Child writing at an old desk


Recent posts have talked about how cancer survivors have turned to writing journals as they travel that difficult journey. When I started writing my first book, I realized the journey from concept to bookstore was so long I needed milestones along the way to prove to myself that I was making progress. I started a daily journal.

Grandparents may want to leave a journal for a grandchild by first writing letters to them and then continuing by writing in a journal.

It does not matter if what happens in a grandparent’s daily life is so far removed from their grandchildren’s as to be hardly recognizable. What matters is the personal attention the grandchild gets from receiving letters and the model they see of how to write well.

As you start journaling, you may make copies of your journal pages to send to your grandchildren as letters to give you something to talk about or you may simply write to capture the stories.

What is in a journal?

First, write on the title page your name and the date you are starting.

At the top of every page after that, write the date

Write as though you have one person in mind you are writing to and write as though you were talking to that person every time you sit down to write, your  grandchild.

How often should you journal?

Writing daily is the easiest habit to continue.  Write every day for 30 days and you will know how often you can sustain it. Set aside the same time, ten to thirty minutes every day to write.

What if I run out of things to say?

At first, you will probably write about what is happening in your day.

After you have a routine, you may want to start telling stories:

  • Holiday rituals I grew up with
  • Favorite things from my childhood
  • The funniest thing that ever happened to me
  • The most famous person I ever met.

You may want to start writing on themes:

  • Milestones in my life
  • Favorite songs and occasions they remind me of
  • Places I’ve lived and traveled
  • Lessons from work and life.

Finally, you may want to start injecting stories that will tell your grandchildren things you wished you’d known when you were their age.

If you want help writing your journal, sign up for our newsletter by entering your name and email address in the blank box in the upper right-hand corner of this page and we will send you our “Getting Started Guide.”

Your grandchildren will be glad you did.

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