Journal writing is an art. It is an art because you craft it, create it completely from scratch. It is a form of art that is true, honest, and open, as I believe most art should be. It does not ask questions, it does not judge. It allows you the right to stare at the blank screen for hours before your fingers finally touch the keyboard, and it permits that you pause before putting your pen to paper, think, reflect, scribble, erase… and rewrite.
Journal writing is lonely. It sometimes requires you to go into the darkest, smallest, parts of your mind, and draw out a word, a thought, a feeling, which you may not have known to exist. But pardon me if I feel very much at home – philosophically speaking – being so-called lonely with my notebook, favourite ballpoint, and a cup of tea, staring out the window into the wind rustling in the trees, waiting to put to words on the page. Sitting back, I can analyze my thoughts, my learnings from my past, and my plans for my future. I can ask questions and sift through my subconscious stream of thoughts to find myself the answers I need. Journals help you work through your daily lives, in the hopes you may learn something new about yourself or the world by way of this lonesome analysis.
Journal writing is daunting. All these pages to fill and no substance with which to fill them? Academia and career writing, especially, can be tough, but in order to prepare yourself for those forms of writing and find out what it is you want to write about, perhaps find out first who you are, how you write, and what makes you want to write. Keep a journal. Writing still may seem like a heavy task, but realize that every time you hold a pen, you hold power in your hand. Every decision you make – incidental indentation, fact-checking (or not), or something as simple as whether or not you should use the Oxford comma – takes your piece in a particular direction. You have the power to do that.
Journal writing is full of heart. It is full of the heart that is poured into them by their writers. Journals are a collection of a person’s greatest accomplishments and gravest fears. They provide ammunition for your sub-conscious mind to scare you, motivate you, show you what you really want. They help you work out the differences between what your could haves, would haves, and should haves. They help make you, you.
When you start at the top of the page, you do not know what you will produce. You continually change directions in your writing, and your writing has the power to continually change you.