I have kept a journal for three years already. I thought that I would give it up soon but now I see that it’s a great habit and I won’t stop journaling anytime soon. A journal or a diary if you would like to call it so has been my handiest tool in understanding myself, other people and the world in general. Here are some main reasons why you should also try journaling or not stop doing it if you have already started. And some pages from my journals.
A journal helps to understand
The world is a messy place. People are different and weird and very often we don’t understand why things go the way they do. Sometimes it’s hard to understand other people, sometimes your own self. Writing about these complicated situations and feelings may help you to find a solution, a way from the tricky situation. Sometimes it’s hard to even understand how you are feeling about a certain thing. Writing may also help in this case. Messy feelings look not that messy when they are put on a page.
A journal feeds your creativity
You don’t have to be a writer or painter to start a journal. It’s the other way round, you can be a writer or painter in your journal. It is the place for you to store all the ideas that come to your mind, little thoughts and scribbles. You may use them for your bigger projects later. Or they might be not useful at all but looking back at these thoughts will be interesting and nostalgic. Even if you don’t do any creative work, writing in journal awakens your creativity which helps in solving everyday problems. A creative mind sees things from a different perspective which helps to understand the whole situation better.
A journal helps to grow as a person
Set your goals and write your dreams in your journal. When they are written down, even if they’re seen only by you, you’re being encouraged to work to reach those dreams. Also, we all have things that we don’t like about ourselves. Writing these things down and analyzing them will help you to change the way you see yourself and start to love yourself or will encourage you to improve your behavior and fix your flaws. Later you’ll be able to look back and see how much you’ve changed and grown as a person. It really brings positivity to life.
A journal is a place to record
Glue down tickets from museums, little notes from friends, photos, candy wraps and write about your interesting experiences. You think that all the wonderful memories will stay in your head forever but they get dull over time. Looking at these tiny pieces in your journal will bring the memories and feelings back. Write about how beautiful the park that you visited was or how funny your friends congratulated you on your birthday. On your bad days reading this kind of entries will make you feel better and think that maybe everything’s actually not that bad.
I am a creative person and a journal is a thing that I use almost every day. I started writing simple entries about my day but my writing changed a lot over time. Now I glue all kinds of memorabilia – scraps from newspapers and leaflets that I like, photos that inspire me, tickets, little drawings. I write down quotes that I like and song lyrics, also point down the ideas for future photoshoots, drawings, projects and articles. But the main purpose of journaling for me is to improve my creative writing and analyze my mind. I write about my everyday experiences but not just simply pointing out what happened. I take the emotions that were the strongest or weirdest that day, events that stuck in my mind and little details, like the voice of a stranger on the bus or the way the traffic lights become blurry if you stare at them for long enough. Then I create a piece of writing that is fictional or hyperbolized but based on my true feelings. Sometimes I just want to let everything out. In these cases, I just write down everything that goes in my mind. It‘s usually messy and not structured at all but a journal is not a place to be perfect and tidy. All of my writing is very useful later, doing some creative work.
Here are some pages from my journals. As I said, most of them are fully written but some are more visual.
Keeping a journal improves your personality in many ways. You don‘t have to keep it as a piece of art to show for others. Journal for yourself, this will make you see things that you wouldn‘t have noticed before, it will help you grow as a person and awaken your creativity. And you‘ll have a piece of your current self saved for your later self.