Journaling is good for the creative soul. It forces you to write every day, it boosts your memory, and it's a healing process of sorts. Stressful day? Write about it. Day that Never Goes Your Way? Write about it. How did you solve that day? How did you get through it? If you managed to complete nearly everything on your to do list on the Day that Never Goes Your Way, write about that and then print it off and frame it because it just goes to show that you are an awesome person, and the next time you have one of those days, you know you can get through it! Not that I do that or anything . . . .
Whenever I sit down to journal, I usually don't recount my day as it has been going. Or how my week has been if it's been a while since I last wrote. I just sit down and type down whatever I am thinking at that moment. It's a nice way to jump-start my head into doing what it's supposed to be doing. "Journaling task is done for the day. I feel productive. Let's do something else now."
I first started journaling before I went to college. About two weeks before I left, I had a private freak out and I wasn't comfortable telling my parents about it. So I wrote it down on my new computer because, hey, it's my computer and totally private and I can do whatever I want on it. So I wrote in a WordPerfect document everything that I was freaking out about. Boy did I feel awesome when that was done! It was great. I wouldn't have been able to take on the world, but I at least knew I could learn to adapt. And that was all that mattered back then.
Journaling didn't really take off until October that same year. I've been sporadically updating everything ever since. I don't journal every day -- that's too tedious for me. But when I feel like I can't manage everything on my plate, journaling helps me bring things into focus. It tells me what I can put off and what has to get done right away. Whenever things are slow, I tend to write incomplete stories in my journals. There are at least five that take place in a science fiction world I've been thinking about since high school. And others have been random excerpts from daydreams and action scenes I want to exist in my life.
But they are usually my thoughts at any given moment in my life. To me, that's what a journal is. You might think a journal is a document of your life, and I guess it is. But I find it more of a document of thoughts. What was I thinking on the sixth of June in the year two-thousand-ten? Is there even an entry for that date? I don't know. I never go back to read my thoughts.
Do you keep a journal?