Writing is an art form that creatives enjoy participating in, but it can also be a career that sometimes becomes tiring. In moments when book deadlines loom, marketing plans feel overwhelming, or the book launch is coming up and there are so many details to prepare, a simple gratitude journal can be a great help to get your mind in the right place and change pace.
Especially in this season, gratitude is a bit more top of mind, and tracking gratitude via words on a page can be a highlight to look back on in future months (or even years) when writing feels tough, discouraging, or even futile.
Like every hobby, job, or passion, writing also has highs and lows and noticing the good can go a long way in ensuring your writing journeys continues through all its seasons.
In this article, we discuss:
- What Is A Gratitude Journal?
- How To Start A Gratitude Journal
- Gratitude Journal Template
- Gratitude Journal Ideas
- Benefits Of A Gratitude Journal
- Gratitude Journal Prompts
Let’s start with a simple definition of what a gratitude journal is so we are all on the same page as we move forward.
What Is A Gratitude Journal?
One of its most simple definitions is a journal that tracks the different aspects, events, or moments you are grateful for. A gratitude journal is a way to record in the written word what triggers gratitude within you, and even what you choose to be grateful for.
Gratitude can be experienced in a variety of ways, and some events that trigger gratitude can feel like false starts. For instance, if you get your book idea on paper, organize your idea into chapters, but then get writer’s block before you write your first sentence, you may feel annoyed, not grateful.
However, imagine that you go for a hike over the weekend and the views inspire a beginning you never would’ve dreamed of otherwise. When you get home, you write the first chapter in one sitting.
This is a great example of what to include in a writer’s gratitude journal. Now that we know what this type of journal is, how do we actually start one?
How To Start A Gratitude Journal
Like every book or journal written before, the beginning depends entirely on you, the writer. Maybe you want to devote your gratitude journal to a specific season of your writing career. If you find yourself writing and publishing your first book, this is a great season of life to keep a journal.
You can track the highlights to ensure you don’t forget them. With that said, any starting point that works for you is a viable way to start your journal. Writers differ as much (and more) than their books do.
If you'd like to learn more about creating a gratitude journal as a book, check out our article on Low Content Books.
Gratitude Journal Template
Sometimes the subjective option of starting anywhere can instill a type of frozen response—limitless possibilities can be more intimidating than a hard start point. Consider using the following template if you feel stuck knowing how to begin:
Make it your intention to write in your gratitude journal five days a week. This could be weekdays, or weekends with several weekdays added. Additionally, when you write your first entry, list two to three instances in which you found yourself grateful.
Once you’ve written your list of gratitude for the day, and at the end of the five days, the week, spend the remaining two days looking over your previous entries. Next week, start the process over.
Gratitude Journal Ideas
What if you aren’t the type of person who wants to surf the web or go to your local Barnes & Noble, find an aesthetically pleasing journal, and hand write your gratitudes? There are other options for you to look into.
Consider using your Notes app on your phone (or installing one) and titling it “Gratitude Journal.” Evernote, iPhone’s Notes app, or some other method of writing your thoughts are great places to start.
If you find yourself on your computer more than your phone, use a Word document, Google Document, or Pages to track what you’re thankful for.
Have a tendency toward graphic design? Sign up for a free account on Canva and design a gratitude journal that meshes with your author brand. Track your entries here and consider printing them out later and placing it in your writing nook or office.
If you find yourself tired of writing and starting a gratitude journal seems like just one more task on your overly filled to-do list, try this alternative option: Track your gratitudes via Voice Memos on your phone or video yourself in selfie-mode speaking your gratitudes to the camera.
Benefits Of A Gratitude Journal
There are a plethora of benefits for keeping this type of journal, but some of them may surprise you. A gratitude journal is a fantastic way to track your writing journey and see it through a positive lens when the going gets tough.
This specific type of journal also helps you develop a mindset of gratitude. Knowing that you want to write down several aspects of the day you are thankful for opens your eyes to the good experiences around you.
In fact, the more you keep a gratitude journal, chances are high that you will begin to display gratitude in other ways as well. When you develop a mindset of gratefulness, you can apply this mindset to other aspects of life as well.
Your entire life can take on a new perspective simply because you decided to proactively notice a few things to be grateful for on a regular basis.
Gratitude Journal Prompts
If you’ve never filled a gratitude journal before, let alone started one, it can be helpful to have a list of prompts to spark your gratitude and get you in the mindset for this type of journaling. Feel free to use the following prompts as sentence starters to get you going.
Once you have the general idea of what to look for and express gratitude for, try scaling down your use of the prompts and writing your own list. Until that happens though, you are welcome to refer to these prompts to help out:
- I am thankful I wrote _____ amount of words today.
- I am grateful I learned how to write through one or more of the following
- A writing mentor
- Great books I read
- YouTube videos
- A writing software / program
- Trial and error
- Although I didn’t hit the sales number I wanted this month, I am thankful that…
- Watching ____ movie inspired me in [what way], and for this I am grateful.
- Reading ____ book ignited a desire to write better in [ what way].
- My character backed me into a writer’s block today but I’m thankful I was surprised that he or she took on his own personality. Tomorrow, I will…
- Nonfiction can be difficult to write, but I am grateful that…
- Today the sun shone, and I’m thankful I could write at [location] with a sunny day as my backdrop.
- I am reading [what book] and thankful to learn from established authors.
This is a short list, but it can help get your mind going in a direction of gratitude and thanks. The more grateful you are to write, the more this gratitude will pour into your writing!