A journal and the gift of journaling as a regular activity has the power to empower and transform your life!
I have been thinking about communicating what is most significant in my own writing time to help encourage journaling as a lifestyle. Maybe you journal regularly, maybe you are at the place where you are reading about journaling more than actually journaling.
Why do we do that? We decide we are interested in something and long to experience a specific activity in its fullness so, instead of jumping in the pool, we saunter to the edge, dip our big toe in, look longingly at the clear blue water…then turn and go back to our comfy poolside lounge chair!
Journaling is NOT like that, my friend. I will add that LIFE itself is not that way either. Now I do understand there are different personalities and some are a little slower in venturing to the deep end and others are cannonball types. I know it also takes all kinds to make this world the flavorful, colorful, beautiful place it can be…BUT the fact is the fun is on the deep end. I promise it’s true. The deep end is where the wild starts, where the challenge is and where you will swim with a smile or sink trusting you will breathe underwater if necessary.
I think I will get more into that pool theme and overcoming your fear of the deep end tomorrow, but for today, I just want to give you what I think are my 5 best tips for developing and maintaining a journaling lifestyle that will carry you through to old age. Loving that I can write that sentence. HA! Spoken from the crypt…OK, well at least for a very long time!
- Write Like You Talk – Writing in your journal is about communicating from within, right? It’s not about making a great impression. It’s not putting on high heels, your cutest little black number and ruby red lipstick, MUAH. More often, it’s like a knock on the door when you just got out of the shower, and you answer anyway struggling to hold your robe closed, while your hair is half falling out of the towel wrap on your head. Life is like that too.The fact is while writing in my journal, I have spent years of learning to be naked on paper. Raw, real, and well just me for better AND worse, through all kinds of trials, interruptions and circumstances. Trust me there is a lot of worse in my journals. But there is also perspective in time- things that could not have been seen but in retrospect; Also personal transformation and experiences I know I would forget if not for the pen and paper. Nothing fancy, nothing hidden. Put it out there, IN there. That is what your journal is for. One piece of advice given to beginning writers is to find and develop their unique “voice”. The fact is when I finally began sharing my writing, I had been developing my voice in my journal privately for the majority of my life. Authentic journaling will be like a training ground for your future, a playground for the life you want, a hospital for your soul. What you write on the pages of your journal, eventually comes out in your life, in one way or another.
- Kick the Critic to the Curb- The last thing the world needs is another critic. At least in the head! OR at least the last thing your journaling habit needs is an inhibiting presence whatever shape it takes. I will admit, the writing in my journal is different today than it was thirty years ago, heck, I mean, I’m older, wiser…mature. HA! Or perhaps age affords me the luxury of knowing how to articulate myself better with my pen to the degree that teenage rants and expletives are less satisfying. Either way, when you are afraid you are doing it wrong in your journal you are already defeated. Kick that critic to the curb and get on with saying what needs to be said. Journal your way to VICTORY! Your voice matters. It needs a place to start.
- Go With The Flow- There are days I journal and the words flow like lava from a hot volcano. There are times I stare at the wall, out the window, at my Bible, at my cat with pen in hand wondering. Just wondering. It looks a lot like nothing. Do you realize thinking thoughts requires time? Sometimes the pen stops because the mind needs to wonder, imagine, think, ponder. Despite what this overly busy culture says, sometimes the best thoughts are thunk, while doing nothing. Or something else…like living. Or driving, cooking, gardening, showering. Go with the flow. Anytime you’re not journaling, you are living. AND living life is obviously very important if one wants to have something to journal or write about, after all.
- Create Time and Space- When and where will you journal? Well, that might vary and it might also depend on the focus of your journaling. I tend to go through seasons or phases with regard to space. The majority of my journaling timewise is done in the morning. But that does not mean that I do not journal at other times. I do. I keep a journal with me almost always. I just prefer quietness which is a hard to come by commodity, unless you lurk in the wee early hours of morning before all variety of busyness comes barging in on the day. As far as creating space, I am going to dedicate a whole post to that, but wherever my focus is maintained and my heart happy is good. I recently created a special space- more like repurposed and decluttered a messy but favorite desk for morning Bible reading, journaling, prayer and reflection. I am really enjoying it! Truth is I will write anywhere and anytime. I’m easy…. like Sunday Morning.
- Inspire Yourself-I think one of the greatest gifts of keeping a journal is tapping into your own well of inspiration. I promise there is more to you than meets the eye, and also that there is more to you than you currently know or believe! How do you discover the inspiration that is within? I know you know the answer…YUP…journaling. Every moment you are alive and breathing you are POSSIBILITY! Honestly, you’d be surprised what you have inside you. Open your eyes to the present, be willing to dig deeper. Be available for adventure. I am telling you, YOU are inspiring, created by a Creator full of an endless supply of inspiration…you just need to tap into the source. (Covering that later this week!)
You ready to dive into the Deep End in your journaling journey? Are you ready to explore the MORE on the other end of the swimming pool? Which tip speaks to you most? Will you or do you implement any of these tips? I would love to have a conversation here.
I wanted to do a few giveaways and the first one is for the cutest bag I found (I had to get a few), perfect for carrying a journal, pens and small calendar…which I am including! The Sketchbook and Monthly Calendar are perfect for on the go planning, journaling and living!
To Enter: Join the conversation by leaving a comment, question, thought below. I will use a Random Name Picker to choose the winner. Entries close Midnight Friday. I will draw the winner on my Hubby’s Birthday Saturday! Good luck. One entry per person. Sorry US only for this one. You must leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win. Easy, Peasy! Good Luck.
I encourage you to share this post as I continue to be on a SM break (which means not spending time hanging out with some of my favorite people at some of my favorite SM hotspots!?) TEMPORARILY! I appreciate the love, tweets, tumbles, presses, Pins, FB shares etc.