Why Journal?

© 2012 Shirley Corder

When I was a child, my mother gave me a diary every Christmas. As an adult, I bought myself one almost every year. I really don’t know why. Like all my other resolutions, writing in my diary, or “journal” as I now grandly called it, rarely lasted longer than a week. Several times during the year I would pick it up and write in it for a few days. Then it was forgotten. Again.

Then I got cancer. That’s when I found there was a whole lot more to a journal than a daily entry.

Journaling is a powerful exercise that can help you achieve goals, spot opportunities, and solve problems. As you write about an issue you are dealing with, you may change your way of thinking and come up with a new solution.

Journaling helps you sort out memories. As you jot down what you remember, you may well find other memories come to the surface. At the same time, by making notes of events or comments you don’t want to forget or emotions that you’ve experienced during the day, you make a record to refer to in the future.

Journaling can bring emotional and even physical healing, where rest and de-stressing are key factors. Perhaps you will want to journal daily, or maybe a short period once a week will help sweep away the mundane areas of life so you can see things as they really are.

Journaling helps you understand what is really going on in your mind and gives you a place to express your true feelings. You need not fear that someone will scorn you or be hurt by your words. Write what you feel, not what you think you should feel. Identify what makes you happy, what depresses you, why you are angry, and what you feel passionate about.

Journaling will help you be a better writer. The more you write, the easier the words come. Journaling is really a form of free-writing, where the creative part of your brain has freedom to express itself without your internal editor constantly interfering.

Journaling will also put you in good company.George Washington, Mother Theresa, Winston Churchill, Thomas Jefferson, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonardo da Vinci, and Helen Keller are just some of the famous people who kept journals.

So having read this, ask yourself a question: “What’s stopping me?” It’s time to get journaling.

More reading:
12 Different Ways to Keep a Journal (a series of article on journaling)
How to Journal: 20 Ways to Remember (a free ebook)
Shirley Corder‘s book, Strength Renewed: Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer, contains 90 meditations, many of which are based on stories from the journal she kept during her year of aggressive cancer treatment. Published by Baker Publishers, it is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Please visit Shirley at ShirleyCorder.com, where she seeks to inspire and encourage writers, or RiseandSoar.com, which contains many articles to inspire and encourage those on the cancer journey.

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