When you are trying to understand something related to submission, BDSM or your relationship, a submissive journal is a great place to get it all sorted out. While it may not actually solve your problem or answer your question, the simple use of the journal is one of the best tools in your submissive arsenal. You are free to express exactly what you are thinking in a journal and the result of that thinking can move you further into your personal submission. The purpose of a submissive journal within the context of a D/s relationship is a part of open communication and reflection.
I know I talk a lot on this site about your personal submission, and in a way, this site is like a submissive journal for myself (although I do far more work than I'd expect anyone else to do in a journal). I get to think about a variety of things related to BDSM and submission, read what other people think about it and then express my own views. Your own journal does not have to be public like mine is, definitely not. Although, sometimes it's nice to get an outside viewpoint on your inner thoughts.
When considering whether a journal will benefit you or not, there are a few things to think about. First, is it a request from your partner. Oftentimes, a Dominant will ask a submissive to start and maintain a journal of their thoughts and to keep a record of what is going on in the relationship. My personal blog started out exactly like that. I wrote in it what I was thinking about that day, how I thought the current training and relationship development was going and also my personal journey in submission. My partner read it without judgment so that he could get an understanding of my frame of mind and of the things I was thinking but couldn't yet express to him. It was and still is, a great tool for the relationship.
It does not, however, replace open, direct communication. Do not use your journal as the only means of communication about sensitive, difficult or relationship changing things. The journal is a great place to get your thoughts together but make sure you are also talking to your Dominant about these things.
If you decide that you'd like to write in a journal there are two different mediums to consider.
The Physical Journal
This is the most common way to write and ponder your inner workings and mind. Diaries have existed since the dawn of pen and paper and they will likely never go out of style. Often these are more private than what can be said of online journals.
I collect journals. The blank kind of course. I'm drawn to the pretty covers, delicate paper the idea of filling them with words, sketches and thoughts excite me. Although most of my physical journals are pretty blank, I can't help but want more of them. I do have a black leather journal that is my private slave journal. This book is one that even KnyghtMare doesn't see. It was his idea to have a book like that and I've used it a handful of times, maybe more, for my rants and utter abandon of decorum. I use it the most when I'm being punished and I want to express my angst over the punishment or frustration over the infraction. It's like therapy and KnyghtMare has noticed a positive shift in mood when I use it than when I don't.
Make your choice of physical journal a personal one. Pick out a book that you will enjoy using, that is comfortable to hold while writing in it and accommodates your style of writing. Do you want a bound book or a spiral? Should the spiral be at the top or the side? Do you want to use a special pen also? What about pages; lines or no lines? Would you like the traditional diary with dates and a lock and key? These are all decisions you have to make but will make your choice personal and special. And what you put in it will be better because you enjoyed selecting the book.
The Digital Journal
In the age of technology, there are many methods to putting a journal up in digital format. You can use your computer's text editor and store them on your computer. You can use email and send them to yourself, or your partner. Or you can use the many online blogging software choices to publish privately or publicly.
On your computer somewhere in a locked folder is probably safer for privacy concerns. The format is of little consequence, it works just like a physical journal but maybe easier to write if you are in front of your computer a lot. But if your computer dies, you lose your journal. Some people are okay with that; others are not. If you are not you could save it to cloud storage. There are a few free cloud storage options, or you can pay a small monthly fee to get a bit more space. We've had far too many computer hard disk failures for me so I keep anything important to me in the cloud.
Emailing the journal to yourself and keeping it archived in your email account is another option. If you are in a long distance or online-only relationship than the journal you write is usually emailed to your partner in whole or in part. It's a part of that communication thing I keep talking about. Since face to face interaction rarely, if ever, happens in an LDR or online relationship the submissive journal becomes an important part of the growth of the relationship.
Lastly, the blog. A blog is an online journal that you can set to private or public. It uses a website that has software set up to store and display your posts in chronological order. If you hope to have an audience of people following your journey, then a public blog is the way to go. The most common sites to set up a blog are Blogger, WordPress, and LiveJournal. There are probably hundreds of other places, but these are the three that I'll be covering in a series about setting up a blog in the future. A caveat for hosted services like those mentioned is that you have to follow their Terms of Service for what you publish and how. Some sites don't allow any adult content, others require you to put it behind an adult warning and still others won't allow specific types of adult content. You need to find what works for your intended blog. If you are more tech-savvy, you can also set up your own software away from those hosted sites. That is how SubmissiveGuide and my personal blog are set up.
No matter what format your choose for your submissive journal, it won't work if you don't use it. How often and what you write in it will often be decided by events or rules from your Dominant, but they all have a central purpose; to focus your thoughts on your submission and your life. If you can't do that on a regular basis you may have more issues submitting than those people who can put the focus on their inner thoughts and develop their personal choices.
I'd like to challenge you to decide to start or write in your existing journal. It doesn't have to be fancy and you don't have to run out and buy a book or start a blog for this challenge. Just sit down with pen and paper, digital or not, and write about what you are thinking about. How could a journal help you focus your thoughts during your submission?