March 6, 2022: Journal Writing By Any Other Name
I was recently listening to an interview with an award winning, accomplished author, and she was talking about the power of her “morning pages”. The writing she does first thing in the morning, before she does anything else. She also referred to it as “emotional dumping”. These are not pages related to any of her work-in-progress writing. This allows her to clear her head by writing down anything that is taking up space in her thoughts. The good. The bad. The ugly.
A fellow writer in an author’s group to which I belong, recently shared that while she was in the midst of a horrendous bout of writer’s block, the fact that she had her journal in which to write every day, helped her to feel less helpless. She said that even though the words coming out had nothing to do with her current manuscript, she said that the act of writing was therapeutic.
Whether we call them morning pages, journals, or a diary, I think many of us have some sort of system in place for this kind of personal, for-our-eyes-only, writing.
Looking at my shelf of journals, I realize I have many different kinds, each with different a purpose.
- Goals Journals
- Inspiration Journals
- Fitness Journals
- Travel Journals
- Planning Journals
According to the Kaiser Permanente Thrive website,(https://thrive.kaiserpermanente.org/thrive-together/live-well/everyone-keep-journal-7-surprising-benefits ) Journaling has seven documented benefits. Journaling can help you to:
1. Achieve goals
2. Track progress and growth
3. Gain self-confidence
4. Improve writing and communication skills
5. Reduce stress and anxiety
6. Find inspiration
7. Strengthen memory
As we find ourselves in the third year of dealing with the repercussions and effects of a world-wide pandemic, there is no doubt that everyone is dealing with stress and challenges of some kind. Conflicts, from the global, to the personal, seem to be around every corner. With buzz words like self-care, becoming part of our communal lexicon, focusing on our own mental health is not only becoming more accepted, but encouraged.
So as you look for ways to deal with challenges and seek balance, joy, and satisfaction, make sure you have journaling, whatever you call it, in your life.