Interview with Orsolya Hernold – Focused Journaling

Orsolya profile picture - Red firey short curly hairIntroducing Orsolya Hernold – Creator of Focused Journaling

Orsolya Hernold, or Orsi for short, is a coach and trainer that lives in Budapest, Hungary with her partner Zoli and their two young children who are 9 and 7.  Orsolya has been journaling for over twenty years; a venture that started when she began diarising a journey she was on.

Since then, she has written about her newborn children, analyzed conflicts in relationships, looked at the purpose of life and so much more. Orsolya fully believes that journaling has enabled her to lead a more conscious life and helped with her own personal development.

She is also a vegetarian mother and she loves to be outside with her family!  She doesn’t write about her kids very much publicly, but you can find some posts on her blog dedicated to what she is learning from her two incredible human beings.

Onto the interview


Writing diaries and recently blogging has been something I’ve done on and off all my life.  Is Journaling something different?

I found that journaling is similar to blogging, I use my blog as my journal, too. However, there are areas of my life I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing, and I have my notebooks and journals for that. Also, I would like to give something valuable to my readers that also filters out some of the blah-blah that I have in my journals.  So journaling for me includes a larger portion of my life than my blog posts.


You discuss journaling on your blog as a learning tool. Can you elaborate on this for my readers?

I practice focused journaling which is writing that focuses on one aspect of your life. From my own experience I found it to be a simple, active learning tool. It can transform your life and if it is put to use, your consciousness grows. It is a way of self-development. Here’s why I believe it’s a learning tool.lady in a purple top writing at an oak desk

It is learning –you learn about yourself, you explore feelings, thoughts, intuition, body language, reactions, motives, goals, night and day dreams.  Paying attention to them in a world overloaded with information can be a challenge. Writing down any of these sharpens your attention to notice them the next time they arise.

It is active – a classic diary is a follow-up of what happens; it is a passive recording of experiences. What if you give yourself the focus of this day? Anything – your dream, your legs, your interaction with a certain person, your thoughts about work. You choose the focus, you play an active role by giving attention to an aspect of your life.  Later, you learn to reread your notes and harvest your learning points and choose a new focus.

It is simple – writing on paper or in a document is easy and available to anyone. After committing to do it, you can ease your way in to getting yourself really doing it by having pen and paper or device handy when you plan to write.

It is self-development – through capturing those volatile thoughts, emotions in letters you gradually get to know yourself better. You start to recognize your thought patterns, your reactions to certain people, your moments of bliss and sorrow. And as you know your starting point of who you are, you can start experimenting with change–changing reactions, behaviours, goals, interactions. You know how you felt, thought in a situation so far–but is it possible to change that? There comes a big Yes here, and focused writing can support you in actively change that aspect of your life.



I’m often told “I’m too busy to blog”. How would you encourage people to make time to journal?

By experimenting with what works for you and getting to know yourself from this aspect as well.

• Choose a focus to write about. It’s not too exciting to record the events of the day – many people lose heart right there. Try to write with a specific focus. Your focus should be something you have long wanted to solve, face or explore. A topic that excites you enough not to forget about it in your busy life.

• Change from paper to digital, from evening to morning (or vice versa)–be flexible with when and how you write. Maybe you have a romantic notion about writing in a notebook, but you spend your whole day on your computer and phone. If this is the case then it is time to look for a suitable app!

• Commit for shorter text–write only words or one sentence a day.

• Set a goal of a minimum period–5 days or a week? What works for you?

• Celebrate when you reached your goal, by giving yourself a gift. You have made the first step towards self-knowledge, so you deserve it.

At the same time, be patient with yourself, give yourself a break if it is just not happening. Come back to it later and give it a try again.

female torso, pen in hamd and writing in a red journal

I recently discussed journaling with a friend. They only write when times are bad. How would you get someone to write about the positives too?

Nourishment of a positive aspect of our life is just as important as paying attention to yourself when times are bad. Nourish your relationships, the abundance, the health and the joy you have now so you keep it that way–what would happen to you if you lose any of these? Also many scientific research have pointed out that writing a gratitude journal makes you feel better and happier. So there are plenty of positive areas in your life that deserve your attention in the form of writing about it.


What has been one of your most treasured family holidays?

