I tend to use it to empty my thoughts for the day. Im not always sure what I will write about until I start. I try to let my mind free flow and just write down the thoughts. It can be a strange experience sometimes, like I can only see the sentence I am currently working on and the next doesn't reveal itself until I have finished the previous one. I have found it has helped me slow down and follow my train of thought. I've been able to work through unresolved thoughts about past experiences in a way that keeps me accountable. I try to use 'I' messages rather than 'You' (e.g. 'I feel / think' rather than 'You made me' etc). I think it has helped keep me responsible for my own emotions and meaning making. I do sometimes have the urge to write down a 'You' message when I feel stuck. So when I write it down I follow it with 'I' messages. It actually helps me to start to unpack what I'm struggling with because I know it's coming from a place of blame. It also helps validate some of those go to, gut reactions of blaming without agreeing and just seeing them from the surface.
I put aside 20mins to write my journal every morning. I use a journal app to type and save securely which make me feel more comfortable in my writing .
It varies, I don't want to turn it into a chore so if I don't feel like writing, then I just do a short burst. Usually inspiration kicks in and I write longer than I thought I would. I usually think about something that's bothering me and then try and rationalise it, work in solutions and set myself a goal for the next day.
I haven't kept an effective journal for over 15 years. So when I write, it is just snippets of a vision, goal or topic and or person. That is already put together inside of me but hard to articulate out because I am super critical of my writing.
I journal at different times for different reasons. Lately, I have a specific writing journal for processing my grief. I lost my partner of 16 years in February. I write to him through my journal and also to myself. Mostly when I am overwhelmed. I write entries every few days. I'm the evenings, I write a very brief every in a gratitude journal app.