Seven days ago, I set myself the challenge to write a journal entry every day for 30 days. One week in and I’ve already learnt a lot.
Journaling is an artform
I’ll be honest, this isn’t the first thing I thought I was going to discover. I had assumed that journal entries would be clunky and dull, and I would have to force the words out onto the page. Writing down how I feel, what I’ve done, what I want to do, all sounded like thoughts that would be just fine staying inside my head.
The reality though is that the words that flow onto the page are sometimes beautiful. I say this as someone who hates writing about myself in such a personal way. The thoughts I had been having throughout the day bubbled to the surface, having simmered in my mind for so long. Every entry was a release of artistic expression, made more beautiful by the fact that it was private.
I’m going to explain what I mean by “beautiful”. In this sense, the beauty is purely personal. The raw ingredients of my thoughts on the page, and feeling of expressing it all freely, without constraints, is beautiful to me. If someone else read my entries, they would be bored and confused as to why I had bothered to write what I had. I, however, can see myself in the words, I can see the parts of myself that are so often trapped inside my head.
The words I write in a journal are the stories that are left to be read between the lines in the stories and poetry I have written for others to digest.
It’s a Quick Habit
Nothing has surprised me more than the feeling I get in the moments when I realise I haven’t written an entry yet.
For six days I have written an entry every evening, compiling my thoughts of the day into a few pages. It’s a release. It is a release of all emotion, not just the negative. I have been lucky enough to have had a good week, so the joy in the pages is prevalent.
Today I wrote in the morning and it was even better. I felt like all my feelings and thoughts from the day before had rested as I slept, only to be clearer this morning. I will be writing in the mornings more often now, I think.
This is a 30-day journey, so on December 11th this year I will update you again on how this process has gone. We will see if the habit continued to take hold and what effect it has had on my daily life.
For now, the journey is only 30-days long. Perhaps afterwards it will be a lifelong adventure.
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