Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines journal as “a book in which you write down your personal experiences and thoughts.”
Making this a verb, to journal or journaling would be to write down your personal experiences and thoughts.
This last week, I was speaking with a friend and he mentioned the importance of journaling. Sadly, it is a lost art, but one that should be required learning in schools and colleges. In today’s world, the most some people will ever write will be txt msgs.
If you aspire to be a writer (and even if you don’t), then I hope these posts on journaling will be a help to you.
So, let’s get started. What do we need to journal?
I remember as a young boy that my sister had a diary. Although she was only a year younger than me, I was the bane of her life. Often, I would try any way I could to find and get that diary. In my mind, I was convinced that she was writing all kinds of mean things about me (most of which were possibly true, but I will have to plead the fifth). As the years went on, I wondered whether she was writing mushy poems or love notes to her boyfriend that he would never read. I never did capture her diary, which is probably a good thing because it would have meant my sudden demise from off this planet!
What bothered me the most was that she had a secret book that held all of her secret thoughts, and I did not. I was not disciplined to write back then and computers were not an option when I was a child. In fact, I finally got my first computer – a Commodore 64 – but it was not used for the intention that my parents thought it should have been. It quickly became a game machine for Chuckie Egg, Pirates, and Red Storm Rising.
Ah well, enough about that. Let’s drag ourselves back to the present. I shared in a previous post that my goal is to write 250-300 words per day. Some days, I struggle to write 100 words. Other days, like today, I have already written over a 1000 words. When I sit in front of my computer, I find it a freeing task. I can think and type whatever is in my head. Most of it will never move from my hard drive to the wide world, but some of it will.
However, to accomplish this task or goal, I MUST WRITE. I MUST JOURNAL. And if you are going to learn to write or to improve your writing, you must do the same.
Here is the challenge for you if you desire to do something different with your life.
1. Buy a notebook, sketch pad, clay tablet, construction paper, etc.
2. Buy a pen, several pens, pencils, paintbrush, goose quill, stylus, etc.
3. Set yourself a realistic time frame (2-3weeks, 2-3 months, but no more).
4. Realize that the goal here is NOT for you to write for others to see. This challenge is for your benefit.
5. Find a place where you can be alone with your thoughts. For some, it may be the hubbub of a noisy coffee shop. For others, it may be your easy chair or at a desk. For others, it may need to be on a hillside overlooking the world. Wherever you need to be, just find a spot.
That is all for now. In our next post on journaling, we will look at what journaling is not. Happy shopping for your tools.