Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Did you make a resolution to keep a journal this year? How’s that going?
I stopped making the resolution because I simply let it fall by the wayside. Yet journaling is a great tool. It can help you sort things out, express emotions, and give yourself a sanctuary away from the world. But it is easy to get past the barriers to keeping a journal.
There are a few reasons that people don’t keep up with a journal:
- Time. Journaling takes time, and it can seem just one more thing to cram into already overloaded schedules.
- Subject. What do you have to write about? The blank page can be daunting.
- Privacy. What if somone finds and reads the journal? Do you really want to put your feelings about Great-Aunt Mildred where they might be found?
Getting Past The Barriers
Time is always going to be crunched. Yet not having hours to spend journaling doesn’t mean you can’t journal. Here are my suggestions:
- Morning pages. Julia Cameron recommends writing three pages first thing in the morning. It doesn’t matter what you write as long as you keep the pen moving.
- Before bed. Take five minutes before you turn the lights out to write a paragraph or two.
- One sentence. The mother of all brevity journals, write one sentence that summarizes your day. Certainly you have time to write one sentence?
Not knowing what to write about is a good way to inspire you to stare at a blank screen or paper for a long time. There are some easy ways to find things to write about:
- Journal prompts. There are many sites on the web that will allow you to print journal prompts. My husband made me the Journal Jar for Christmas a few years ago, and I loved the prompts.
- Journal books. Many bookstores sell journals with pre-printed prompts in them. Look for them in with the blank books.
- Templates. You can decide if you want to answer the same set of questions every day. For instance, maybe the weather, what you wore, what your mood was, what you did. Having a list of questions to answer can make journal writing a snap.
No one wants to have their innermost thoughts read by someone else. Journaling needs to be a safe place, or you will not be able to share your emotions. There are a couple of options to get around this:
- Locked books. Many books come with locks. While not strong protection, it would keep the casual browser from opening the journal.
- A safe. A small safe can lock your journal away from prying eyes.
- Electronic. Having your journal stored in electronic files can keep them away from snoopers…as long as the snoopers aren’t on your computer. Save the document with a password, or use a program that requires a password to access it.
- Burn. If you are worried about someone reading the journal in the future, ask yourself if there is value in providing this information. An artist I know burned all her journals because she wanted her artwork to be her legacy to her children, not her journals. If there is no reason to keep them, burn the journals and release them through fire.
Do you keep a journal? How do you stay on track? How do you journal? Share below.
Photo by curtfleenor