One of the hardest parts of being a writer is that our minds are constantly running around in other worlds or scenarios. Or looking for information and references. Even when we are sleeping or relaxing our minds don’t get to rest, and sometimes a tired mind can be even worse than an exhausted body or a sleepy writing hand.
Imagine there was a way to clear your head from everything. Imagine a place for you to put every single thought down without the risk of forgetting it. Imagine a place that could help you actually relax and allow for you mind to heal! A place called: Your Journal.
I know the word can be daunting sometimes, but your journal is not here to stress you out. It knows you’re a busy human being, and it is there for the good days, and the bad days. Your journal can work for you if you know how to use it. So today, we are going to talk about the benefits of journaling, as well as the different types of journals you can keep, and some things that are working for me on my journal journey.
Benefits of Keeping a Journal:
- Stress Reduction
Keeping a journal can really help with getting everything out of your head and onto the paper, giving your brain freedom to de-stress. It can also help with a lot of other things, like brainstorming, idea collecting, problem solving and decision making. Use your journal for whatever you need it for! There are no rules, just as long as it helps you.
- Personal Growth and Healing
Journals are a great way to track progress in yourself. A lot of writers keep planners to track their writing goals and progress, but a journal can be just as helpful. Also, sometimes bad things happen in life, and it’s difficult to put those things aside when you’re writing, but a journal is the perfect place to work things out and work through your negative feelings.
- Life Story
Documentation is important, especially when you’re a writer. Some of the best writers only notice after it’s too late to remember all the details that they couldn’t tell their story anymore. Keeping a journal of memories and life events can help people learn about you, if there comes a time you can’t teach them. I have also read wonderful stories of people who kept journals from early in life (including one who developed Alzheimer’s) and, when they were older, they were able to sit down and recall their younger years.
- Quick, Simple and Easy
Journaling is the simplest way of writing, because there are no rules! It can be on a piece of paper, a napkin, on the computer. It can be personal, lock and key, hidden under your mattress, or it can be a blog, where your viewers follow along with you. No rules, just write!
- Enhances Creativity
A journal also proves to be a great place to spill creative ideas that don’t fit into any of your current projects. Oh, that character doesn’t fit in your story? That’s 100% fine—because he fits in your journal!
Along with all of these benefits and probably hundreds more, there are all kinds of journals and endless possibilities! If you can think of it, you better believe there is a way to journal about it, so here is a list of different types of journals you can keep:
Popular Journals to Keep:
- Quick Journal
This can be a journal that you come back to once a day (Or whenever you’d like) and just write one sentence that explains your day, or something particularly good that happened to you. Quick, Simple, and to the point!
- Travel Journal
Wherever you go, whether it is down the street or across the country, write about your adventures!
- Dream Journal
You know those dreams that wake you up at night, the dreams that linger when the morning comes, the ones you remember even years later? The second you wake up, write them down. Did you know that over the age of 10, we dream 4-6 times each night and we forget 95%-99% of our dreams? Recording them is great for looking back on!
- Routine Journal
This is the normal journal or diary, the one you bring everywhere, or the one you leave in one place a visit daily and write everything in your mind down, a life record.
- Gratitude Journal
A journal where you keep track of all of the things you are grateful for. This is a great journal to keep because even on your bad days, making yourself find a good point of every day or situation is important when keeping a positive mindset.
- Recovery Journal
This is a journal for exploring yourself during recovery. The journal acts as a place for you to spill your feelings but also for you to ask yourself questions, to seek answers. This is a place for you to track progress and make
I have tried most of these different types of journals, but only two have worked for me and my lifestyle. As a busy student and writer I don’t have time to adapt to new systems as often as I’d sometimes like to. I use the gratitude journal on a daily basis; sometimes I just write a sentence, and other days I write a whole entry. The other journal I use is a routine journal. I don’t take my book everywhere because I want it to be a stationary (no pun intended) moment in which I write whenever I can. It’s a book that never leaves my room, and even in the craziest of times, it’s the only thing that never changes.
So go grab a notebook, a napkin or open a new word document and figure out what you want to write about, and get journaling. Get writing for wellness!
Mazie Bishop is a fiery 22 year-old writer and journalism student from Canada. She is self-published and also has several poems and short fiction pieces published in various anthologies and magazines. She is a big dreamer who hopes to be writing with the big guys some day and cannot wait for her career to start! Currently, she is in the process of writing her second novel, and is in the outlining stages of a quarter-life memoir. You can read about her little crafty adventures, read her work, and gander at her photos on www.theselittlepieces.com.