I’m a writer who hates journaling (but I’ll explain why I still think it’s essential).

{Side Note: A blog is not a journal.}

Back when I had a poodle perm I desperately wanted to fill diaries like other tween girls but it never really worked for me.

I could never fill one and I hated leaving projects unfinished. Maybe it was diary ADD, I would start one and loose interest, or hide them too well from my Mom. But the thing is…Journaling is like cleaning out the rubbish. And who likes to work in a mess? Not this girl (geez I’m so Type A sometimes.)

When I started blogging I thought; “Great, I’m writing again, no need for any of this ‘writing practise stuff,’ which comes highly recommended by professional writers. Contrary to popular belief it’s important for writers to write stuff that people will never read. Seriously. It for-realisies helps with writer’s block or blogstipation.

After reading the Artist’s way I was determined to do ‘morning pages’ (three pages of handwritten daily scribble) yet I resisted the idea (which means I probably needed it).

When I started reaching for the notebook instead of Facebook each morning my day felt better planned, I was more focused. Some days it was just a matter of writing a to-do list, others a vague description of dreams or ideas but usually nonsensical free writing. Sometimes I wrote at night which helped me sleep better without tasks building up in my anxious mind.

Who knew? Journalling is better than sleeping pills and you won’t even feel groggy in the morning.

True to form I’ve trailed off here and there but then recently something happened to prove the journal’s worth.

I had a really big comedown after my first Art Exhibition in October. The negative voices in my head turnt-up. Feeling flat, I grabbed the notebook off my night table to tried and make some sense of my feelings. It had been ages since I’d written so after flipping back to the first page I noticed it had been exactly one year to the day since I started. There were twelve months worth of goals, check marks, errands, lists and thoughts. So many little wins right there in the background that all deserve some credit.

Rather than getting down on myself for not having the ‘next thing’ booked I was able to feel proud of how far I had come. It’s easy to focus hard on the future without looking back but what a great idea it is to keep a list of our achievements and movements along the way.

Throat Punch that inner-critic!

When you’re a parent like I am, trying to start a business or just trying to survive, maybe you have to do your own performance review. So go on, jot down your goals, your intentions, your to-do list, weird dreams and then look back in a year. You might not even imagine where you’ll end up.

If you could start one thing today what would it be? Write it Down!

Author: dawnrieniets

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7 thoughts on “Journaling Do You Really Need It? How It Could Change Your Year.

  1. This is good and validates many of my feelings about journaling. The three page a day ‘suggestion’ was just too overwhelming, so I never processed the rest of the Artist’s Way. PS. I love your new word, Blogstipation. I so get that.

    Posted on December 19, 2016 at 1:32 pm
    1. I’ve read ‘The Artist’s Way’ twice but have not actually participated in the assignments (other than trying to journal more). For me the most enlightening part was learning that all artists have self-doubt and that we have to give ourselves permission to go forward anyway. Also I love that she debunked the myth of the tortured artist. Because being tortured is exhausting.

      Posted on January 5, 2017 at 12:18 am
  2. I always think if I have the perfect, coolest, nicest journal, I’d write in it more. I have many journals with just a few pages filled in. One journal I wrote on the first page, and my sister has written in it since to chronicle my life! (In my voice, or so she thinks–it’s hysterical.) But it’s also a bit sad that someone else has journalled my life instead of me. Maybe with your inspiration this will be the year I write my own life.

    Posted on December 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm
    1. Go for it! You never know what may come through the pen. <3

      Posted on January 5, 2017 at 12:18 am
  3. Oh, I can so relate to this! I have lots of half filled journals but I really want to give it a more disciplined go next year. I have been thinking about it and psyching myself up about it. I think it does help to clear the head and to keep the brain cells ticking over.

    Posted on December 21, 2016 at 8:18 am
    1. Even if I manage to jot some stuff down once a month I find it really does help me guage where I’m at. I’m going to start looking back over my writing more too- to celebrate how far I’ve come. Life needs more celebrating and less pressure.

      Posted on January 5, 2017 at 12:20 am