One of the questions I get asked about journal writing is if I journal everyday. The answer is yes. Every single day, I journal in some way.
That doesn’t always mean that I write in my journal. I often do. I also often use index cards and audio recordings. Both are what I consider to be different types of journals. I get the benefits of journal writing when I use index cards or record my thoughts, and neither requires that I sit and fill in a page with my rambling sentences and attempts at doodling.
In my new book, Beyond Pen & Paper: 33 Experiments in Journaling, I describe using index cards and audio recordings and give suggestions for using these techniques – along with 31 others.
We avoid writing in our journals for lots of reasons. Concern that another person will read it. Afraid to write down our goals and dreams because we’ve heard writing them down is a step to getting serious, and we’re not sure we’re ready to be serious.
We may also just be a little tired of our regular practice. It’s even possible that our efforts at keeping a traditional journal are not leading to the deep dive we crave and we need to try something else.
When that happens it’s time to bust out some new ideas for getting the benefits of journal writing and see if they yield the results we want. Give audio recording a try and see if your thoughts flow more smoothly, and get to the heart of the matter, a little quicker than writing does for you.
Take a gander at list writing. Instead of writing paragraphs and pages, it might be more beneficial to you to cut write to the chase with a minimal number of words. Small words can leave a big impact if they help you to move forward. Or forgive yourself. Or solve a problem. Or simply make you feel better.
What other ways do you get the benefits of keeping a journal into your daily life? Leave a comment below and tell me about it – I’d love to hear about your experiments!
Sara Marchessault is a writer, publisher, teacher, and mom who is on a mission to increase joy on the planet. Through the practice of self-reflection, we become aware of what brings us joy and what does not, and we make choices to move forward or stand still. Journal writing is a powerful reflection tool that can help any of us move forward, even in the darkest of times.
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