About Journal Writing 

“Successful journals break the deadlock of introspective obsession”
— Alexandra Johnson,  Leaving a Trace: On Keeping a Journal


Ernest Hemingway quote 'Write hard and clear about what hurts.' on lightly lined background.

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

“If you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you.”
— Madeleine L’Engle

“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, Make It Write!: Put Your Pain To Work Writing Journal

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

“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, The History of Henry Esmond


Hannah Hinchman quote 'The best time to begin keeping a journal is whenever you decide to.' on orange tinted background of sunrise on frosted grasses.

“The best time to begin keeping a journal is whenever you decide to.”
— Hannah Hinchman, A Life In Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal

“The starting point of discovering who you are, your gifts, your talents, your dreams, is being comfortable with yourself. Spend time alone. Write in a journal.”
— Robin Sharma

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

“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

“I am anxious, and it soothes me to express myself here. It is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.”
— Mina Murray’s journal entry from Bram Stoker’s Dracula


William Wordsworth quote 'Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.' on lightly lined background.

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

“In the journal I do not just express myself more openly than I could to any person; I create myself. The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather — in many cases — offers an alternative to it.”
— Susan Sontag, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963

“….and on occasion I like to write in pencil, because I need to know that I can erase the words, even if I never do.”
— Bruce Black

“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


Flannery O'Connor quote 'I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.' on lightly crumpled grid paper background.

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

“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

“Documenting little details of your everyday life becomes a celebration of who you are.”
— Carolyn V. Hamilton, Art Improv 101: How to Create a Personal Art Journal

“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, The Bullet Journal Method: Track the Past, Order the Present, Design the Future


Christina Baldwin quote 'Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.' on lightly lined background.

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”
— Christina Baldwin

“Let’s end the notion that ideas have no value unless they turn into a business or have some other practical use. Save them all in a beautiful book like Leonardo did. You might want to give them away someday, perhaps to someone who needs an idea. Or your great-great-grandchildren might love knowing what a fascinating mind you had. Or your biographer might be very happy after you’re gone.”
— Barbara Sher, Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams

“Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.”
— Julia Cameron, The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life

“For me, writing is a way of thinking. I write in a journal a lot. I’m a very impatient person, so writing and meditation allow me to slow down and watch my mind; they are containers that keep me in place, hold me still.”
— Ruth Ozeki


Natalie Goldberg quote 'Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.' on pale peach bokeh background.

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

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

“I never wrote things down to remember;
I always wrote things down so I could forget.”
— Matthew McConaughey, Greenlights

“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

How to Harness the Power of Journaling

‘It sounds like journaling could be great for me, but I’ve never tried it. How do I start?’

The very first thing you MUST understand is that journaling isn’t meant to be perfect. You don’t need to journal in a certain way for it to be ‘right’ — it only has to be right FOR YOU. And that’s the beauty of journaling — it becomes whatever you need it to be. 

Turning your journal time into a mini-ritual gives it importance, makes it something you can look forward to doing for yourself as a form of self-care

Your journal is your private sanctuary, your safe haven. It’s a place you can vist at any moment to express your inner thoughts, hopes, and fears without worrying about judgement or ridicule.

When you start journaling your life, the benefits might take a little while to become apparent, so be patient! Also, don’t force yourself to feel or write something because you ‘think’ you should. Just let things come naturally, even if progress is slower than you expect.

Before long, journaling will no longer be something you schedule in to your day. Instead, it will become precious self-care time that you look forward to do. This is partly because it becomes a habit, but mostly it will be due to the results you feel.

This can become extremely empowering for your life. With practice, journaling allows you to become a much more peaceful person, and ultimately, a happier person.

To that end, in the spirit of personal improvement and self-care, don’t be afraid to use nice tools for your journaling.

Pen to paper — Whether writing in a handcrafted leather journal (I use this refillable journal) or in a simple notebook, the hand-brain coordination required to write by hand can be an important part of the journaling experience. Plus, it’s ultra-portable. To start with, anything you can write on will work.

As for your writing instrument, you can always use a pencil as mentioned in Bruce Black’s quote. 😉 Sometimes I do that. 

But most of the time, I prefer to use a pen that writes smoothly, because pens that scratch or skip drive me crazy. My favorites are Pilot G-2 07 for a bolder line and Pentel RSVP Medium for a finer line.

Not sure which journal is right for you? Here are my top 6 picks for best journals for writing.

Computer — Not gonna lie, I often journal on my laptop because I type MUCH faster than I write by hand. It’s so easy to open a Word doc or Google doc and just start letting the words fly. However, it’s not as portable or as flexible as a regular journal, which is why I tend to switch back and forth.

Speaking — You can use a speech-to-text program to speak your thoughts and then save them as writings for future review. My favorite app is otter.ai, which syncs across all of my devices and is easy to copy/paste into document form.

Once you have your tools to journal, you can just start writing! But if you need a little help, grab a set of journal writing prompts to get you started.

If starting a journal ‘from scratch’ feels too difficult, you can always try one of these:

True You: A Self-Discovery Journal of Prompts and Exercises to Inspire Reflection and Growth – by Dr. Kelly Vincent

Empowered: A Motivational Journal for Women – by Michaela Renee Johnson MA LMFT

Present, Not Perfect: A Journal for Slowing Down, Letting Go, and Loving Who You Are – by Aimee Chase

Please remember, if your writing begins to frighten or confuse you, seek out a health professional to help you make sense of it. They can help you work through those feelings and get perspective.

More Quotes and Journaling Resources

24 Intentional Living Quotes to Inspire Your Best Life

32 Journal Prompts for Self-Discovery and Clarity

Self-Confidence Quotes: 33 Inspirational Quotes You Need Today

Journal Prompts For Women: 20 Essential Questions

Now that you’ve reminded yourself of the power of journaling, there’s no time like the present to put these inspirational quotes about journaling to use!

Grab your journal, think about your favorite deep journaling quote, and start writing!

Build Your Best Life
You’ve got this!


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