Hard to believe that my presentation to Job Seekers Network was less than two weeks ago. It feels longer than that, perhaps because I’m already working on my next presentation, which is about 5 weeks away. The focus of that message is the power of storytelling, something I am constantly refining in my own life as I try to explain to people why I wrote a book and what the book is about.
What are some tips on journaling?
The best advice I can offer is simply to make it a priority and stick with it. The primary reason I have kept journals in the past is to process my emotions, experiences and questions in a safe place. Those pages are mine and mine alone, although I chose to incorporate a lot of journal content into my book. I journal when I need to, not just for the sake of doing it, although someone who aspires to write for a living probably ought to need to more often!
Because the journal is for your benefit, and should be for your eyes only, it’s important not to self-censor. If you’re mad at someone, get it out of your system. If you’re scared and confused about a turn of events, describe why and see if any insights emerge that can help you push through it. Lack of honesty in your journal is the same as writing a work of fiction.
I like keeping a paper journal, as opposed to using my computer. It’s easier to carry around, and there’s an emotional satisfaction in seeing the effort that went into the transference of ideas from mind to paper; I suppose it’s an act of therapy. The downside to paper is that I have terrible handwriting, and if I don’t keep my pencil sharpened it gets harder to read the longer I write. Also, there are times when I feel like my hand can’t write fast enough to keep up with the flurry of thoughts in my head.
Re-reading journals from past years has helped me remember who I was and what I experienced during those times. I can see patterns of growth I might have otherwise denied or forgotten. But that wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t willing to be really honest with myself, so if you’re going to start keeping a journal please don’t ever be afraid to be your most authentic self. If you can’t do it there, where can you?