In this interview, we delve into the world of journaling with Kristy Cambron, a mom, historical fiction author for HarperCollins, and literary agent. Kristy shares her personal experiences and insights on journaling, highlighting the importance of documenting daily rhythms and capturing meaningful moments.
With her love for storytelling, she uncovers how journaling has become a creative outlet and a source of inspiration in her life. From documenting her journey of balance to finding strength and encouragement through tracking her progress, Kristy’s story is a testament to the transformative power of journaling.
Telling Stories: A Journey of Love and
For Kristy, pursuing her dream of becoming an author meant taking significant risks, such as leaving her corporate career and summoning the courage to chase her writing aspirations. Over the course of a decade, Kristy has embraced the joy of doing the work she loves.
Kristy explains, “Ever have that “lottery dream” – the thing you’d do if there were no barriers to hold you back? For me, it was storytelling. And what started out as a publishing dream while working fifteen years in corporate America meant we’d have to risk big (me quitting my first career), tap into bravery we weren’t sure we had (to dream-chase authoring), and work hard to keep going through all the ups and downs. Ten years and sixteen publications later, I still can’t believe I get to do the work I love.”
Her novels, including “Castle on the Rise,” which involved a nine-day research road trip across Ireland, “The Paris Dressmaker,” an exploration of Parisian fashion houses during World War II, and “The Italian Ballerina,” a dive into the world of a prima ballerina in 1940s Rome, have allowed her to capture the essence of each lived experience. As Kristy eloquently states, “Capturing the moments behind each lived experience makes me a more creative writer, a stronger agent, and a joy-filled mom for my family.”
Journaling as a Lifelong Practice
Kristy Cambron unveils her lifelong connection to journaling, which started long before she began using the Day One Journal app. While cleaning out her garage, she stumbled upon her dusty, hand-written running journals from over twenty years ago. Kristy emphasizes, “I realize I’ve always journaled… just collected my daily rhythms in different ways.”
“Day One Journal came into my life after navigating an unexpected health setback that started in summer, 2022,” Kristy explains. “A painful spine diagnosis meant I needed to get moving—establishing new daily rhythms and healthy habits were key to getting my mobility back. It took months of stumbling along to learn that if I was going to stay motivated, I needed to track my progress. A friend suggested journaling could help me on the journey, and Day One Journal has been my partner ever since. (Hint: You can see my Day One Journal story HERE.)”
The Freedom and Authenticity of Journaling
For Kristy, journaling is a personal and authentic practice. As a professional writer, she finds relief in knowing that journaling doesn’t have to be polished.
“Journaling is for YOU. It’s personal. It’s authentic. And it’s freeing knowing there are no expectations on what you put down each day. As someone who writes for a living, I realized (with relief!) that the journaling doesn’t have to be profound. Sometimes it’s as simple as documenting a trail hike and snapping a photo along the way. Or capturing a memorable moment with one of our kids. But the most important thing is those memories—or the progress on a new journey—aren’t lost. You can go back to them at any time with Day One Journal.”
“Journaling is for YOU. It’s personal. It’s authentic. And it’s freeing knowing there are no expectations on what you put down each day. As someone who writes for a living, I realized (with relief!) that the journaling doesn’t have to be profound.”
Seeking Balance Through Journaling
Balance is a recurring theme in Kristy’s journaling practice. She explains, “Balance has become something of a negative word, as if it’s unreachable, unhealthy, or fairy tale nonsense—especially for women to “do it all.” But I’m journaling the peace that comes with balancing my physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I’ll document workouts. Trails I hike. Books that inspire me. Moments with my family or quiet prayers and reflections. I’m even leading a new walking and hiking group starting in our area! Journaling has been the catalyst to see how far I’ve come and to know whatever beauty the day brings. . . there’s power it putting it down.”
Finding Time for Journaling in Real Life
Adapting to the unpredictability of her daily schedule, Kristy shares her journaling routine:
“While I’d love to say I have a routine and journal at the same time every morning over a cup of steaming coffee and a stunning sunrise. . . real life doesn’t work that way. In this season, it’s journaling when I need to remember the new rhythms I’ve established—after a workout, while on a hike, when reading a beautiful book, after a call with a client or as I’m sitting down to write my next novel. I’ve even journaled while waiting in car line to pick up my kids from school. (Thank goodness Day One Journal is portable!) Balance means freedom to be my authentic self, right where I am in my days.”
Kristy’s Tips for Cultivating a Journaling Habit
Kristy offers valuable advice for those aspiring to build a journaling habit: don’t overthink it.
“Like dream-chasing, working towards a goal, or even just developing healthy habits on a new journey. . . journaling shouldn’t be taxing. It’s a place to free yourself of any expectations and instead, document the beauty of a moment and where you are in it.”
The Visual Pleasures of Journaling with
As a former art student, Kristy appreciates the visual aspect of journaling. She expresses her love for the Day One app’s features, particularly the options to view her journal in different formats. Whether it’s a calendar view, a list, or a mosaic of photos, Kristy finds joy in seeing her life captured as a personal work of art. The ability to shift between different visual representations adds an extra layer of creativity and beauty to her journaling practice.
With Day One, Kristy’s journal becomes a visual reflection of her experiences and memories, enhancing the emotional connection she has with her entries. Screenshots of her journal pages showcase the vibrant tapestry of her life, inviting readers to appreciate the visual delights of journaling.
“Over more than a decade in publishing, I’ve learned that everyone has a voice. Working with writers and editors, and coaching authors in their careers is a remarkable reminder that we’re all beautifully unique. The ability to track photos in Day One Journal may work for me, while for the next person, audio recordings may be what resonates with them. To have options means you customize the journey for YOU. And you’ll stick with it if you do.”
Discovering Strength Through Journaling
Keeping track of her workouts and distances covered, Kristy celebrates the unexpected strength she has found through journaling. Tallying her miles walked in Day One Journal provides her with a sense of accomplishment and encouragement. It is a tangible reminder that she is capable of more than she initially believed. Tracking progress and milestones become powerful motivators on her journey.
“It thrilled me to go back into Day One Journal and tally the miles! Going from zero to over 70 miles walked in the span of a month was a shot of encouragement I needed to keep going. If I hadn’t tracked it, I’d never have believed I had that in me.”
“You’re Doing Better Than You You Think You Are.”
Kristy Cambron’s journey of journaling is a testament to the transformative power of this practice. Through documenting her daily rhythms, seeking balance, and embracing the freedom to be authentic, Kristy has discovered her own strength and celebrated her progress. Her advice to others is simple yet powerful:
“I remember that moment I was in a store with a screaming toddler, exhausted and wondering if I was completely failing at this parent thing. Another shopper in the same aisle stopped, leaned over, and whispered with a smile, “You’re doing better than you think you are.” Use journaling as a daily boost to remind you what you’re working towards. You are strong. You’re capable. You’re fully able to keep going in the direction of your dreams. And one day, your future self may find your journal (even 20 years down the road. . .) and say, “Well done. Look how far you’ve come!”
Start Journaling Today with Day One
The Day One journaling app makes it easy to build and maintain a daily journaling habit. Daily journaling reminders, daily writing prompts, and journal streaks are designed to help keep you motivated and consistently journaling.