Top tips


Maternal Journal is about creating something for you. We are all creative and our journaling guides introduce simple tools and techniques to help you produce something meaningful in a short space of time. 

If you’re wondering where to get started, here are some of our top tips. 

1. Find a way of journaling that suits you

Keep your journal close at hand and use it when you find there is a lull in the day or if the opportunity comes up like during a night time feed, naps or while sitting on the bus. Often people find a regular time in the day for journaling that works with their schedule such as first thing in the morning, before bed or by organising a specific time every week to keep free.

2. Carry supplies

Illustration by  Merlin Strangeway

Illustration by Merlin Strangeway

Fill a small pouch or bag with pens, paints, pencils, stickers etc and carry it with you. This way, if you find an opportunity to journal during the day, you’ll be ready to go. 

3. Try our journaling guides

Our guides introduce you to lots of new techniques to help you record, reflect and think about your day-to-day experiences or memories of being pregnant or mothering. 

Find out which guides work best for you. If you like a particular style, try working through the guide again to see if you get a different outcome or focus on a different feeling or moment. 

Styles from the guides include:  

  • Freewriting — writing the first thing that comes into your mind.

  • Automatic drawing — using simple marks to express your emotions (it can help to start with your eyes closed)

  • Collage — cutting and pasting images/words from magazines, newspapers or old greetings cards. 

  • Autofiction —write or draw something in response to an image you see on social media, in magazines or from your own photos. 

  • List-making — list thoughts, feelings, or actions. 

  • Tell a story — create a story based on real or fictional experiences or write down your dreams.

Once you’re comfortable using the guides, you could try adding your own ideas to make something new.

4. Build layers in your journal

It can be hard starting with a blank page. If you’re struggling, why not try painting a whole page one colour or sticking down pictures from a magazine. You can gradually build up layers, which could be less daunting than setting out to complete a whole page or guide.

Collage by  Fran Burden

Collage by Fran Burden

5. Feel Inspired

Look around you throughout the day (and night) and try to note down whatever moves you — snippets of conversation, images or inspiring quotes. You could collect physical and meaningful objects to store in your journal — stick down shells from the beach, leaves, feathers or anything that catches your eye. There are also plenty of creative resources on our Inspiration pages.

6. Record how you feel

A journal is also a tool for reflection — try to capture moments that make you smile, laugh, or feel grateful in whatever form you like. Your journal is a creative outlet for recording positive or negative experiences and memories or personal challenges and achievements.

7. Doodle

Add to your journal with small drawings and pictures. You don’t have to be an artist to do this — line drawings, dots and squiggles are all fine. You could draw a map of somewhere special, your house or a place you have lived or visited, anything you have seen that day or what’s right in front of you.

Find inspiration
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