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Do Something for Yourself: Start Journaling. Now.

Do Something for Yourself: Start Journaling. Now.

You’ve heard this a million bazillion times already: get a journal and write in it! Record your thoughts, feelings, memories, fantasies–it’s good for you! Better yet, start a Gratitude Journal! That will save your life!

Stop rolling your eyes. A journal is a practical tool for getting you back in the writing saddle. Every skill requires muscles, and muscles require stretching, drills, and regular practice. Your writing muscle is your brain, and this brain is the source of imagination, creativity, thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and yes, gratitude. It needs to be warmed up. It needs to be exercised.

Your brain needs to play.

It needs to think its way through problem solving, to unburden itself of painful memories, process emotions, and wander around in the fresh air of a What If wilderness. Writing in a journal gives space to your brain to do all of this.

As writer, you need to write. If you are struggling to conjure up focus, story, or motivation – or all three – get thee to a journal! Sit your butt down and write. Warm your brain up by scribbling whatever comes to mind.

In To Live & Write … Wherever You Are, we call them Daily Pages. They have been pulled straight out of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and adjusted for the variety of schedules across the writers in the group. I prescribe them to every new client who can’t seem to establish a consistent writing habit.

The great thing about journaling

is that it counts as writing. If that’s all you manage to do in a day, you can still go to bed knowing you showed up in your life as a writer. At least for 30 minutes or so.

Next week, I’ll tell you why you have to write in a journal as opposed to typing into a document on the computer.

Meanwhile, grab a notebook and a pen and get to scribbling. Might as well start stretching now.