This is the ‘second’ instalment of a 7 part series. This Series is called “A Beginners Crash Course on Journalling”. I will be talking about the ins and outs of journalling from all the information I have gathered from my extensive research and my experience so far. When I was originally writing this, it was just going to be one post…but I just had so much to say and the post got longer and longer. So, I thought it was best to break it up for you…and turn it into a mini ‘Crash Course’.
What is Journalling?
In short…”Journalling is a written record of thoughts”. These thoughts can be recorded in many different formats however, the typical form that everyone thinks of when they hear the word ‘journalling’ is a leather bound book held by the mysterious person sitting on their own in a café… well that is how I used to think of them…don’t know about you. But in reality, journalling can be done in any form by anyone that wants to do it. That is the good thing about it, there are literally NO RULES. (I will talk more on the different ways and styles of journalling later on in this series.)
A journal is a place where you can write down your thoughts, feelings, experiences and observations. It is a place where you can truly be free to express yourself. You can keep it private or share your thoughts, this is totally up to you…but generally, a journal is for you. It allows you to document how you are feeling in the moment and is a very good tool for remembering details about your life that you would otherwise forget with time. Because as every day that passes we lose pieces of our memory…of our lives. This is because our brains are only designed to remember things ‘it’ thinks is important and disregards the rest of the things that ‘it’ doesn’t think is important.
For example; can you remember what you had for dinner last week? I bet most people can’t… You may be thinking, “Well I don’t care what I had for dinner last week” but for someone who is trying to make positive healthy changes in their life…this will be important to them. This is what is so good about journalling, YOU get to decide what you want to remember…maybe the things you don’t want to forget is…that silly ‘thing’ that your child did or a special moment you and your significant other shared. Because as time goes by…even if we think we will never forget them…we mostly do.
Facebook for instance, is like a big public journal we each keep…where we share what we had for lunch, pictures of great nights out, silly phrases that our children say. We share these things because they make us happy and we want to share our happiness with others. However, Facebook is also a place where people go to complain, have a rant, slag off others in third person…this is not a good thing to share with your friends, these things should be kept private and expressed in some form of journal. Where you can either destroy when your finished writing or keep for yourself for later observation. For instance, they have an added app now on Facebook, where it shows you want status you wrote 1 year, 2 year ago etc to the day. I had one that I wrote 5 years ago, that I slated my neighbour for playing his drums to late at night, which I forgot I had wrote and was a bit disgraced at myself for complaining about it publicly but I also had one where I shared the moment my daughter tried to sneak by me with all sorts of snacks up her top…I asked her what was on her head and she lifted her hands to feel her head and all the snacks feel out…ha-ha (such a funny moment).
Anyway, I have went on a bit of a tangent there…the point I was trying to make is, that we all keep some kind of journal without even realising. It is really good to look back and see how far you have come and how much you have changed. But I totally recommend that as well as Facebook, that you also keep a written journal of some kind to record your thoughts and memories that you want to remember and pass down to the younger generations. I don’t know about you…but I love hearing stories about things my Mam did as a child or what I did as a child, they are so funny and make me all happy inside. For example, I know that the first song I learnt to sing, was; “it’s raining, it’s pouring, the old man is snoring” because my sister told me (Thanks Lauren) and I also know that I could never pronounce my other sister name right and used to call her ‘Tish’ instead of ‘Trish’ (Hi Trish). And when I pass these stories down to my children, it sets them in a fit of laughter. And I just love the story about my Mam (Sorry Mam) from when she was a child and tried to climb out of the window and got stuck (ha-ha), the fire brigade had to come and rescue her.
I know I want to keep the silly memories that my children do and say now to share them with them when their older. You know, maybe the ‘snack sneaking’ story will go down a treat at my daughter’s wedding reception, maybe it’s something her future husband needs to watch out for…hehe.
But apart from the ‘record’ keeping reasons to journal, there is also something very therapeutic about putting a pen to paper…feeling the smoothness of the pen moving around with loops and flicks. Handwriting is like an expression of your personality and how you are feeling in the moment. I know that when I am happy my handwriting is different to when I write when I am angry or upset. And when you go back to observe what you have wrote there is things to be learnt by reading in-between the lines… (So to say).
With regular journalling, in time your handwriting skills will improve and mature with you. And your actual writing skills will improve…even if you don’t include the correct ‘grammar’ etc.… You will begin to grow you own ‘writing voice’. Your senses will sharpen and you will learn to look at your life and things around you with a different perspective. All of a sudden, you will start to look at the world with different eyes…new eyes. Colours start to stand out and the world around you starts to look like a more beautiful place to live. You will begin to notice the little things in life and suddenly your child’s chocolaty messy smiley face will become the most delightful thing you have ever seen…
I think what I am trying to say is…everyone has something to write about, everyone has their own story to tell. And that is basically ‘What journalling is’! Telling your story. And like I said, you don’t have to pass it down to younger generations, you decide who sees it. You may decide you want to keep a journal to learn more about yourself or explore your feelings…in that case you will just keep it private. But I will talk more on this matter later this week. (Keep your eyes peeled for the next 5 instalments this week)
I would love to hear from you. How do you feel about journalling? Have you tried keeping a journal before or do you currently use one? What’s your experience with journals? Please leave a comment down below.
Check out the other instalments of the series…
Also check out my Journalling challenge called‘100 Creative Journal Prompt Challenge’. (Still open)
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