I wanted to touch base on the subject of Journaling as many of my friends and fellow writers have been discussing this subject lately, and I have yet to discuss it here.

Journal writing can be an excellent tool for writers, as well as on a more personal level. Journals allot you a safe and private space to explore new ideas, try new things, express your thoughts, and grow as a person in general.  Journal writing is an effective tool for many different issues that we face in life, it can help you to openly express your feelings on an issue without having to worry about what others will think, or about causing offence with your opinion. Journals can also be a the perfect instrument for teens as it can help to encourage a healthy body image, positive thinking, and strengthen self-esteem, it provides them with a safe place to vent their frustrations and think about their ideas before they take any action.

If you are like me you probably had a diary when you were younger, or even a few, journaling is the same idea as the ‘diary‘  on a more ‘grown-up level and without the awkwardness of talking directly to an inanimate object. Journaling is also more geared toward an inward focus rather than a log of day-to-day activities, it is a collection of questions, answers, musings, ideas, and thoughts on whatever area you choose to explore.

When you think of journaling what comes to mind? Do you see a hardcover book? A password protected file on your computer? A private online site that you can share with others if you desire? Are you more likely to use a sketch pad and doodle your thoughts than write them in words? Whatever tool you choose, it is important that you find something you are not only comfortable writing in, but something that inspires you to write as well. Journaling is helpful for encouraging regular writing, and thus you should choose an object that you enjoy using. Some people choose bold colorful journals, others prefer to use an inconspicuous binded book, and many opt for an online journal that is password protected, but can be personalized as required. When it comes to journaling it is about personal preference rather than what is right or wrong,

Here are a few things to consider when thinking about starting a journal;

One of the greatest things about journaling is the lack of format that is required. It can be a great relief for a writer to not have to worry about grammar, or form when writing. Your journal is a ‘personal‘ space, and so worrying about proper spelling and grammar is not a necessity, unless done by choice.

You can find links online that will lead you to many different kinds of journals, and you can start a journal for almost any purpose that your mind can create. There are journals for personal growth, business ideas, writers, artists, parents, children, music, travel, cooking, etc… any passion, thought, need, or creation can be formed into a journal. The possibilities are endless, it is another one of the wonderful things about journaling, as you grow your journal can grow with you.

People choose to journal for a variety reasons, for some it is a way to find their true self, get through a rough tine, look inward and sort out their desires in life, or keep track of their personal/professional goals. For others journal writing is simply a way to keep track of their ideas, or a way to regroup and relax at the end of the day. Your Journal is what you make it for ‘you!’

When you begin your journal think of ‘why‘ you are beginning, and ‘what’ you hope to accomplish. If you stray off this original path though, don’t stress, allow your mind to take you where it wants to go. You may feel awkward at first writing your thoughts down so openly, but just allow them to flow, don’t think about what you are writing, and don’t edit. Journaling is a lot like free-writing in the sense that you want your mind to lead you to the outcome, rather than your outcome leading your mind.

You can opt to use prompts in your journal writing as many people do, (this is especially popular when you are writing a personal growth journal) or simply answer your own questions as they arise. You can choose to deal with the issues you are facing personally/professionally, or just let your mind lead the way. As I said before, the great thing about a journal is that there is no right or wrong, it is all about ‘you,’ and it is a relaxing, easy way to learn more about yourself, gather ideas, answer questions, and personally grow from within. The only rule to journaling is that you must enjoy it.

For writers that are considering journaling it can be a wonderful tool for facing your fears, creating ideas, tracking your progress, or just venting your frustrations, You may find that the freedom of writing without rules stems ideas that would otherwise not be found.

Whatever your purpose in starting a journal be sure that you choose a form that suits your needs. Don’t stress about having to write, or needing to do things a certain way, simply enjoy the experience and use it as a tool for growth. Be honest and allow your mind to release the creativity it holds within, get to know yourself, and your writing, and be open to the discoveries you may find.

 

Until next time….

Write On!

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