Journaling can seem like this big scary thing and it really doesn’t have to be. Just the word journal sounds weighty and BIG. It can feel like you’re sitting down to do this big, important thing that’s you’re “supposed” to do. This in and of itself reduces the draw to write anything at all on the blank page staring back at you.
Perhaps changing the mindset would help. Instead of fighting against the overwhelming weight of one word, find another that’s inspiring and encouraging. Seek one that evokes what you aim to do or achieve with your writings.
- Reflection Book
- Book of Discovery
- Surprise Ideas Storage
- My Scribe
I call mine musings. They’re thoughts in my heart and ideas in my head. The idea of a journal makes me worry someone will read it…and yet that’s exactly what I do with my musings. (Ironic, right?)
I’ve used writing to get to know myself better. To process emotions and release pain. To document for safekeeping. Often I write to remember. I go back and read tidbits and unfinished thoughts. The musings you’ve never read and may never be published for anyone’s eyes but my own.
I encourage you to journal. In whatever form it takes for you. Pen to paper. Typing on a computer document. A relic typewriter. Long-drawn-out stories, bullet-pointed lists, or scribbles of nonsense to anyone but you…find your flow.
And while we’re at it, let me dispel some of those stories you’ve been telling yourself.
I’m not a writer.
You absolutely don’t have to be. And congratulations! In your world, you can throw punctuation, spelling, grammar, and writing in the lines out the window. None of it matters. YOU are the only person you report to.
I don’t have time to journal.
This is a big one. I personally believe that saying “I don’t have time” is just another way of saying, “It’s just not that important right now.”
I mean, how many of us have set out to begin a daily journaling practice, only to give it up on day three? (🙋♀️) We eventually give it up because we set unrealistic expectations of ourselves from the beginning and then we feel shame when we fail to follow through. The secret to sticking to a journaling practice? Start small. One sentence.
What would I even write about?
Whatever the heck you want to. Would you rather write stream-of-consciously whatever’s on your mind? Or do you need some prompts to get you started? The beauty of it, though, is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all activity. You really can make it your own.
What if someone reads it?
This is a challenge and a fear we all face. I faced it and now they’re on the Internet (bluefaced emoji here) I have multiple journals in the form of my phone, laptop, notebooks, and legal pads all over the place. Some stuff I keep password protected because I’m not finished processing my feelings and others I’m perfectly fine allowing it to lay around. Find what works for you. And perhaps you’ll discover writing things down helps you find peace in expressing what’s in your heart.
I can’t write it down because then it’s real.
Oof. I get it. Once it’s in black and white you’ve gotta deal with it. It’s not going away. In the same aspect, I’ve found writing it down makes it less upsetting. In releasing it to a page you remove some of the power, reclaim it for yourself, and may find things shift beautifully in your favor. There’s this magical thing that happens when you acknowledge it and shed more light into the darkness.
Bottom line: Journaling, documenting, musing is all about form over function. You get to do it however it feels right for you. Dive in, let it flow, and see what new things you discover about your amazing self.