Why keeping a Journal can change your writing life
“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.”
― Christina Baldwin
Most people are their own worst enemies. How many times have you said you are going to something and you don’t. What gets in the way is our overactive minds. Thoughts, feelings, negative talk, thinking about the past, thinking about the future, questioning things, talking ourselves out of something, too much thinking, the list is endless.
Many years ago I read and completed the The Artists Way by Julia Cameron. Each chapter is finished with an exercise or task to rediscover and revive your creativity. One of those things is Morning Pages. If you’ve read the book you’re probably familiar with the term Morning Pages. Julia recommends 3 pages of writing first thing in the morning. Pure consciousness on the page. Then after 3 months or at the end of the book, you are to read back on your journalling.
Writing my Morning Pages totally transformed me. It took a few weeks to get into the habit but once I did, I truly enjoyed it. Even in winter when my fingers were cold I loved putting morning thoughts to the page. My feelings and thoughts were cleared up before I got to work and I started to feel more energetic and light on my feet. I was releasing something. Working things out. The best part was reading back on my pages. Dreams I had forgotten. Book ideas. Depression that had settled. The ups and downs were laid bare. Ordinary stuff seemed well so ordinary and not gigantic in my head.
The best part is I have a permanent record of a moment in time. Something to read back on or give to my kids. I hope I am one of those old ladies one day who says ‘Oh yes I went through all of that but I worked it all out eventually.’ but even if I don’t work anything out at least I can say I tried. I wrote. I published. I succeeded. I failed. I was in the arena.
I’ve taken long breaks from writing my Morning Pages and each time I think it has contributed to a long funk or period of being stuck. Now I’m getting back into my Morning Pages. The older I get it seems the harder it is for habits to stick. But already I can feel the shift of internal sludge.
If you are still not convinced here are few more reasons you need to Journal:
- Capture the subconscious mind first thing in the morning. You’ll be surprised what you write down half a sleep.
- Physical energy increases with emotional release.
- Capture Ideas with a notebook next your bed.
- Your goals are clear and reinforced because you’ll want to write down your thoughts around them.
- Prepares you for the day by clearing up fears, frustrations or things you need to do.
- Detaches the past and lets things go.
- Makes you aware of repetitive negative self talk.
- Awakens you to gratitude which increases positivity.
- Get’s you writing! There is no wasted effort. Journalling counts as writing and you are learning even if you think you’re not.
- Helps to develop a writing habit.
- Helps you discover your voice.
- Heals you by working things out on the page and releasing issues.
So if you think Journalling is a cliche, for the weak, stupid or a waste of time. Just try it! I write in a plain exercise book. No fancy stationary. Start with half a page a day. Start at night then move to mornings. Writing is transformational. Start today.
If you like this post please share it…
Originally published at activepatience.com on January 24, 2016.