To me, reading through old letters and journals is like treasure hunting. Somewhere in those faded, handwritten lines there is a story that has been packed away in a dusty old box for years.
Journaling is a perfect way to express yourself; let go of negative and positive emotions; remember important details of your life that will be forgotten; to be more creative, and gain more perspective in life
For the past two years, I have been a hardcore journaler, I have completed about 9 journals so far, and am on my 10th one right now. I even created sub journals for different categories. I have a listography journal, which is journaling through list making; a gratitude journal, writing the things I’m grateful for everyday; a novel journal, writing about my progress in my novel; a tv show journal, writing about thoughts and opinions on tv shows; and an art and collage journal.
Writers should have a journal because it allows them the opportunity to write everyday. It’s an effective way to eliminate procrastination from your writing life. And if you’re a writer you know that procrastination is a writer’s worse enemy. Journaling allows you the opportunity to write as freely and messily as you want, there are no grammar or punctuation rules. There aren’t deadlines you need to adhere to, there aren’t any word count goals or page count goals. There are NO rules! You can write one page on one day, and then two pages on another day, you can even write 13 pages the next day. You can write whatever you want, anytime you want.
Also, journaling allows you the opportunity to find yourself, contemplate your thoughts about the day, or a situation that puzzled you. And who knows maybe those thoughts can lead to future projects like a story, or a poem, or a book.
It can be like an inspirational playground with your material.
And that’s my stance on journaling for writers.
Why I think you should have a journal?
Why not have a journal? It’s a place for you, and your thoughts, feelings, emotions, memories and yada. A journal is a place for you to explore who you are, what you think, what you feel, and what you have to say. It might be comforting to write a journal entry on a day where the sun just isn’t shining, or on a day where everything isn’t going your way. It is a better alternative to bottling things up, or letting it go through self destructive ways. When I’m having a bad day, I write it down in my journal – sometimes those pages go on for, like 13 or more pages because I’m writing it all down and just letting go. It helps clear my head, and helps me become more honest with myself and what it is I’m really feeling. And if someone pisses me off, I write it down in my journal, it helps calm the part of me that wants to lash out on the person.
Another reason why journaling important, is because of the big and little memories inside them. Don’t you love memories? I know I do. A photograph is great because you can visually see it, and it brings you back. But, haven’t you ever looked at a photograph and not remember when or where it was taken? Or why it was taken? Or what you were doing when it was taken? You have this nice beautiful photograph and you don’t have any memory of it. All you have is this picture to tell you it happened. What about the details? Aren’t details important?
But, journaling is a different story because you’re writing details down. Details that are descriptive and specific that can pain a picture of what it was you were really seeing. You write down what you saw, heard, touched, did and even felt.
It’s the perfect place to store your secrets, or innermost desires that you aren’t comfortable sharing with the world. Think of it as a safe haven for your private thoughts and feelings.
Just think about how nice it would feel to read your journals when you’re older. I was reading my older journals and I had a lot of laughs at how random my mind was, and how overly negative I was in school. Imagine what it would be like to read what past-you wrote 10 years ago. ‘Cause trust me, the way you think now will be different from the mindset you’ll have in the future.
And journaling helps you articulate what you feel and why you feel it. So, basically it be like a therapy session with you and your self. Doesn’t that sound…therapeutic?
Here are the Reasons Why I Journal
- It clears my mind, especially during times when my head feels so cluttered and foggy.
- It’s freeing. I can write anytime I want, I can write about anything I want. And I can write as much as I write. There are no rules.
- I don’t have to self-disclose appropriately.
- I can be 100% honest with myself…and there’s one person in the world I need to be honest with, it’s myself.
- It’s the perfect place to store things I find interesting like magazine ads and cereal box cutouts or letters.
- Memories. I love going back and rereading my old thoughts.
- More affordable than a therapist.
- Those moments of self-discovery.
- Perfect way to alleviate stress, that doesn’t involve hurting myself or anyone else.
- Those moments when I’m bored and I doodle. Doodling is the best.
- It’s the best way to engage in intrapersonal communication. I can talk to myself without actually talking to myself.
- Those moments when my sense of humor shines.
- I never have writer’s block. Because all I’m doing is writing down what I feel.
- Speed writing. There are times when I finish two pages in less than 10 minutes.
- Venting for as much as I want without sounding obnoxious and obsessive.