I love to journal. Okay, a bit of correction- I love buying blank books and scribbling things in them. They don’t have to be deep an profound- my latest journal is about half full of to-do lists. I just like to write and I love shopping for stacks and stacks of bright blank books to write in. And, happily, I’m not the only one with this problem.
Seriously though, journaling, as cliche as it may sound is a great coping tool. A journal is the best listener you can ever hope to have. A journal will never tell you that you’re exaggerating. A journal will always have time for you. A journal is ready, at a moment’s notice, to drop everything and let you vent. You can put anything in a journal- spill out your anger, soak the pages with tears, make grand plans, explore dreams that you’re afraid others will laugh at….a journal will keep it all safe for you and never give you any backtalk. *sigh* If only all people were so dependable, right?
I’ve kept my “scratchbooks” for over 10 years now- since my last year of high school. For me journals have been many different things – in school me and my friends had a community journal that we’d pass around and scribble school gossip, bitch about our parents, ruminate about the nature of the universe, you name it. In college, I used my books as part calendar, part journal and part scrapbook. Often I’d write down quotes – funny things people said on campus.
After I got my lupus diagnosis, my books became part medical record as well. Now my notebooks are mostly for to-do lists and project notes as well as the stuff that’s too raw or private to broadcast online.
What you can put in a journal is literally endless – people keep gardening journals, diet journals, hiking journals, exercise journals, journals for just happy moments or journals just for sad poetry. Journals can remind you what you dreams are and can help you connect your internal dots- if you find yourself writing about the same subjects over and over, maybe it’s something you need to reevaluate.
One of my favorite journaling websites ever is Daydreaming on Paper. This site has tons of great ideas for journals; it’s really a must-read, especially if you’re shy or uncertain about starting a journal.