The Importance of Journaling
I never began to take my writing seriously until I took journaling seriously. Around the time that I developed a frequent journaling habit I began to write better, and I began to read better. And since then, I’ve come to rely on my Journal.
My entries are personal vignettes of my day. I reel in all the thoughts that have been swimming in my mind pen them down, and I don’t hold anything back. It’s allowed me to embrace my voice as a writer.
But it also allows me to get all those thoughts out quickly and easily. See, when I’m typing on the computer I get this sinking feeling in my chest when I open up Word because it all seems rather intimidating. But my Journal is my friend. My Journal doesn’t judge me. Scribbling my thoughts is as relieving as venting to your closest friend the latest juice in your life.
I have two close friends whose company is like that. I can say what’s on my mind, and they listen. It’s refreshing. Have you ever tried to tell somebody how you really feel and half way through you see that they stopped listening?
Why don’t people listen anymore?
What’s it going to take to get their attention?
But journaling allows me to get all those thoughts out. I read an essay called Shitty First Drafts by Anne Lamott the other day. In it she recommends just sitting down and writing everything that comes to mind, no filter, just vomiting it right there on the page. That’s your shitty first draft, and then you go back and sculpt it into something. But it’s importance to get all that pure, raw, human emotion out there on the page—fully exposed, standing with its pecker out and proud, the visage of man. But you put some clothes on it, give it a nice name, some background—and there you got your character.
Journaling is the step that comes before the shitty first draft.
I’ve realized that I can sit in front of the computer better once I’ve talked to a friend. I feel at ease. I’ve put down my thoughts and now I can dig even deeper into them, put some clothes on them, and maybe I can get a story out of it.