Reasons To Journal

Journaling is a habit that can have a positive effect on different aspects of your life.

It can help you to:

  • Lower anxiety.
  • Clear your mind.
  • Organise your thoughts and feelings.
  • Gain insights into your own way of thinking.
  • Have a better understanding of who you are.
Jounaling - Just Girl Project doodle

There are many ways to journal but clearing writer’s block is where my interest in journaling began around 20 years ago. My inspiration was Julia Cameron and her book, The Artist’s Way. Julia is an advocate of what I term as the brain dump or free writing method of journaling. This is where you just write, don’t think and keep writing without stopping until you have finished, and you have taken all the internal chatter that’s in your head and left it on the page. 

Thanks to @Justgirlproject for this image.

I have boxes of journals stashed in the attic and maybe one day I’ll read them.

How To Start Journaling

I have mentioned one journaling technique but there are many and finding the right one that works for you is a process that takes practice.

To begin –

  1. Buy a notebook and scribble all over the first page. The only person who is going to read your journal is you so forget spelling, punctuation and grammar. Forget being neat. Scribbling on the first page takes away the need to write the perfect journal.
  2. Use prompts. Nothing is more off putting than staring at a blank page not knowing what to write. Prompts are questions like those in the Reflections Game or Being Me Diary which give you a focus for your writing.
  3. Make it a regular habit. I journal every day, first thing in the morning. This suits me and my lifestyle but may not be suitable for everyone. You may prefer just before bedtime. This is an ideal time for reflective journaling and can help if you struggle with sleeping well. The important thing is to do it regularly, so a minimum of three times a week.

By the way…

There are no rules on how much to write. Begin with a few sentences and as you become more practised the writing will flow and you’ll write as much as you need to.

A Journal is a creative space so if writing isn’t your thing then you can draw or doodle. You can stick, glue, paint and simply create to your heart’s content. Your journal is yours to use in a way that works for you. There is no wrong way to use it.

‘By writing daily in your journal, you will find the beauty of who you really are and why you’re here.’

Charles Duhigg

Contributors

Lorraine Dixon

My name is Lorraine Dixon and I am the founder of Open Narrative. I love to write and as an English teacher and life coach I want to share my passion for language and the written word.

I have been journaling for over twenty years and I write everyday based upon the teachings of Julia Cameron’s, The Artists’ Way. But I never read back any of my daily reflections, rants and raves.  Piles of journals lay dusty in the attic.

In 2015, I was frustrated at not being able to remember the smaller subtler changes taking place in my life. Ok, the big things are easy to remember but it’s the little things that we forget. I wanted somewhere to write and be able to see how my thoughts and feelings were shifting as I grew. So, I created Being Me, a five-year diary with simple but evocative questions as a daily guide of what to write about.

In 2017, I published Being Me to help others understand how to start journaling and record their own journey. I took a leap of faith that I wasn’t alone in wanting to remember more than big life events and see how I was growing and changing in our fast-paced world. I believe that Being Me is the opportunity for everyone to take a few minutes each day, no matter how busy they are, to write down a few words that will enable them to remember the little things well into the future.

This was the beginning of Open Narrative and as we all know a story has a beginning, middle and an end. As I write, my story with Open Narrative continues and there are exciting new products and ideas in planning and production.

‘Follow your own star.’

Dante Alighieri

Lorraine DIxon

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