I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but in addition to this blog and my usual work, I write 1,000 words each day in my journal. Sometimes (well, usually) the entries are boring and uninspired transcriptions of what happened in my life, in my day, in both my personal and professional life. Sometimes, they’re beautiful, such as when I’m deeply thinking about a subject or contemplating an issue. The journal, which is something I actually enjoy writing, keeps my mind fresh and empty, because having poured out all my frustrations and challenges and upsets on to the page each morning (or afternoon or evening), I no longer have to live with their burden. I deal with them in my journal, and then I try and move on. Which, of course, means that if you picked up my journals, you’d assume that I’m a bitter, lonely, miserable bitch on some days and the sanest, most wonderfully compassionate saint the next. Which I guess could both be accurate descriptions based on how much coffee I’ve ingested that morning.
But journals, I believe, also help with writing. Because they’re sacred spaces that no one really visits but yourself, they’re fantastic writing practice. One day you might choose to describe the state of your messy desk, the next day you might want to talk about your marriage, and the next, have a funny entry about something that happened on your way to lunch. My journals can range from the descriptive to the bizarre to the sublime to the absolutely boring, and it’s always fun to go back and see what I was feeling on a particular day. Sometimes I’ll leave notes for people in the future who may be reading them after I’m dead (guess I’m a bit silly like that), even though I have intentions to delete all of these musings one day. But when I’m struggling with a topic, I do sometimes experiment with it in the space of my journal, just saying it instead of writing it, and that helps me tremendously.
Writers are known to love journaling, and I’m no exception. It is, after all, just a private form of blogging.
What about you? Do you journal? What do you feel you get out of it?