(you’re reading APADO – a post a day, october – a self-inflicted blogging challenge that i’m kind of regretting but kind of not.)
I think it’s safe to say that I’m a veteran journaller. I’ve been writing every single night since I was about ten. Even though I’ve thrown away my first eight journals (it was a horrible idea and I regret it so much), I keep count like I still have them, which puts me on working on #14.
I’ve often stopped and wondered what it is that keeps me journalling. I don’t write anything groundbreaking, it keeps me up for fifteen extra minutes, and I’m the only one who’s reading them. Isn’t that a waste of time and effort?
But if it’s such a waste, why am I still doing it?
After my most recent self-debate about this, I came up with some reasons – and some thoughts about journalling in general.
- It’s therapuedic. There’s something relaxing about getting your thoughts out on paper – maybe it’s just that we humans love to write about ourselves. Whatever the reason is, I’ve found that it’s fun and soothing.
- It helps create a healthy bedtime routine. I’m lucky to not have any sleep problems, even when I’m travelling. I think it has something to do with my journal. When I open it up, it triggers my brain to calm down. And calmness, especially with how busy my life is right now, is something I could use a whole lot more of.
- They’re fun to go back and read later. Not only do they remind you of exactly what you were thinking back then, but it’s also hilarious to see what you used to think was cool – or abhorrent. Trust me, I know.
- You have to write a bestseller every night. Absolutely not. A journal is an intimate, private thing. Since no one will be reading it but yourself anyways, it’s more important to write frequently and truthfully.
- It has to look pretty. Pintrest and inspirational blogs make it easy to think that looks are a must. Yes, it’s nice to have an aesthetic journal, but it doesn’t have to look good to be important. In fact, I’ve found that trying to make my journal look nice tires me out instead of relaxing me.
- You can’t write about stupid stuff. Um, yes you can. This is your personal book. There are no rules about what you can or can’t write about.
Tips for better entries:
- Write about what happened, not what’s going to happen. Writing about future plans can make you sound like a Burma-shave sign. Ten more days until x! Nine more days until x! It’s best to stick to the present and write about things when they actually happen. (Y’all have no idea how much I struggle with this.)
- If you’re stuck, write song lyrics. They’re a good reflection of your mood that day, and they don’t take much effort. Another bonus: later, you can see what music you liked back then.
- Don’t be afraid to be a little crazy. Crazy is fun. In the mood to write a stupid poem? Do it. Feeling like writing the entire entry in Ubbi Dubbi? No one’s stopping you. The crazy stuff is the stuff you’re going to remember the most.
- Try to get in the habit of writing an entire page a day. You’ll be surprised how much this improves your entries.
- Throw away journals. Ever. Trust me, you’ll regret it.
tl;dr: Journalling is fun and relaxing – especially if you let yourself be free with it.
Sayonara for now,