Hey, it’s Rey, with my first post of 2022. The Boss’ blog—when it’s not featuring me and Linda and JJ, and our Triple Threat Investigation Agency—tends to deal with editing and writing from a published perspective. That got me to thinking about sharing something not related to the world of publishing, something I started last year: journaling. It can prove a real jewel.
For those not in the know, journaling is, basically, jotting down your thoughts, emotions/moods, and memories. It’s a way to purge—what’s eating at you, what makes you sad or angry or happy. Record problems and issues (when you revisit them later, you may find solutions or see that they weren’t as intense or bad as they seemed at the time).
I’ve heard it said that it’s beneficial, not only to watch yourself develop/grow, but in that it can enhance how you work and act; it allows you to think, contemplate, mull over, and process and, thereby, deal with stresses, traumas, and challenging situations. It’s a little too cerebral for me, but maybe we can have Linda post about that at a future date.
Journaling can be comforting. I know when I’ve had a bad froth-at-the-mouth day and I sit down to write what’s p’o’d me, I actually feel calmer once I’ve let it all out. Now, I may still want to yell at the person who’s annoyed me, or kick the door shut, or scream, but not nearly to the same degree. And, with time (a few minutes, a few hours) I’ve shut off those non-productive emotions like I’ve shut my journal for the day.
What I can also confirm is that journaling works—you really do feel good once you’ve laid it all out on paper or screen. It’s kind of like having a silent psychotherapist; you reveal all, no holds barred, and you don’t receive advice you feel is useless or know you can’t follow. Re-reading journal notes can be eye-opening, sometimes jolting, sometimes soothing . . . and sometimes kind of like an epiphany (my new word of the year).
Think of it as a record of you. Even though I’ve only been doing it a short while, I like that, years from now, I will have accounts of who I was, what I was going through, and how I dealt with or resolved problems. Will I laugh? Cry? Groan? Roll my eyes? Maybe all, he-he.
Not sure you can do it? Feeling intimidated? You can do it. Remember, you don’t have to write a full page. You don’t even have to jot down full sentences. Write one line or use point-form (words that describe that day, that moment). Swear if you like. It’s your personal journal and you can say whatever you want.
Don’t be intimidated by the thought or commitment. Just grab a notebook and pen or sit at the computer. Give it two minutes, if that’s all you can commit to. You don’t need to do it at the same time each day, but I find, for myself, that sitting down at night, an hour or so before bed, works for me. Maybe you’d like to do it while having a morning coffee. Whatever works . . . works.
Should you share? A good question and I can’t answer that. I’d prefer to keep my journal private, but who knows? Maybe one day I’ll feel that others can benefit from my experiences and solutions.
You won’t know how helpful or cleansing it can be until you try it. So, if you haven’t tried journaling, I simply say . . . give it a go!