Lisa Frank and secrets

My most prized Christmas gift for many years was a large hardcover journal that usually originated in the bargain section of Waldenbooks. (Yes, I remember those stores…fondly.)

I loved journaling! I would write thoughts, happenings, dreams or stories; or I would follow writing prompts—thank you, Writer’s Digest! Before that I had many wonderful diaries—Beatrix Potter, Anne of Green Gables and Lisa Frank—some with locks and keys, a big deal to a little girl with imaginary secrets to hide.

Bring back the bliss!

The busyness of adulting—from college all-nighters to my first career job with the crazy hours to early days of marriage and opposite work shifts to motherhood and Never. Sleeping. Again.—hid the joy of journaling from my memory.

Enter January 1, 2017, and a pseudo-resolution. (I don’t actually do resolutions, you see.)

As part of my commitment to begin blogging and to make my author dream a reality, I picked up a cheap spiral notebook, hunted down some writing and journaling prompts and narrowed it down to a couple that really “fit” me to get me started on the right track.

Then, I made a pact with myself not to get upset when I missed a day or week or month here and there. I knew my mindset had to be right to make this work.

Journaling could not become another box to check off. It had to be part of my life, a companion of sorts.

And, it did. I reentered the realm of written reflections. And, let me tell you, journaling changed my life!

Journaling … frees my mind

I overthink EVERYTHING. I psychoanalyze EVERYTHING. The problem is, this constant over-analysis fills my head and takes command. It drives my wonderings and my actions. It crowds out everyone and everything and stamps out productivity and creativity.

Journaling becomes an outlet for my mental madness.

Putting pen to paper affords me self-guided, productive introspection and reflection—ordering the inner thoughts into a tangible puzzle to solve and put away.

Journaling … provides solace

Similarly, journaling offers a writer’s solace. Few can understand the mind of a writer. We tend to be a bit crazy and odd—different inner coding than most, I suppose. So, the bizarre musings find their way into my journal as well.

With my pen, I’m able to face—and defeat—the demons within.

Journaling … guides goal-setting

Despite my aversion to resolutions, I’m a big fan of goal-setting. Journaling assists greatly with this as well. As I think with my pen, I create a clear picture of the future I desire and, as a result, the path that will lead me to my desired destination. Once I have a target in sight and a roadmap set forth, I can prepare the proper, achievable goals to reach that dream.

Journaling … grants grace

Of course, this path my goals have chosen may lead me astray from time to time and bring me face to face with a few roadblocks. And, I may underestimate the incline of a particularly steep goal. When these inevitabilities arise, my journal accepts my frustrations and guides me to a rediscovery of grace for myself as I write out a way to pick myself up and seek out a side path to lead me on toward my ultimate destination once more.

Journaling … strengthens writing muscles

Just as serious athletes train daily to perfect their form or increase consistency or strengthen their bodies, a writer must train daily with words to clearly express the thoughts and ideas teeming deep within.

A simple recounting of the day’s events provides the writer with a much better workout than binge-watching the latest mindless TV drama.

Journaling … promotes Hakuna Matata

It means, “No Worries!” When I journal, I’m permitting myself a break from the constant self-editing I do as I write for work. I don’t have to watch my word count or consider all the ways a certain phrase could be misconstrued or analyze if I’m writing clearly enough for my reader to understand or worry about that wretched SEO.

Plus, my journal is for my eyes only. I don’t have to feel the judgement of my imaginary critics with each period or worry about my opinion offending someone each time I dot an “i” or wonder if I sound intelligent enough each time I cross a “t”.

Journaling … organizes ideas

And, finally, my journal houses all my ideas as well as inspirations, lessons and advice from others. It allows me to fertilize and tend and prune the wee sprouts of tales that appear mysteriously in my story-telling soul.

Journaling draws out my best and worst and compiles it all into a better self than I could have otherwise realized.

Journaling has changed my life for the best and brightened my tomorrows with the glow of all the possibilities of realizing the dreams written between the covers.

 

I’m dying to know: What’s in your journal? Leave me a comment below or shoot me an email!

Journaling Changed My Life - www.joyerancatore.com: Do you journal? I recently started journaling again. Let me tell you why it was the best decision ever!

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