“Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell.”
-Louisa May Alcott on the benefits of a journal.
If you can’t tell by some of the pics on this site, I really like journals. Unless I by chance forget to bring it with me I always have one. Dinner out? Family gathering? Night at the movies? Chances are I’ve got a journal on me somewhere.
Don’t forget a pen too.
I’ve been writing in journals for quite of a few years of my life. It started early but got more and more deliberate with age. The more intricate my life became the more value I placed on writing something down on a page. Below you’ll find my Top 5 reasons why YOU should highly consider grabbing a journal.
Let’s face it, everyone likes to be different. Which is great! Who doesn’t want to show the world a little bit of themselves? Seriously though, I might have a problem with snapback hats. Before you pick up a journal try to consider the fact, even if it might seem inconsequential, the look of it. Is it a color you like? Is it a size you feel comfy with? I personally love notebooks that are small enough to fit in my pocket. Something that small allows me to carry it simply everywhere. Which is something you’ll want to consider. (more on that with #3)
Are you a person that loves stickers? Dig out your favorite pack and give your notebook some different life. This could work for you bedazzlers out there too! Just make it your own!
I take a tiny amount of pride in my journal. It’s my tool to help wrangle up my thoughts. It should capture a bit of my personality too, don’t you think?
4. Freedom of Pressure
Having any sort of outlet to express yourself without any judgment is a great tool. A journal fits the bill here perfectly. You will never write something down and then receive an onslaught of comments about it from your journal. Unless you have a magical one and if that’s the case, please share.
I’ve gone back to read some of the ideas I’ve written and chuckled about it. That’s O.K. though! A journal lets you feel free to write anything and everything that comes to your mind. Trying to think up something new just to think of something you aren’t sure you wanna share yet? Throw that piece of awesome in a journal for later. When you come back to look over your journaling you can decide in further detail if that idea is something of worth to you. It’s a great way for half-baked ideas to subconsciously become more defined organically, simply because you’re free of the pressure of feedback.
3. Spontaneous Brilliance
Were you ever sitting somewhere in a moment completely unrelated to your thoughts? All of sudden you’re filled with this idea or solution and you thought to yourself, I’ll jot that down later, or when I get home I’ll try that. Just for you to completely forget what you thought. Nothing can be more frustrating than remembering you had a great idea but forgetting it completely.
This point goes hand-in-hand with #5. When you have a journal that is within reach of you there is rarely an idea that can escape. Now my reasoning for having a smaller journal most of the time makes sense, right? Making sure that you have an easy-to-carry journal will help you, even more, when trying to get in the habit of journaling. Don’t let your amazing ideas go to waste simply because you didn’t have an easy way to jot them down. This is great practice for those of you that dream a lot. Dreams can bring about tons of ideas so make sure your journal in on-hand in case you wake up. Dreams are some of the most fleeting thoughts so capture them before they slip away.
Alternatives for you techies! There are tons of apps, most phones come preloaded with a version, for note taking. My phone came with a notepad app when I bought it. If you don’t mind typing on your phone then your phone CAN BE YOUR JOURNAL! You can even back that information up on an SD card or a cloud service like Google Docs.
My journals are filled with quotes and messages that are meant for myself. Little reminders of encouragement. This can be in any format really. Such as a simple line on a page of a favorite quote of yours, or maybe it’s a sketch with a message for you artsy folk. Don’t forget that you’re your own biggest motivator!
You just completed something or surpassed a goal you set recently.
Write it down!
Seeing then remembering even the slightest achievements will help give bumps in the right direction, mentally.
1. A Journal is The Pensieve
If you’re a fan of Harry Potter then you might already be making the connection. If you have no idea what a Pensieve is, don’t worry at all. You gon’ learn today!
The amazing thing about the Pensieve was the ability to take a memory or thought and simply store it inside. Imagine, being able to literally pull a memory/thought from your mind and place it in something. Allowing the wizard to review his thoughts at his “leisure.” This is starting to sound really familiar.
A journal plays the same role, except without all the cool magic. A journal allows you to keep track of separate single thoughts and piece them together. For instance, I jot down random dialogue or descriptions that I think up. I might not know what story those lines will play a role in yet but it’s there. Then it’s an easy reference once I see ideas that piece it together.
However, the best things about my journal? Taking memories or thoughts that stir up emotion and being able to record it, keep track of it, and have its weight in my journal, not on myself. I know that a lot of us sometimes can’t wrestle down our feelings. A journal is a great place to rant and rave your emotions off and not a single opinion will be paid back. Try it and let me know if you start to feel better.
If you’d like to see more lists like this please let me know, I’d love some feedback. Let me know, do you keep a journal and how do you use it?
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