by Molly Jo Realy (@MollyJoRealy)
Let’s discuss the essence of journaling, shall we?
Raise your hand if you ever had a journal.
Oh, yeah. I’ve got all my fingers in a high wiggle.
Now. Keep ‘em up if you’ve actually used them. [And if you haven’t, keep reading. Further down you’ll find a resource of tips for journaling!]
Drats. I forgot my Romper Room Mirror. (Just kidding! I don’t have one … yet!) How many of you are still with me?
But wait, there’s more!
How many of you have picked up a notebook/journal/blank book just because it looked awesome and in the cosmos of Feeling Like a Writer, you just knew it would inspire you to do more than create a weekly grocery and chore list?
Okay. Now for all you non-writers: At any point in your life, have you used a journal/diary/notebook/planner/list maker? Here we go again, finding that common ground.
So if you’re like me, and I suspect you are, your hand did the up-down-what-am-I-doing-here thing, amiright? Kind of like doing the Hokey-Pokey until you’re right back where you started.
You put your right pen in
You take your left pen out
You put your brainstorms down
And you scribble all about
You do the journal-wormhole
And you turn the words around
That’s what it’s all about!
Aww, I made that up right now just for y’all! Now that’s the essence of journaling! You’re welcome. : )
Okay, so the reason I asked y’all to do the Journal-Wormhole (catchy, inn’t?) is because I’m secretly wishing for a viral video challenge associated with this post because recently [and by “recently,” I mean two days ago] I taught at a local writers conference. The conference was virtual which, tbh* (remember, that’s blogspeak for To Be Honest), I wasn’t sure would work. But it did. Wanna know why? I’m so glad you asked! Because it was more interactive. WriterPeepsSayWhaaat? Yes, it’s true. Because the attendees were in their own offices/homes/vehicles/rooms, they had easier access to their supplies. And when I asked how many journals they have, everyone held up a stack. Talk about your “show, don’t tell” moment!
Wait. That’s oxymoronic …
Moving on …
A few months ago I reorganized my writing space and surrounding cabinets. You know what I found? A relentless supply of mostly unused journals. And when I say “relentless,” I mean I first found 23. Then eight more. Then 14 more. And a few more after that. And when I say “mostly unused,” I mean, most of them were completely unused. Not even opened. No cracked spine or smudged page. Nothing! And the ones that were used, were only slightly used. Like, I-could-tear-out-one-sheet-and-no-one-would-know-the-difference used.
I don’t want to brag, but I started to feel like being a crazy cat lady was less my calling, and journal juggling was something I could really get into, and succeed like no other.
By now, you’re probably asking, “What exactly is the purpose of a journal, anyway?” Well, bless your heart. I’m here to tell ya.
There’s no wrong way to use a journal.
Journals don’t judge. They just absorb what you pour out, and keep you going. Journaling can keep you on track with lists and outlines, and they allow free-flowing creativity. They are your safe haven for private thoughts, a sounding board without actually having to say things out loud. They give you space to craft, create, edit, scribble, and scratch.
Remember that large gigantic overpowering lovely collection of journals I referenced earlier? Here’s a pic of just a few of the ones I’m currently using.
I don’t use each journal every day. Some days, I don’t journal at all. Some days I need to track a Bible lesson, or note how I worked on my next novel. There’s the budget diary, the health tracker, the story ideas, the daily thoughts, the prayer journal and the dream keeper. These are just a few. And while not technically journals, the social media and Happy Planner are great memory keepers and progress trackers when I look back on them.
One of my favorite journals is one that until now, I’ve been too intimidated to use. It’s called a travel journal, and it.is.AWESOME. It has three booklets inside: blank pages, dotted pages, and lined pages. A pocket, and a pouch. Then it wraps up nicely in a secure band. It was given to me by my good friend and fellow writer/journal-keeper, Edie Melson. I’m ashamed to say she gave it to me upon my grand entrance to the South an inaudible amount of time ago which, roughly translated, means October 30, 2018. I was afraid if I used it and made “mistakes,” it would ruin it.
But you know what? Journals are meant to be scribbled in. Scratched out. Taken places. They are only as good as the life you pour into them. And so I took my treasured travel journal out of the drawer, and have determined to pour the next year into it. Tiny notes. Sketches. Ideas. Plans. Memories. Quotes and coffee stains. It will be my Come Alive and Stay Wild journal. And I can’t wait to fill it up with all things lively and wild.
Would you like to start journaling, but aren’t sure how?
Click here to download my Tips for Journaling.
And would you like to win a travel journal just like mine? You’re in luck, because …
GIVEAWAY ALERT: (Whoomp! Whoomp! Insert attention-getting alarm and flashing lights here!) Click here to subscribe to my monthly newsletter and you’ll be entered to win a Voyager travel journal from Amazon. (NOTE: Just because you get the newest Molly Jo’s Journals in your inbox, you may not be signed up for the monthly newsletter. Please click here to manage your subscriptions with Molly Jo.)
And here’s another entry opportunity for you: Drop a comment below and share when you got your first journal, what you use your journal for, or how journaling has made life better for you.From Molly Jo's Journals: The Essence of #Journaling, a free download of Tips for Journaling, a Journal #Giveaway, a favorite #Asimov quote, and a viral Journal Wormhole. Click To Tweet
Come alive and stay wild,
Author of the romantic location mystery novel, NOLA, Molly Jo Realy is an award-winning writer and author coach. Known as the Bohemian Hurricane, she encourages people to embrace their unique talents to come alive and stay wild every day. Addicted to cats, coffee, and pens in no particular order.
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[Oop. Fine Print Stuff: Winner will be randomly selected from all qualified entries. Comments must be posted before April 1, 2021. One entry per person regardless of how many comments are posted per person. Must be 18 or older, shipping within continental United States only. Winner will be notified on or before April 3, 2021, and will have 72 hours to respond or will forfeit their winnings and a secondary winner will be selected. If the secondary winer also forfeits, no third winner will be selected.]
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I love to journal and plan! I have so many different note books and planners and journals! I use most of them. Lol
And I bet you use each of them differently, don’t you? Keep writing!
I began to journal back in the olden days (1967), due to an assignment from my high school creative writing teacher. I loved Miss Stathis. She was friends with Ray Bradbury. During this past half century, I’ve collected and written my thoughts hap hazardly. A year ago, when we slipped into this alternate universe, I began to collect my thoughts on a routine basis. It amazed me how many memories were tethered to each date of entry.
I agree, Elizabeth. Journaling is a great way to collect those precious memories, and perhaps, start new ones with the new hobby.
Molly Jo recently posted…The Essence of Journaling
I love journals. I don’t journal often, but sometimes I just have to write out my feelings! Other journals I use for notes about writing ideas or notes during training sessions or meetings.
Thanks for commenting, Josie! I have so many journals, and I just need to use them and keep using them. I’m very excited for this travel journal.
Molly Jo recently posted…The Essence of Journaling
I journal with my Bible study time. It’s not something I do every day, but if there’s something I feel like God is trying to teach me, I write it out. I’ve found writing helps me process what I need to learn.
Bible journaling is a great experience. Do you ever review past entries to find yourself amazed at His hand (even though we shouldn’t be)?