There is a place in Hungary that I love.  A small basin north of Balaton Lake with almost Mediterranean weather. Five years ago I found a small house in a valley of this basin that can be rented and it receives no signal whatsoever. We have had our two-week summer holiday for four years in that small house with useless electronic devices. The family who owns the house lives nearby, has lots of animals, a gorgeous garden and represent the kind of hospitality you rarely find. I treasure the moments we have spent there and my kids regard this place as their second home.

journal book colour orange


Bloggers love stationery! Do you have a favourite notebook/journal?

I was once part of a team that developed a journal for kids. We chose premium cream paper that was thicker than usual so kids could colour in them even with markers and still the other side wouldn’t show it. We decided to have hard cover for support so they can write comfortably anywhere: in bed, on the way, in their laps. It was around 120 pages. I used some of these journals, too, and I got so fond of them that my printed journals also have the same qualities.


How has having children changed your outlook on life?

My kids changed me profoundly in a lot of ways. I’m afraid it will be too long to elaborate, so I have a few examples:

I learned to surrender

I learned to cope with my new negative feelings

I learned about their great teaching abilities

And I learned that good enough is indeed good enough


Do you let people read your journals? How about when you are gone? My Mum talks about reading her Grandmas Journals, so my Great Grandma. How do you feel about your Grand Children reading your journals?

I haven’t let people read my journals so far. I have two online journaling courses, though, where I make public some of my journal entries to help participants by giving them an example.

I don’t think I will mind that my grandchildren read my journals. I would encourage them to do so!

Thank you Orsi, it’s been great to get to know about you and your journalling more…



Osolya offers free guided journaling courses that focus on one specific area of someone’s life at a time. These courses have high-quality journals to accompany them, should the journaling enthusiast wish to have something physical to write in. So far, the subjects covered have been ‘Start Journaling,’ which aimed to help establish the journaling habit, as well as ‘An Important Relationship,’ which helps people to focus on a key relationship in their life.”

Her Journal store of beautiful printed journals



Jade from The Parenting Jungle has written an awesome review about the Journals, you’ll want to but one when you’ve read it…  HERE



Also shared with #ABrandNewDay

This is a sponsored interview post. All views are my own.



  1. What a great interview! I kept a journal from a very young age where as now I use my blog as a journal for the most part. I agree there are some things that I wouldn’t want to share on my blog, I think perhaps I would benefit from using a journal again in that way. I love the ways in which parenting has changed her, so true and so lovely. Thanks for sharing this! #ABrandNewDay
    laura dove recently posted…For Meggy, on your third birthdayMy Profile

  2. Great interview! I used to journal all the time as a kid. As I read this I was thinking man I have not journaled in forever…um hello blogger head! Yeah I had a duh moment. I think as a blogger I get more out than I did when journaling. As a blogger I must write what I am focusing on but also making it interesting so others want to read it and keep coming back. My hubs calls blogging adult journaling. I quess he is right in a way. #abrandnewday
    Deb from Crossing New Bridges recently posted…Recreating CreationsMy Profile

  3. This is such an interesting interview. I hadn’t made the distinction before between keeping a diary and journaling. I like the idea of focusing on one part of your life…I suppose blogging does that to a certain extent in that I started by focusing on parenting and feminism…of course it’s evolved since then but I think that’s part of the learning and actioning. Which is another part of journaling I hadn’t considered – the fact it should be about actions not passive recording. I’ve also been long interested in the distinction between public writing and private writing. I have a project about it lingering in notepads and my head, perhaps one day I’ll start it. Very interesting indeed, thank you #triballove
    Lucy at occupation: (m)other recently posted…Pregnancy Colds – A Consultation with Dr MummykinsMy Profile

  4. I really enjoyed this interview. It had lots of interesting points and the “writing about positives ” resonated with me as my mum always taught us to write or say positive affirmations on a daily/nightly basis. This could be writing a line on something we had achieved or a line on something we would liek to achieve.I agree that writing down something positive makes it more substantial and does help to cheer me up when I do, as I count my blessings.=abrandnewday

  5. This is really interesting, it’s reminded me how therapeutic journalling can be. It might be time for me to start again. As you’ve pointed out, bloggers lover stationery, so it would be a great excuse for me to buy more! (I’m eyeing up that orange beauty in the photo).

    Really interesting read and beautiful photos.
    Jenny recently posted…Reaping the Rewards of ChangeMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.