Do you bring a notebook with you on commutes, keep a notepad by your bedside, or type daily entries into an app or Word document? If not, here are five reasons why you should keep a journal:
1. Journaling helps you document not only the general events of your life, but the mundane routines of today, which may be easily forgotten or missed tomorrow. How many times have you been in conversation with a sibling or friend and tried to remember what a high school teacher’s name was? Or how great to be able to remember what day you went on a random dinner date that turned out to be the first date with your now spouse.
2. A journal is a safe and secure place for you to vent and sort through your emotions and ideas. Talking to friends and family is great, but sometimes it is best to run your words through the test of pen-and-paper first.
3. The practice of journaling helps you get to know yourself; Christina Baldwin calls it “a voyage to the interior.” In the same way that reading about a character in a book helps you to understand him or her, writing about yourself and the people around you will encourage deeper insight.
4. Although a journal is a private place for your thoughts, it creates a timeline of your life that has the potential to be shared with others, whether directly or indirectly. Terry Tempest Williams claims that he experiences everything twice – “once in the world, and once again on the page.”
5. You make up the rules. While some writers have found that it can interfere with their professional writing, you can devote as much, or as little, time as you want to the routine. Additionally, there are many ways to bring technique and style into the practice of journaling, which will strengthen your voice and tone as a writer in both your leisure and professional writing.
Writing in a journal reminds you of your goals and of your learning in life. It offers a place where you can hold a deliberate, thoughtful conversation with yourself.
– Robin S. Sharma
If you keep already keep a journal, here’s a challenge to add to your writing routine: while recording the broad happenings of your day, try focusing in on the details. After all, a story without details means nothing. Let the details of your life become the source of inspiration for your fiction or creative nonfiction. By choosing to be intentional in your documentation and analyzation of your own life, your writing will become more personal, passionate, and relatable before you even know it.
– Article written by Emiley Jones –