Journalling is a habit everyone says you need to do every day. Some say you write in the morning, some do it at night, some do a single page, some draw instead of write. But the cornerstone is to do it every day, and it will lead to greater clarity, mindfulness, etc.
Sadly, journalling and me are a pair that’s no different from me and travelling. I look forward to it but the actual effort and time taken are done in short, intense bursts. Not unlike travelling but definitely not a way to create a habit.
Rather than beat myself up about it, I allow myself to write whenever I can. I recognise that my writing, especially stories, are ways for me to work through trauma, anger and generally strong negative emotions.
And sometimes, really positive ones too.
So I would like to recommend writing when you’re feeling pissed. When you’re angry at the inanity of your client. When you think your life completely sucks.
But don’t do it on social media. If you can, don’t do it anywhere people can access it publicly. The freeing thing about writing in a journal is that it’s meant only for your own eyes. There’s no “pressure” or fear that other people will judge you for your thoughts and words. So a book, or a password-protected folder, or even a Tumblr blog where everything is published privately works.
As long as only, and only you, can see it.
I actually keep an old exercise book for this. It’s now half-filled, beginning I think from early last year (which also tells you how often I write in it, and it’s not even 200 pages…). I use this book to write my thoughts, my fears, my anger.
So what does mine say? The latest entry, as of the day I’m drafting this blog post, is mainly about a client who’s an entitled brat. But in that one page, I also relive some happy memories and admit my relief.
Being honest with yourself is important. I open my older pages sometimes and puzzle over what I’ve written. The person who you were, is often different from the person you are now. Journaling helps me resolve my negative emotions and expel horrible thoughts. It also helps me take stock of where I am now.
So, what’s stopping you?