Hope all is well with you today.
I love writing and I’m lucky to be able to spend a lot of time with a pen in my hand, both for work and for pleasure. There’s nothing quite so much fun as starting a new notebook (I know I’m not the only one who thinks that, be brave and admit it if you’re with me on that one 😉 ), whether for writing fiction, for remembering all the things I need to do, or for journaling.
There are many forms of journaling (including those not solely using the written word, for example art journaling and scrapbooking or memory keeping) and different people mean different things by the term. I tend to mean the act of intentionally using a notebook for some practical and/or creative purpose, but one of its main appeals, I think, is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
Even if you do want to focus on the written word, you certainly don’t have to consider yourself a “writer”, far from it. All you need is a notebook, something to write with and the desire to find the right way to do it for you.
I came across my first journal recently – I was 13 when I started it. It looks as though I started it out of boredom and it’s full of ramblings about TV programmes I liked. My next journal was from age 15 when I was clearly beset by the desire to moan about revision and exams. It was funny to re-read my “It will be a miracle if I pass Chemistry”* woes at the same time as my own children were sitting exams. I kept these “diary” journals on and off all through my teenage years (probably best not to re-read most of them 😉 ) and it’s a practice that’s evolved to suit my needs over the years.
Nowadays I turn to journaling whenever I want to get something straight in my head. I’m not a big talker if I don’t know what to say, so my method of finding clarity is not through discussion, but through writing. I journaled when I knew I wanted to change my job but didn’t know exactly the change I wanted to make. Once I did know, I journaled to plan how I was going to go about making the change. It’s not something I do every day, despite calling it “journaling” which is meant to be a daily practice. But, as we’ve already established, there’s no “meant” or “should” or right or wrong way when it comes to journaling, so call it what you want and do it when you like! I do it when I feel it will help and I’ve found it to be very effective.
It’s not always easy to get started, though. There’s nothing quite like a blank page for robbing your mind of something to write! If you’re keen to find your own journaling practice, but aren’t sure what to write on that first scary page, I can send you a free list of five options to get your started.
I’d love to know how you get on! And if journaling is something you’ve been doing for a while, what benefits have you found? Leave a comment below or pop on over to @elleturnerwriter on Instagram and tell me your story there!
*I got a B, thus proving beyond all reasonable doubt that miracles do happen 😉