Why I Keep A Journal

I don't think you can quite possibly get a more upfront post title than that ^. Today I thought I'd write about writing because y'know, that's something I like to do. Well more specifically my journal. Before I get all prophetical and start declaring "what I know for sure", side note: no disrespect Oprah-love your work, I used to keep diaries as a kid. Not consistently, and they were usually more passive aggressive. "I got sent out of class for talking but I wasn't the only one. Why?"* or in the case of my travel journal "I went here and bought this, this and this-oh and I saw this piece of art". It is only really in the last six months that I've taken up the mostly daily art of journal writing. It is an art and yes it can be hard work sometimes. Anyway, before I put anyone off writing, I am going to tell you why I love it and recommend it...

You can make sense of your mind's threads: Sounds self explanatory but as someone who I think knew writing everything out would make this a reality, I avoided diaries for a long time. It wasn't until my therapist kept politely pushing the idea of me starting one that I listened. Major props to her for doing so because it's the best thing I could have done, bar seeing her of course. The perspective and oftentimes clarity it brings me to situations, whether difficult or not, is so beneficial. 

A year in the life: Resisting the urge to quote The Beatles here but I essentially have a written record of what I get up to and what is on my mind for *fingers crossed* all of 2018. As someone who loves nostalgia like nobody's business, this prospect really excites me. Sure, my future thirty year-old self will probably look back and want to shake some sense into my current self but I think it will be interesting for me at least to see what 2018 looked like. What inspired me, what changed the course of my life, who has had a profound influence and vice versa. 

Yes this image is out of focus but I like that about it. 

It is cathartic: As I work in the city Monday-Friday I often end up writing my journal entries on my lunch break or on the evening train home. Naturally, this little bit of escapism I can afford myself is really calming. As I am writing for me I can really just keep writing without pausing. I often write pages and pages if I'm really in the mood. If I'm tired, let's be real, it's probably only going to be a paragraph. Seriously though, I find it so relaxing. 

It is practice: I don't want to say it makes me a better writer but I've read enough interviews with writers who say writing daily is only going to aid your work over time. As much as I try to not overthink my diary writing, I do try to bring in the odd metaphor or descriptive paragraph. It also keeps me in the routine of writing something.  I don't write on my blog as much as I used to two/three years ago and I don't get to write for my job so sometimes this is the only writing I'll do.

To examine life through a candid, unfiltered lens: As I see my therapist fortnightly, sometimes a lot can happen in that time. I usually always take my diary to my sessions because if anything's particularly pressing, I will have post-it noted it to discuss. Nobody reads my diary in full though, other than me so I can let my guard down so to speak. Obviously I don't need to embellish for me. Side note: this is not me saying I write fraudulently elsewhere but our inner voices are going to be the most candid. 

*True story. Probably because I was the loudest let's be honest here.

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