Today let’s chat about journaling. Most people probably got their first experience with journaling as a third grade assignment. When I was in the third grade (with Mrs. Kolstad’s class at Deephaven Elementary) we started class every day with 15-20 minutes of writing in those Harriet the Spy type of notebooks. Of course, I don’t remember what I wrote about but I know that I gained a lot of interest in writing through those assignments. Allowing children to free-write is a great idea, it’s an entirely different form of writing than academic writing because it enables children to write at their own pace and about their own interests. I’m a firm believe that you can never write enough!
However, I definitely fell off the journaling wagon in middle and high school. There were many times that I would begin writing in a journal, with the full intention of making a habit out of it, only to let it be forgotten. I’m not sure why I was not able to keep it up; I always loved writing creatively but for some reason I was not reliable when it came to keeping a journal.
That changed the summer after my freshman year of college, probably due to the fact that I bought a very pretty, floral designed journal by Vera Bradley (she discontinued them!) at my school’s bookstore. Since then, I’ve gone through 8 journals and I started my 9th after this past Christmas. I don’t always write every day, and on occasion I let a week go by without writing.
I’ve found that journaling is really therapeutic and cathartic. I typically don’t like to write about negative or upsetting things—because I don’t necessarily want to remember them. But if I’m upset or worried about something, writing about can clear up my thoughts or help me to understand why something is bothering me. It’s rare that I don’t feel better and more relaxed after writing down my thoughts and worries.
I also like the idea of preserving memories. Maybe one day, when I have children, they will read my journals to learn more about me. I can also relive important and wonderful moments by reading what about what I was feeling and thinking.
So what about you? Do you journal? Or have you tried in the past but it just hasn’t stuck? Next week, I’ll post a journal prompt that could work as a jumping off point to journaling. Happy writing!