I’ve recently discovered that journaling is pretty great, it’s perfect if you’re having a bad day and need to let off some stream, to document important moments in life, for tracking weight loss and fitness goals, or even to write about something positive each day. A journal has hundreds of purposes and you can make it your own. “A personal journal is an ideal environment in which to “become”. It is a perfect place for you to think, feel, discover, expand, remember, and dream.” – Brad Wilcox.
I’ve been journaling for about 6 weeks and am finding it so helpful. Although, I’ve quickly realised that it differs from blogging in many ways. With a hand-written journal you can’t re-write an entry as easily as you can electronically. It could become very messy if you tried to erase a sentence here or there, for people like me who love things to be neat and tidy it can be difficult to deal with. In a way, this is a good thing, you get the real emotions out on the page instead of editing your story. I’m already seeing the benefits of keeping a hand-written journal, some are obvious but some I didn’t really expect. I knew it would be a great way for me to express my emotions, explore my goals and work through my issues. I didn’t expect to breathe a sigh of relief once I’ve wrote everything down. It’s very therapeutic, you’re able to be honest and have no fear that you will be criticised for writing something people would deem inappropriate.
I had to have the right journal, I didn’t feel comfortable using a ringbinder notebook, I wanted something pretty and better quality for my constant ramblings. I looked in a few shops and found some beautiful designs but they were too expensive for my liking. Then I tried WHSmith and found this bright and bold orange journal for only £8 which was pretty reasonable, although now it’s in the sale for £4 so grab a bargain while you can. Getting the right journal could motivate you to start writing, I was much more inspired once I had my new one.
One thing I would suggest if you’re starting a journal is don’t put additional pressure on yourself by attempting to write every day if you don’t want to. Sometimes, I only write once a week and other times I’m writing twice a day. It depends what goes on in my life, if you’re writing for yourself like I am then don’t worry. Try and relax, enjoy writing and getting your creative juices flowing. Some days I had nothing to write about, forcing myself to write would only discourage me. I don’t think “I woke up, ate a whole chocolate cake and watched tv.” is worth documenting anywhere other than Twitter. In reality, a journal won’t be perfectly written and have one exciting entry after another, we’re only human and sometimes have what would be considered “boring problems”.
You’ll never know if journaling will work until you give it a try. The first thing to consider is how you’re going to journal, whether you choose hand-written as I did or electronically. Next, do you want it to be public for the world to read or something private just for you. Since I already have this little space on the blogosphere to ramble publicly I wanted a personal space to express my thoughts. It was the best decision I’ve made recently, hopefully I’ve inspired just one person to start a journal of their own.