Why I Journal
Journal writing is a powerful tool to help you gain self-awareness and develop skills. There is something magical that happens over the physical act of writing. My problem is that I a scribbler with deplorable penmanship. I end up with reams of half-illegible notes that get shoved in a folder never to be read again. Nevertheless I sit at my computer to type unless I have a pen and paper to my left.
For me it’s about doodling and scribbling the barrage of random thoughts onto a piece of paper so I can clear my mind. ‘ Oh here’s an idea I’ll get back to later’ Let me jot that down before I forget….. At the end of the day I have this messy random bunch of words that I can look back at to trigger a prior thought trigger. In that context I am not journaling a story I am capturing words and short notes on a piece of paper to be transposed later into a blog post. — but that s my strategy. What is yours?
I have gotten into the habit of doodling and scribbling random thoughts on paper.
Scribbling clears my head so I can capture an idea and focus on the ‘other’ task at hand– The job I started ½ an hour ago that I have to get finished.
I have never been able to journal my thoughts and feelings in a legible manner onto a piece of paper so I am NOT going to suggest you do the same. But if full paragraph, legible hand writing works for you then go for it!
I am however, prolific at blogging. I have literally hundreds of journal entries on my blog site. Most never get shared with anyone. I use journaling to capture my workflow of ideas within the context of collaborating online with others. What about you?
Journal writing can be a vehicle for deepening mindfulness. It helps to clarify and refine your thoughts and emotions. It brings you into the present moment. Having said that most of my great insights come from daydreaming, meditating, discussions, typing…. anything but hand writing. So I don’t use journaling to get revelations – but that’s me and you may have a different approach so go for what work for you.
There is no one reason or way or platform for journaling. Just pick the method that works best for you.
I’m not going to tell you specifically how to begin your journaling practice. You must decide that. I keep a journal as a private post on my computer. You must choose a method that enables you to express yourself on a consistent basis. Start with 10 minutes a day. I’ve gotten to the point whereby Much of my WordPress site is a my journal. I can easily journal for 10 hours a day — but that s me… what about you?
- Journaling can help you to clarify and identify goals, hopes, dreams and fears.
- Consider a pre-journaling routing. For me I must have my morning tea or coffee, a bowl of oatmeal and sit on a couch for ½ hour daydreaming and taking to myself.
- The aim is to create conditions that foster a greater focus and lucidity in capturing your thoughts.
- Free association journal where anything that comes to your mind goes. Perhaps a dream….
- Gratitude journaling — capturing what you’re great full for
The key is to embrace and enjoy the process. Make sure you turn your internal judgmental monitor off. Don’t edit your work on the firs flush. I call those ‘brain dumps’