Your Journal and Your Journey

Journal writing ideas are building blocks for your life story

journalsPhoto by Jess Bailey on Unsplash

Even if you have never kept a journal or diary I’m willing to bet you have had days when you thought a great deal about events in your life.

Sometimes we think about them at the end of a special day. At other times, we get caught up in reflecting about something in our past. A friend, picture, phone call or circumstance triggers the memory and suddenly you are "time traveling" in your mind.

It’s a mistaken idea to think you have to be a gifted writer to keep a journal. 

Anyone can write short entries. It is so important to do this. Over time, our recall may fail us. Memories fade.

Keeping a journal or diary is a great way to chronicle events in your life.

You will record not only the things that are happening, but also your thoughts about them. This allows you to sort out your feelings.

Anyone who has kept a journal will attest to the benefit. It helps you grow.

That inner part of you is on a spiritual journey and you need to spend time contemplating the lessons learned from daily living.

diary of Anne Frank

An example of the power of a personal journal that has had a great impact on others is the Diary of Anne Frank.

You can view an excellent presentation about her writing at the web site for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum — highly recommended!

If at some point you plan to tell your life story a journal will be invaluable.

What you write in your journal is entirely up to you

It will vary from person to person. Some people keep it light. Some people write about deep matters of the heart.

We all talk to ourselves. In essence, a journal is writing down that inner dialogue

Your journal writing will also develop you as a writer.  

Think of it as your writing laboratory.  You can try different things and different writing techniques. Don't worry about being "graded".  No one needs to ever see your journal writing...unless you want them to.

The five W's of Work Journal

Here are some suggestions that can make writing your journal a more meaningful experience:

  • Write about the “journey” of your life. What is happening in your work, family and in the world around you and how does it make you feel?
  • The things that are bothering you the most are great to journal about. It helps you get in touch your feelings and to clarify. Use your journal as a “sounding board”. Let it connect you to the message from your heart.
  • You should also write about the joy and accomplishments in your life. Life has hills and valleys for us all. Don’t let it be all one-sided.
  • Always write about the significant people in your life. You want to record your thoughts on the birth of your children, your parent’s 50th wedding anniversary, the kids going to college or into the military, the passing on of loved ones. At times this may be difficult, but if you honestly write down these thoughts you will cherish them down the road.
  • You can even receive some healing for emotional or other trauma by writing about it. Gratitude as part of your journaling is always helpful.