I’ve never been much of a proper journal keeper but have made several attempts at one. I may have collected over a dozen books throughout my life all starting out as a place to leave only my thought but somehow these all evolved into more. They became note keepers, shopping lists, to-do list, conference call recaps, business notes keepers, budget trackers and such.
My birthday was just a few weeks ago and i regard birthdays as a new beginning. To celebrate i bought myself a brand new journal. There is something magical about an old fashion book. Your thoughts written-by-hand on clean white pages and not a blank computer screen.
I was determined to make an honest attempt at being true and respectful of its form. I was eager to once again go on this journey but first, and this is more for myself than anything, here are some of the things I have learned when keeping a journal.
Side Note: you would think maintaining a journal takes the least of efforts, well, i’ll have you know it can become quite the task when all the tabs in your are brain open. Which is often the case for me. Impossible to focus.
Selecting the right writing tool.
I am a very visual person. You practically have to paint a perfect picture in order for me to respond. That being said, when it comes to selecting a new journal i am all about the astetics of the cover. It has to call out to me. It has to make me want to open its pages and pour my thoughts out. So be selective. Very selective. Afterall, this is the book that will hold you together whenever you feel like falling a part.
If you’re not into classic form then by-all-means journal on your laptop. Whatever works for you is the right way.
When to journal.
Write when you feel the urge. Scheduling a time to write only makes the journey more of a chore than something enjoyable. I personally leave my journal about the apartment. I don’t hide it. I have nothing to hide. Its there for anyone to open and read – i don’t care. If something hits me i immediately run to find it and connect.
On the run? Use the notes application on your phone then transfer it to your book once home. Why double up? Well, there’s just something about the action of writing it out. I personally find that it resonates more.
Respect the journal.
Commit to making it a place where you organize your thoughts. It’s there to help you focus. You can write a damn essay in it if you please or just a simple one-liner. Use it for setting goals, weighing out pros and cons, for important to-do lists (not your grocery list), that awesome quote you found on pinterest or instagram… jot it down here. Use it for anything that will help you become more self-aware.
My journal serves two purposes: personal and business. Yes, i also use it to jot down important notes for my blog. After all blogging is the ultimate form of journal keeping. They go hand-in-hand and both allows the freedom of self-reflection.
This is your book. Your notes. Although its very important, don’t worry about grammatical errors. Free writing is what its all about. A professor once told me “when you feel the urge just sit down and write. Write freely with no inhibitions. Let it flow. You edit after and even then, its not required.”
From time to time go back and revisit the pages. Track your progress. Did you set goals? Are you where you want to be? Remember this is also your dream catcher.
Happy writing lovers and have a great week!