If you've ever kept a diary, then you know that journaling can be fun. Click To Tweet

Not sure what journaling is? Have you ever kept a diary? You know, the kind with the entry that begins “Dear Diary….”

If you have, then you’ve you know it can be kind of fun to go back and read what was big in your world when you wrote it. Although, I am sure there are many cringe-worthy moments in it as well!!

Cringe-worthy moments and fun aside, keeping a diary or a journal is one of the best things you can do, whether you are a writer or not.

Benefits of journaling

There are many benefits of journaling, but first and foremost, it’s a safe place for you to record every thought, wish, desire, whinge, or concern. Your journal can be one of your dearest friends; a friend you can tell anything to, without fear of judgement or of your secrets being shared with others. (Just make sure you keep your journal away from prying eyes!)

Writing down what’s in your mind also helps you process things better. The very act of writing enables you to identify thoughts or issues that crop up regularly. And these are often the things that hold us back from our success.

Writing down your thoughts can help you process things and ultimately lead you to more success. Click To Tweet

Journaling also allows you to ‘brain dump’ — that is, clear your mind from the clutter that can distract and waylay you. When you do this, you can look at things objectively, which allows you to solve problems more easily.

Journaling allows you to dream. Writing down your dreams, goals and plans is a great way to get in touch with what you really want in life. There is power in words — more so in written form than in spoken — so writing down what you really want in life is an important step to making your dreams a reality. Documenting your goals, progress, stumbling blocks and successes will leave you with clues as to what works and doesn’t work, meaning you are more likely to succeed than if you didn’t journal at all.

Finally, journaling makes you happier. Taking time every now and then to write down the things you’re grateful for, or the blessings you have, means you’ll have a more positive view of the world, leading to greater happiness.

How often should you journal?

Really, do what works for you. Some people advocate for daily journaling, others recommend it every few days or so. But life is busy, and journaling shouldn’t be another source of stress. Quite the opposite in fact. Journaling is therapeutic, so take it off the ‘to do’ list and put it on your ‘I want to’ list. Go with your feelings and your schedule and see what works for you. You may find that the benefits are so great, you’ll make time to do it daily.

Journaling is therapeutic, so take it off the ‘to do’ list and put it on your ‘I want to’ list. Click To Tweet

What type of journal?

Once again, what works for you? A plain old exercise book will do the job, but you may want to buy a fancy journal for the job, or even a pretty notebook with blank pages. If you don’t like writing by hand, you can also keep an electronic journal.

How do you journal?

There is no secret. Just begin writing. Write about your day. Write about your dreams. Write about your feelings or some conflict you’ve had. Write about your blessings. Or simply write what comes into your head. There is no right or wrong. Just write.

Sometimes there may be times when you’ve got so much to say that you know you’ll end up with writer’s cramp. Or you may not be able to keep up with the thoughts as they tumble about your head. When this happens to me I jump onto the computer, type out what I want to say (I’m a lot quicker at typing than handwriting), and then I print it out and paste it into my journal. So I have a record of everything in the one place.

Journals are not just for writing either. You can paste in photographs, quotes, and pictures of things that speak to you. Get creative, for the more creative and fun you make your journal, the more likely you are to turn to it.

Get creative, for the more creative and fun you make your journal, the more likely you are to turn to it. Click To Tweet

Why I love keeping a journal

As a health and medical writer, most of my writing relates to facts, figures and technical writing. Keeping a journal allows me to explore my creative side and to access the things that are deepest in my heart. It’s an opportunity for a ‘freer’ kind of writing style, which provides balance to work that can be fairly restrained. Keeping a journal helps me process the world around me, and is a place where I can be myself. I can dump in it, I can dream in it, and I can get to know the real me, through my writing.

Keeping a journal also helps me to be more successful in my business, and in my personal life.

It’s a brand new year, so if you’re ready to try a different kind of writing, grab a pen, notebook and a quiet spot and see what your heart is telling you.

Cheers
Nerissa

While I can’t grant you access to my journal, I can let you access my writing expertise. If you’d like help with a writing or editing project, hit the contact button and send me a message.

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