Journaling is a very personal activity and it takes many forms. Whether you use your journal practically, creatively, or both, your journal will be unlike anyone else’s and the method of journaling that works for you will be your own. It’s a versatile practice too. What works for you now may need to change in the future and that’s OK. Your journaling can evolve as you do.
I’ve journaled in different ways over the years from my personal diary practice as a teenager, through a practical record keeping approach when my children were small, a short foray into digital daily journaling using an app, to my current method, the way I’ve been using journaling to help me over the last few years.
My recent journaling practice has been all about navigating change. I reduced my day job to part-time hours after I had my children and was lucky then to be able to consider if I was on the right career path for me. Pretty quickly I knew I wasn’t. I’d known for many years that I wanted to start my own business and that I wanted to write, but didn’t really know how to go about making it happen. So I did the only thing that came to mind and started to make notes in my journal.
I used the blank space to get stuff off my chest, explore what I’d like to do and achieve clarity on how to go about it. It took a long time (and a lot of paper and ink) to figure out exactly what I wanted my business to be and how I wanted to incorporate writing within it.
And it’s an ongoing process. Emerald and Lime is not the end result, it’s the starting point, so there’s a need for more journaling to figure out the future!
Finding that this is the way that works for me didn’t happen quickly, nor can I claim to have found the perfect format yet for my journaling. I’ve tried dated day-per-page diaries, but found it discouraging if I didn’t manage to write every day. I’ve tried diaries with smaller pages, or smaller spaces per day, but I found them awkward.
Currently my whole practice is much more straightforward. I use a blank notebook and write in it when I need to. I’ve read a couple of books and taken a couple of courses recently that have included journal entry exercises, so my current journal is a bit of a mixture of what I’m currently choosing to write about and seeing what happens as a result of following the exercises set by others.
This may sound a bit strange, I don’t know, but journaling for clarity, self-expression and planning is something I find far easier to do than talking. Do you know what I mean? I’m not that keen on talking about myself, so I tend to keep my thoughts private, especially until I know what I want to do. It’s not that I don’t take or ask for advice, but I want to know what I think myself before I add another person’s views into the mix. Using a journal, then, for me is the perfect way to navigate my life.
I’d love to know how you journal and how it’s helped you! Leave me a comment below or pop on over to @elleturnerwriter on Instagram and tell me your story.
If you’d like to start your own journaling practice, but aren’t sure where you want to begin, click below for a free list of five options to fill a blank page and see where they take you!