If you’ve never written in a journal, it may seem intimidating to you. Take note of the little word “seem.” Don’t be fooled. You can write about anything and everything in a journal. It all depends on how transparent you are willing to be. Unless you plan to burn every last one of them before you croak, you need to realize that your words will be down for your executor and God knows who else to see. You can stipulate in your will that they are to be destroyed upon your death. Hopefully, if this is your wish, it will be carried out.
First of all, because you may be asking yourself “Why in the world should I keep a journal?” I’ll give you some reasons why:
1. Journal writing often gives heart’s ease (peace of mind, calmness of emotion).
2. It gives you a record of your days and thoughts.
3. It can put you in tune with creativity. Ideas will more likely flow.
There are many types of journals: Records of activities, “Dear Diary,” meetings with God, blowing off steam, and so on. Once you begin, you’ll fall into a pattern that feels right for you.
7 Things to Get You Started:
1. Buy a journal. You’ll find a wide array of journals to choose from. Bound books, feminine or masculine in appearance–pick whichever one appeals to you. Open each one and see how if feels to your hand in writing mode. You may like the spiral-bound ones best, some of which have pleasing covers. You may opt for a spiral-bound college-type notebook. Whatever “floats your boat.”
2. Buy yourself a wonderful, comfortable pen. If you’ve ever read any of Natalie Goldberg’s writings, she strongly urges this. It makes sense. it gives you a sense of pride in your writing. A nice, fat pen is good for your hand.
3. Set a time of day or night for journaling. Mornings are usually best. If you’re not a morning person, pick whatever time is best for you.
4. Write your name on the inside cover and the date you began.
5. Date each entry completely, including the time.
6. Write as though you were talking to your best friend.
7. Aim to fill at least one page per day.
Now I’m going to share some of my journal writings with you.
Thur. Nov. 16, ’89–11:07 p.m.
“I dreamed last nite that I was in the old house on the farm–the roof was leaking–man came and re-roofed the den. Rain came and it leaked worse than ever. He would make it good. Blamed his helper. Then a tornado blew up and all around and when it got near us it had a face with glowing red eyes and a large shape of a huge muscled man-lion. I rebuked it in the name of Jesus and it went by. Praise God. I’m worried about rain for the Elizabeth show, I do know that. If rain if forecast, no matter how low a %, I’m not going. All my work would be ruined.” (My “work” is art–watercolor, pastel, and mixed media mostly on paper).
See? Nothing to it. This was one of my shorter entries. Don’t want to bore you. If you would rather type than write with a pen, just do it that way, but be sure and bind up your sheets of paper so they will be readily available to you.
Bon voyage on your trip into journaling. I hope that you’ll find it productive. Let me hear from you.