3 reasons to keep a journal

If you want to be a writer, you should keep a consistent journal. My journal is the most indispensable and practical part of my writing process because it brings so much value. Some people might have misconceptions that journals are mushy or self-involved, but they don’t have to be that way. Here are three solid reasons to keep a journal, especially if you are a writer:

1. A journal clears your mind.

You might not realize how much stuff you are keeping up in your head all the time and how that is weighing on you. You use a calendar to keep track of your appointments and deadlines. Why? Because keeping all of that in your head would be exhausting. When we write things down, we free up space inside. It reduces stress. Think of journalling like keeping track of what is happening in your internal life. When you do this consistently, you’ll have a better handle on your emotions, your intuition, and what decisions will be the healthiest for you in the season of life you are in.

2. A journal is a safe place to practice.

Diving into writing something formal right away, whether you are an experienced writer or a beginner, can set up blockages in our minds because we feel like it has to be perfect. In a journal, literally no one cares if you spell things wrong, if you only write in point form, or if it makes any sense. It only has to make sense to you because you are not going to show your journal to anyone. A journal is a space of safety and freedom. The more safe you feel, the more you will write. The more you write, the better you will become at it. It will build your confidence.

3. A journal will spark ideas.

When your guards are down, you’ll write more openly. When you write more openly, you will stumble across new ideas. It might be a breakthrough about why you always eat cookies at midnight or it could be a new angle on a problem with a friend or a project at work. This is also where new writing ideas are born. You don’t have to publish your journals verbatim, but you can take nuggets of truth that you discover in your journal and translate that to other writing projects you are working on.

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