When you write for a living you can easily forget to write for yourself. You can forget to write simply for the love of words, for the joy of stringing together sentences.
This is why I journal.
As much as I love blogging I understand that this space isn’t mine and mine alone. I share this space with you. So, with every word I type for this blog I’m considering you, asking myself what content you want and what content you need.
But my journal is my space to write things I would never post on a blog. In my journal I write things I would never say out loud. I write things I don’t even share with my husband.
Journaling helps me process my feelings. Through journaling I can figure out how I feel and what I think about things happening in my life and in the world around me.
My journal is also my space to brainstorm ideas for things that one day I will share — ideas for my blog, my book and my business and ideas for articles and essays.
My journal is my space to dream, my space to write down my big hairy audacious goals and devise a plan for achieving them.
Related Reading: This Journaling Practice Could Change Your Life
Making My List and Checking It Twice
Sometimes I write journal in lists. Some days I make long lists of things I’m grateful for— and suddenly my whole outlook on life changes. Other days I make lists of all the things I appreciate about my husband and I fall in love with him all over again. Sometimes I make lists of all of my accomplishments and I fall in love with myself.
One day I made a list of all the people who have done something special for me since my cancer diagnosis and the list was so long it brought me to tears.
I make lists of stuff that I don’t need but will probably buy anyway.
Writing My Way Back to Myself
I use my journal to pray, writing letters to God when I’m happy, sad, mad, scared, or confused. I journal my prayers when I’m hopeful and when I’m on the verge of giving up.
With my journal, I write from, for, and about my body. In one journal entry, I might record how I feel from head to toe. In another, I hash out exercise regimens and meal plans that will help me feel healthy. Sometimes I make shopping lists of lingerie that will help me feel sexy.
I write love letters to my body and I write love letters from my body.
When I find myself caught up in the false reality of social media or worshiping at the feet of popularity or productivity, I use journaling to ground myself. Sometimes I use journaling to find myself.
When I journal, I remember who I am.
If you want to start a journal practice of your own, here are some prompts to get you started.
- How do you feel right now and why?
- Think of one of your biggest goals and write about it as if you have already achieved it.
- Write a letter to God.
- Make a list of all you’re grateful for right now.
- Make a list of 20 accomplishments — big or small.
- Write a love letter to your body.
- Write a letter to yourself from your body.
- Respond to this question: Who are you?
Why do you journal?