Some people obsess over shoes or jewelry. Others swoon over housewares or art. Me? I love paper. Every time I visit a boutique store – or Anthropologie – or better yet a stationary outlet – I covet the journals and cute cards and funky writing instruments. I’m a writing geek at heart.
But even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, and there are certainly days I question giving myself that title, I truly believe everyone can benefit from keeping a journal. The words are only for you, and studies have shown this is an activity many successful people do daily.
Pick your style, rhythm and routine. There are no rules. But regardless of your preference, I think all individuals should consider journaling because …
- You don’t need to share every single thought on Facebook. I know we all love our social media, but sometimes it’s best to keep some thoughts private. Share your stream of consciousness on your blank pages, close the book and let it go.
- It will clear your mind. If someone were to flip through my journal pages, they would see the writing is not poetic. It’s not supposed to be. On some days, I just make myself write for 20 minutes to declutter my brain. On other days, I brainstorm. Sometimes I vent. The pages are for me, and I usually feel lighter when I’m done.
- It’s a record of your life. Every once in awhile, I look back on an old journal and read. The words help me remember special moments, or remind me I was able to pull through a particularly challenging time. It also reveals how much I’ve grown. Old worries. Silly fights. Petty differences. Why did I stress so much?
- It will foster creativity. Use your journal to doodle, to capture cool quotes or song lyrics. Fleeting ideas may pass you throughout the day, so jot them down before they disappear. At a later date, you can reference your journal for inspiration. It may jumpstart a blog post or a writing assignment or the planning of a dream vacation. You never know …
- It’s therapeutic. Beyond clearing the clutter, there is something calming about taking pen to paper. We’re so often type, type, typing these days. Sure, it’s more efficient, but get away from the keyboard and glowing monitor. Grab your favorite pen and just write. I purchased a few pens and colored markers and pencils that are just for me. I don’t let them fall into the hands of my kids. These are “mommy’s special stash.”
Do you journal? What’s stopping you?