I guess before I was a “blogger” I was already a writer…but in journals and much more personal. It was a big step to send some of those thoughts out to the internet for y’all. Journaling is freeing. I don’t have to worry about grammar or whether my thoughts flow and make sense. I am free to just pour my feelings out on the page. I find that the physical act of writing focuses me and helps me to process through emotions. When I am left to just think my brain can run away and wind up in an endless spin cycle. Writing helps my thoughts have a direction.
Here are some of the benefits I have found with journaling…especially during a storm season. 1. I can look back and see how far I have come. How God has answered prayers and how I have been transformed as a person 2. It keeps feelings from being trapped inside 3. I found more acceptance for myself. If I wanted to write about the same feeling 2 days in a row…2 weeks…2 months in a row it didn’t matter. I was free to be honest without judgment. If I wanted to draw pictures…I drew pictures. It was a space to explore myself. I could write to myself…to God…to other people in my life. Sometimes I transferred these thoughts to e-mails most times I didn’t. 4. When I see the words on a page they become more real to me and often I need that. I have written sentences and just sat and started at them waiting for the reality to sink in. One from a year ago:
“I am 31 and I have Breast Cancer”.
I would come back to that over and over until it was no longer shocking…until I was able to accept my new reality.
Starting to journal can be a bit intimidating if you’re not used to it. Here are a few ideas:
- Let go of the idea of there being a “right” way to journal. You can even start your journal by writing “I’m not really sure how this is going to turn out for me but…” Write questions, write emotions, write hopes/dreams, write prayers. This is for you. Don’t judge yourself if you don’t write everyday or fill volumes and volumes. Use it as a tool to get to know yourself and document your process.
- Buy a journal you like and are inspired by. I like to collect my thoughts in beautiful books. Some people are content with a plain sketch book or want their journals to be all the same. I select a journal by how I am feeling at the moment I am starting it. This is a photo of my last 3 journals (all of them by Paper Blanks):The blue one I selected when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer…I wanted something soothing and calming The orange/brown one I selected when I was exploring my desert season The illuminated Gutenberg Bible (Genesis) is the one I am just starting because right now I am holding on to how God has been faithful through the generations.
- Use a pen you like to write with. I like Gel Rollers. The words just seem to glide from the end. 🙂
- Find an inspiring location. Maybe it’s a park…maybe it’s a café…maybe it’s in a chair in the sun.