Journals, journals, journals

Your journal is a place for you to express and record what is important to you.

by Doreene Clement — 

Sharing the experience of keeping a journal or diary is a wonderful way to understand how someone else has benefited from the power of journaling. Reading about someone’s journaling experience reveals what journaling has meant to them, the results it has provided, and what they have learned about themselves or the world around them.

My mom started keeping a journal in her eighties. After two years of journaling, she announced she was done. As she handed me her journal, she asked me to read a few pages to her. I smiled to myself as I read what she had written. She had journaled what she wore that day, what she ate and how much she won at bingo. That was so much like my mom. She had journaled what was important to her.

Your journal is a place for you to express and record what is important to you. Many people have told me about their journals. Here are a few reasons journaling is important to them.

One man uses journaling to control his physical pain. A woman who wants to be a comedian writes a joke every day. A friend tracks every penny he spends. A pregnant mom wrote to her baby every day, beginning when the baby was in her womb. I have heard from abused women who journaled their way out of the abuse. Some write letters, poetry or on a calendar. Others keep a prayer, dream, purpose or intention journal. Many track and record what happened that day.

I asked subscribers to my column, About Journaling, if they would share what journaling has meant to them. Here are excerpts from their responses.

“… journaling to me has been one of those things I admire about other people who seem to naturally have a penchant for doing it. I felt out of sync with the whole process. I’ve started many journals and after just a few days of struggling about what to write about, the entries would slowly fall off, until nothing. I think I had thrown the towel in the ring, so to speak. I had given up, until at an intensive workshop back in December 2005 where I was given the directive to, each night, write down five successes from my day. I immediately knew I could do this …” M.

“I did not keep a journal until I was around 30 years old. I started keeping a journal because I went back to school. One of the classes I took was a writing class and the instructor required us to keep a hand-written journal. I started the journal and found that it helped my creativity; I do not encounter writers’ block as much while I keep a journal. Since beginning my journal I have found that both my knowledge of self has increased and my writing has changed. Most of the time I use my pen and paper journal for ideas, rather than anything else. When I write anything else, I use a computer and word processor program. In addition, I have now expanded my journaling to a writing blog.” N.F.D.

“I have just started a computerized journal. I found that writing everything down not only took more time, but it got to be a hassle in trying to keep all the different journals organized …” C.

“… My journal has helped me through the best of times and worst of times. I was able to journal through my pregnancy, loss of that pregnancy, and a successful subsequent pregnancy … I can see how far I have grown as a mother, wife and person when I read my own words and feelings …” L.L.


Doreene Clement, a cancer victim was the author of The 5 Year Journal.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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