As I have mentioned in the past, I love notebooks. Big, small, boring, or creative, I love them. They say “there’s an app for that” but I say “there’s a notebook for that.” Something my closest friends don’t know about me is: I keep a journal and I am proud.
What is a Journal?
According to Bing Definitions, a journal is a daily record of news and events of a personal nature; a diary. Saying that I keep a diary sound like I’m about 10 – since I think everyone at 10 had some sort of a diary. Many English teachers at my school have kids write in a journal every so often to a. help them improve their writing and b. write about stuff they really care about.
Reasons Why I Keep A Journal:
My church always is pushing teens and adults to keep a journal of everything. The tell us to write about the good, the bad, and all the ‘Spiritual Guidance’ that comes to us every day. I didn’t start to keep a journal for that reason. I started mine to help me stay stress free and let some of my emotions out that I can’t talk about.
1. I write about other people’s problems that I really don’t care about
In my group of friends, I am more of the motherly figure. I take care of everyone, make sure that they are okay and I am the first person they come to when they need advice. A lot of the times, I find out more than what I want to know when I am talking to my friends. They tell me about other people’s problems and if I don’t do something about it, I will tell that person. When I write it down, it slips away from the front of my mind and allows me to focus on other stuff that is more important.
2. I remember the big events but I can’t tell you names
I am terrible at remembering names. I remember my friends names but that is about it. I can’t tell you some of the names of the people I ate lunch with last year. But, I remember some of the stupidest things in the whole entire world. Like the time I was 5 and I cut my 3 year old sisters hair. Keeping an active journal helps me remember the names of some of the people that went through an event with me.
3. It relieves stress
Writing is stressful, especially when you first start and you try to fit it in your schedule. Once you find a good pace to go with, you are able to do it and not worry about anything. To be totally honest with you, I don’t write every day but I try to write once a week. Writing about my problems, what is going on at school, and everything that is happening around me helps relieve the stress that I always have.
4. You get the chance to go back and read what you put several years ago
When I was in Pennsylvania back in July, I spent a good three hours reading my past journals and they were hilarious. There are a bunch of things that I write about and I forget about. There are some things that I put in there for my goals or something I want to do by the time I’m 30 but just a few years later, I have done it. Some of the most stupidest stuff is in some of my first journal and I go back and I laugh because non of it makes sense.
5. My kids will get the chance to know who I was their age
Neither of my parents have a journal from when they were my age and I would love to be able to read theirs. I would love to read my dad’s because he did some very interesting things while he was my age. My mom was a lot like me at my age so I would love to compare our two journals. By the time that I have kids and they are 15-17, I would have forgotten some of the stuff that I have done. I will be able to go and pull one of my journals out and allow my kids to read it.
Tips on Keeping a Journal:
There are so many things that I wish I knew when I first started writing. I wish that I knew how to do so many cute and creative things when I was about 11. These days, there are so many things you can so with a journal and I can’t wait to try them.
1. Don’t leave out the bad stuff
Writing about the good and the bad allows you to let everything go. When you only write about the good and not the bad, you tend to hold grudges longer and you never are able to forgive the person. But, if you only write about the bad and not the good, you tend to me a tense, upset, and rude person. Writing about the good and the bad balances you out and you feel better as a person.
2. Add your hopes and dreams for your life
Every single one of us has something that they want to do in their life. Either to become a teacher, own a business, become president, etc. Writing while your explore your dream profession, searching for colleges, etc, will help you pick something that hits hard with you. While you look for stuff, write about how it made you feel and the pros and cons for doing something like that.
3. When you have a weird dream while you sleep, write about it
Every so often, I get a pretty weird dream about something stupid. I tell people about it and I try to remember it but a few days later, I can’t remember it and I wish that I had written it down. Sometimes your dreams can help you find yourself and answer questions that you have. Writing them down will help you remember the dream longer, and help you later in life.
4. Create list
I love making list. I make list for everything. When I do a blog post, I have a list sitting next to me, telling me what I am going to do next. I carry around a planner, making list of what I need to do that day and I cross them out when I have done it. Making list in a journal is something that is becoming more and more popular. You can make a list about your emotions, or plans that you want to do later in life. These list will make you stay organized and make the day seem less stressful.
5. Add pictures, quotes/lyrics, and illustrations – Make it COLORFUL
I recently started to add all three of these things to my journal and I love it! Every day, I write in a different color pen (and it can only be a pen) to share my emotions: red = mad, blue = sad, pink = happy, purple = excited, green = normal, and black = emotional. Adding the pictures inside of the journal will help you remember the event more quickly and you don’t have to search through a bunch of pictures if you are a picture hoarder like me. Adding small things like this makes writing fun and inspires you to write more often.
Hopefully this has inspired you all to start keeping a journal or start doing some different things with your journal! You can literally keep a journal for everything: going to the gym, planning for a wedding or special event, making a big decision, etc. Keeping a journal may sound stressful but once you get into it, you don’t want to stop!
Do you have a journal or have kept a journal? What is one of your first memories that you really enjoy? Is there any other tips or something you do with your journal that you think others should try? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!