Having so many journals, now numbering in the fourties, that I have been writing for over thirty years, I am faced ever now and then, with a question. What the heck am I going to do with these? For a long time I thought about compiling all of them into a book of sorts, not necessarily for others, but maybe. I did attempt to edit each one but the task was just too daunting, and frankly mostly painful to read, as much of the writing was day to day, stream of consciousness, mundane gobbledygook. However, keeping journals gives you a kind of immortality. I have no children to pass them onto, but who knows, perhaps the world might be interested one day! Laugh out loud!
At some point, hopefully sooner than later, I am going to maybe have some kind of ceremony, or perhaps just throw them out with the trash to unburden myself from years of all these thoughts on paper, collecting dust. I am not so sure what the point of hanging on to them would be. In spite of this, my emotional reaction is, the thought of getting rid of them, is rather like letting go of a big part of myself, kind of like a death. This is an extreme thought I know. These journals are simply my thoughts, not my life. I have internalized all of these journals and so disposing of them doesn't necessarily make them gone.
It has been documented, researched and studied, how journaling can enrich our lives, help us to make sense of our inner world, figure things out, and just provide a cheap form of therapy.
I am not sure if one can know just how journaling can change and improve your life, if one has never practiced this daily discipline, over a lengthy period of time. I can attest, journaling certainly changed mine. I was able to fulfill many life long dreams, work through much grief and change, decrease my many character defects, and greatly improve upon my strengths and capacities.
I especially got really serious about journaling in 1994, after reading Julia Cameron's book The Artist Way, which was recommended to me by an Art Therapist. My journaling increased my creativity as an artist, and became an essential part of my creative process, and continues to be to this day.
Journaling lead me to start this blog in 2008, and to my interest in Tarot reading and my second blog, Apple River Tarot Readings. Journaling also resulted in fulfilling my life long dream of learning how to ride horses. At the age of 40 I enrolled in an Equestrian Coaching Preparation program for almost two years, living on a working horse farm. Sixteen years later I returned to University to finish my Bachelor of Fine Arts at the age of 56, graduating in 2012. I definitely attribute both these accomplishments to regular journaling.
I understand, not every one has an interest in writing, and I think this is probably what determines why an individual would or would not keep a journal. However many well known successful individuals, writers, artists, musicians, poets and presidents through out history kept journals. Journaling dates back to the 10th century.
As a young girl like many others girls my age, I kept a dairy. You know the ones, with flowers on the cover, and the little key, to ensure no prying eyes would ever read your inner most thoughts about the boy you had a big crush on, or how you'd written swear words about your stupid brother etc. My interest in writing started at a young age, and into my teens I would write poetry and essays, but it wasn't until I became a young adult, that I was even more drawn to writing, and in particular, journaling.
Blogging is certainly a great form of journaling, minus all the mundane goobledygook, and the naughty bits. But virtual online writing will never replace the hard copy, with a putting a good writing pen to paper, into a beautiful new journal. I get excited just thinking about it! I hope I will never stop journaling!
Here is a list of how journaling can help you, and some links to explore further, the benefits of keeping a regular daily journal.
- Clarify your thoughts and feelings.
- Know yourself better.
- Reduce stress.
- Solve problems more effectively.
- Resolve disagreements with others.