S etting an objective for your work is probably the most important thing you can do when considering this type of writing. It is tempting to start with simple notes on how you feel about a particular issue, and depending on the tone, decide where it will lead you. Many times, however, people who wait to decide wish they had worded or structured their work to resemble the end result. In other words, gradually reading through their entries reveals a lack of uniformity.
Tips: Some people name their journal after a great hurricane, a hometown, or a family legend. Others simply start with a date and title for each individual entry. Some use journaling to update the progression or regression of an illness, or maybe use it to chronicle a love story... A great thing to do is to glance through the many published journals at your local bookstore. You'll be amazed at how many different ways there are to keep track of your thoughts. I've used it at different times in my life: after the birth of a child, to improve my writing skills, and also to release stress. Depending on your goal, make sure you write accordingly and appropriately. You don't need to be exact about spelling and the sequence of events, but you do need to keep the content relevant to the goal and be sensitive to whomever might view it later on - like a nosy child or a vengeful mother-in-law.
Note: Throughout this blog, I write about my mother's life and conversations we had before she died of breast cancer in 1999. Writing has always been a healing tool for me, and I hope it will become as much a joy for you as it has been for me. These entries are made on behalf of my mother, using my words, but with her full consent.