We store everything in our bodies—the gorgeous, the painful, the trauma, the divine. It’s all locked away in our cells. It’s there waiting to be set free and there are many ways to unleash what keeps tension and confusion alive inside. These journaling quotes speak to one powerful way of releasing what’s within so we can live with a greater understanding of who we are.
“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.” — Muhammad Ali
A load is made easier to carry if I adjust the way I’m carrying it, alter the way I’m walking. That’s something that writing in a journal helps me out with.
Keeping a journal, whatever kind of journal it happens to be that day, might look like furious scribbling to someone else, but to my heart, it looks like freedom—better the fury on paper where I can see it, listen to it, learn from it, than caged inside my heart.
When I look at what’s happened after a session with my journal, it sometimes makes me think of something the Mad Hatter said: “You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
Kidding aside, writing down the swirling goings-on in my head illuminates the brilliance that’s often trapped inside the crazy thoughts, just underneath the surface, begging for air.
I sometimes wonder if I hadn’t written it down, if it would have ever come to light at all. How long would it take me to make certain discoveries about myself and life if they weren’t scribbled in between the lines of a notebook? At least much longer, I imagine.
In honor of the illumination that writing in a journal can provide, of the treasures that can be overturned, here are some of my favorite journaling quotes; I hope you enjoy them too. And I hope that you find even more wonder than what you at first set out looking for.
15 Journaling Quotes to Keep the Awe and Adventure Alive
1. “Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change.” — Julia Cameron
2. “Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time.” — Mina Murray, Dracula
3. “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” — Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” — Anne Frank tweet this
5. “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” — Ernest Hemingway
6. “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
7. “What a comfort is this journal. I tell myself to myself & throw the burden on my book & feel relieved.” – Anne Lister“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” – Christina Baldwin tweet this
9. “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” — Joan Didion
10. “Journal writing, when it becomes a ritual for transformation, is not only life-changing but life-expanding.” — Jennifer Williamson
11. “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O’Connor“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou tweet this
13. “Writing is my way of expressing – and thereby eliminating – all the various ways we can be wrong-headed.” – Zadie Smith
14. “Writing eases my suffering . . . writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.” – Gao Xingjian
15. “I hope that someday when I am gone, someone, somewhere, picks my soul up off of these pages and thinks, ‘I would have loved her.’” — Nicole Lyons
Whether or not you write in a journal most days, let me know:
How has writing things down helped you to feel better, maybe even more like yourself?
Please share your favorite journaling quotes, tips, and any stories of self-discovery, freedom, or healing through writing with me in the comments.
Give the gift of illumination to a friend and share these journaling quotes with them.
Write to give yourself strength. Write to heal. Write to explore.