It may come as no surprise to you that we are a little obsessed with the written word, whether that be in cards to our nearest and dearest or writing into our journals. A little notebook or a full blown journal can nearly always be found about our persons and we relish having the time to write or draw in them whenever we can.
Some of the most influential people in history kept detailed journals of their lives and many famous novelists, celebrities, public figures, and scientists today all swear by journaling as a contribution to their success. Without the journals of people past, we often wouldn’t have the insights into their lives and works that we do. There wasn’t a digital cloud to store it all on!
“Keeping a journal of what’s going on in your life is a good way to help you distill what’s important and what’s not.” Martina Navratilova
Part of the joy of writing in a journal for us is undoubtedly as much about what we’re writing in as it is about what we’re actually writing. We love selecting our notebooks and journals for their beauty and paper quality – the thrill of writing or drawing in a pristine new notebook is something we cherish (and is also the reason we seem to have shelves full of new journals just waiting for that moment!). However, if you don’t have quite the same level of enthusiasm for the physical book, keep it functional and just start writing in whatever you have to hand!
There are so many ways of keeping a journal. However, if you find the blank page of a plain notebook daunting, there are many books on the market which may help – ideas for lists, motivational quotes for daily writing prompts, headings for ‘to do’ lists, etc. as well as the popular Bullet Journal system (beginners get some ideas here). And we think that our Just Add Stamp journal gives just the right amount of prompts to get you started (shameless plug over!). And if you prefer to keep to a more modern approach, there are numerous apps out there to use on your phone or tablet, or just simply get typing!
And if the pure joy of keeping a journal isn’t enough to convince you to make a start, there are numerous health and wellbeing benefits to writing daily or as often as you can.
Beyond keeping your creative juices flowing, regular writing can give you a safe, mindful release valve for the stresses of your daily life. In fact, there’s so much data about the mental and emotional benefits of journaling that counsellors and therapists often encourage their patients to do it.
“It allows me to get things out of my head and work them out in a way that feels safe.” Emma Watson
The creative benefits of keeping a journal are also well documented. It is said that the best way to get better at writing is to just keep doing it. That’s true, but the benefits go deeper than just crafting better sentences. Writing about your experiences helps you to process them and work out what important things you can take from them, opening up new thoughts and opportunity.
“Painting and drawing is just another way of keeping a diary.” Pablo Picasso
And if you prefer to paint or draw rather than write, then listen to Picasso – it’s just another way of documenting your thoughts so go for it. And if you’re not creative, regular writing can just be functional – keeping a work diary can serve as a way to track successes and also mistakes and may help you work out what makes you happy in your career.
However you decide to keep track of your thoughts, activities, hopes and dreams, enjoy the journey and start reaping the benefits.