Today, instead of doing my journaling, I thought I'd write about journaling.
Share my love of journaling and explain my passion for it and maybe even inspire a few others into taking up the practice too.
It's an absolutely brilliant habit to get into.
I started journaling regularly about 18 months ago - I'd read about writing 'morning pages' before but couldn't really get into the idea, mainly because I can't write longhand any more and just find it very frustrating, so the idea of writing slowly and with aching hands wasn't motivating.
Plus I just know I wouldn't have been completely honest in what I wrote; I didn't like the idea of an actual notebook sitting around (plus I hate clutter so started wondering what I would do with all these notebooks once they were filled up).
I thought about just typing into a document but somehow that wasn't working for me either. And then I heard about 750words.com.
I tried it and was hooked straight away.
It's online not on your computer, so it can't ever be found and read. It's password protected - it feels a really nice space to just log on to and start writing.
Each day is a clean sheet, you open it up and it looks like this ...
... and you just start typing.
It tells you your word count so you can see when you've got to your 750 word daily target. You can see which days each month you wrote and when you've finished an entry it tells you how long it took to write - and then there's some cool analytics stuff looking at mood whilst writing etc - like this:
I love that you can actively choose to use it for a tool such as for being positive - I think if I saw I was writing in a negative way regularly it would really help make me think about the language I'm using and what things I'm choosing to focus on.
It even analyses your words and shows you what you've been mainly concerned with. Mine is quite often eating and drinking :)
But yesterday, I'd had a big exciting breakthrough in an idea I'm working on.
I wrote fast and enthusiastically, breaking it down into how I thought I might action it, and so I it made me laugh to see I'd been feeling self-important, and happy that I had been focused on success!
What to write about?
Anything at all - sometimes I just start writing anything and then through just writing 'stuff' sometimes things I didn't realise I was thinking about will come out.
I often use it to keep track of what I'm working on and ideas I'm having and what to prioritise. I doodle away about dreams, and about daydreams.
You can ask yourself questions.
What would my perfect day look like?
What would I choose to do if money was no object at all?
What are my goals for this year, the month, today?
Anything at all, just start writing and go ...
Some days - most in fact - it just flows and as I type (and think) fast my journallng takes about ten minutes usually. Other days I start and there's nothing really there so I just idly write lists of places I want to visit, or things I might make to eat.
It frees your mind, it's a blank canvas, it gets things out of your head and that's the thing that's really worked for me.
I love to journal in the mornings, first thing, with my coffee, clearing my mind of anything I've been mulling over either consciously or sub-consciously so that I can then start the day focusing on what I choose and need to focus on, not half thinking of other things, or trying to remember snippets of ideas.
I don't do it every day but I definitely like to do it several times a week.
I now really notice the difference in how I'm feeling and thinking if I haven't done it for a few days in a row - I start feeling clouded in my brain somehow, things are a bit muddier. If I feel a bit out of sorts or overwhelmed I check in with when I last journaled and it's usually been a few days.
A cup of coffee and ten minutes to myself getting it all out of my head and into my journal is usually all it takes to feel much clearer again.
Oh and the other unexpected benefit has come from realising that having completed 204 pages I've written a minimum of 15,300 words in 18 months.
So I know for a fact I can write a whole book
You start, you write regularly and there it is.
Journaling has also helped me work through what I want my book to be about ... but that's another story, for another day.
Going to take up journallng? Or do you already have a journaling habit? Do you use a notebook, or have a document on your laptop or how do you do it?
I'm fascinated by other people's experiences of this practice - so please comment and share your thoughts.
Note: 750words.com is free for the first 30-day trial and then costs $5 (around £3) a month - probably cheaper than buying pens and notebooks!