There are dozens of books on different types of journaling habits, procedures, etc.
I have a confession: I have not read a single one of them. That’s right, not one!
Just to be a rebel without a cause… I’m never going to read one either!
It isn’t that I do not read – I do – and voraciously. From fiction to non-fiction, self-help to business, crafting, education, history, science, and more. In my library, there are many writers from a variety of backgrounds, because I respect their various perspectives.
The whole idea of having someone tell me how to use a journal though, it’s just not for me. It’s okay if you love reading them – many of you have suggested various how-to-journal books to me, and I just can’t bring myself to read them.
I just don’t think it should be complicated enough to read a book on it. Maybe I’m wrong – and that’s okay too. I’m probably taking a risk just telling you all that I just don’t care to read them!
So how do I journal? I keep it really simple –
I document my life.
What my nearly daily writing in a journal does for me and, unless I miss my guess, many of you, is sort my feelings and keep track of daily occurrences. I suppose it’s my reason for having a journal that’s different, and why I have never bothered to read any how-to-journal books.
I don’t document my life because because it’s all that exciting or interesting – although I have certainly had some great moments! I document my life because memory shifts and changes over the years. What I once saw as a huge tragedy turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime; or I forget little details, like whether we were standing here or there when I first kissed my soul mate.
A journal keeps those memories pure for me. It reminds me why I chose to do a thing, or why not – and what were the consequences of that choice!
What do I write?
I write about what happened, what I thought/felt about it, etc. I write down all the details I can remember about the event or the day. Even this isn’t perfect, because memory is a fickle thing, but it helps me remember more than I would without it.
Here’s the funny thing – a journal need not be complicated, 500 pages long, or anything like that.
See that blog image? That is my current journal, and yes, I write in it with a fountain pen. I love the tactile sensation of physically writing. For me, it’s as much about the process as the content.
Here’s my advice on a journal: Keep it simple, make it yours, and above all – enjoy the process.