“A fountain pen on an open journal” by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

How To Start A Journaling Habit Today

Lessons from journaling 1,000,000 words

Bryan Collins
Published in
8 min readMay 16, 2018


Years ago, I hated writing. And yet, I wanted to earn an income from writing, publish a best-selling book and call myself an author. Instead, I avoided the blank page as if it carried the bubonic plague. I wanted to build a career as a professional journalist, so I could impress my college class mates. Instead, I collected one rejection letter after the next. I had quite the pile.

Every time I set out to write consistently, I failed. Then, I tried journaling. This habit, which I’ve practiced on and off for over 20 years now, ignited my love for writing. It also helped me become a better person.

Here’s how journaling affected me and how you can start practicing this habit.

A collection of my old journals

I Quit A Job Because Of Journaling

Several years ago, I held a job as a care worker in a residential care home in the community.

I spent my working days cleaning the care home, administering medicating and teaching the residents how to shop and cook for themselves.

Back then, the Irish government was busy bailing out banks. My friends were out of work. Ireland was bankrupt. But my job was secure. Go me.

There was just one problem: I was terrible at it.

One night, I came home and said to my wife: “They want us to be caretakers, cleaners, doctors, nurses, mechanics, personal assistants and more, and it’s never enough. I’m going insane.”

“You don’t have to,” my wife said.

“What do you mean?”

“If you hate the job so much, why don’t you just quit?”

“That’s a ridiculous idea,” I said. “I need a paying job. Why would you say something like that?”

I went upstairs to write about our argument, but instead I reread old entries from my journal. I paused when I found this one:

“After I had come home from work last Thursday, I sat in the car outside the house for 20 minutes in silence. When I…



Author of The Power of Creativity — Dublin — Advice @ http://becomeawritertoday.com — Join my newsletter @ http://bryancollins.com