Let me take you back to your youth. Imagine yourself in your bedroom scribbling frantically in a diary. You know the stuff I’m talking about. Remember writing about which boy or girl you loved, when in reality you had only looked at them. Remember writing about how best friends treated you and how bullies may or may not have influenced your life. Remember writing about your brother or sister and how you loved them or how they annoyed you. See, I bet you’re smiling to yourself now at the memories. There you go.
Now, my next question.
Do you still use a diary or journal? If not, why not?
Alyss Thomas, author of the Journal Writers Companion, psychotherapist and lifelong journal writer talks about aspects of journalling in her book. She tells us how journal writing can help develop purpose, focus and clarity as well as having a hand in our creative self-expression.
She also tells us how journal writing is not simply pick up and write.
Let me explain the different types and what they are all about.
“Dot point” journalling.
- You lead a busy life and want to streamline your diary.
- The journalling is a simple method.
- There is no right or wrong way to do it.
- Its practical.
- Pulls everything together.
Daily page journalling.
- You have time to do this first thing in your day.
- Good to do with a clear head!
- Can be looked at as “free association” writing where you simply write. Words, thoughts, ay it all on paper.
- Its been noted as a method of clearing the mind of any over-riding thoughts, things that you have planned and maybe want to do that day.
- Its reflective writing also.
- Good for flow of ideas.
- Building confidence in your journalling. As you look back and reflect you will see improvements.
- If you are a writer, this type of journalling works well. Random words and ideas written over pages are a place for influence and ideas to grow.
- If you have anxiety, use these pages to de-stress. Take out whats in your head and put it on the page.
- A form of delightful self expression using assorted media.
- Creativity in another form.
- Blending journaling and art in one.
- Using journaling and art to support each other.
- You don’t have to be an artist to do it.
- Use stamps, images, collages and more to influence the pages.
- A curious mind will lead you on an unknown path. Let the creativity take you!
- Quite simply, it is what it says. Writing about your life.
- No instructions or guidance required.
- Capturing and recording of life experiences.
- Capturing life’s thoughts.
- Journaling about relationships.
- Writing how you feel when significant world events occur. “Where I was when….”
I am a writer and have recently rediscovered journalling. I knew it was something I wanted to do but I didn’t want to sit with a pen scribbling in a book. I wanted a journal/diary app. I did a lot of searching and found what I was looking for. The app is morning gratitude journal. It has trigger questions for AM and PM to encourage you to plan and reflect on your day. The questions can be changed to suit your needs. Ive changed mine a few times until I found what I wanted to write about, what came naturally. My questions are things such as:
- How did I sleep?
- What kind thing have I done today?
- What kind thing has someone done for me?
- Poem/Article/story ideas
- Emails to follow up
- AM and PM overflow comments (catches anything else I want to write about)
Ive now been journalling since November and found it incredibly helpful. They say in life, divorce, death and a house move are the three most traumatic things. Ive been through two of those in the last year and a bit, with the death of my husband and moving house. I also have a parent with life limiting illness that I am nursing. If journalling can go even a little way to relieving any stress, pressure from those things, as well as the daily rigours of life, then it is worth ten minutes a day.
Try it. You wont regret it.