I’m not sure that I’m doing this journaling thing right (is there a wrong way?). Going into this, I knew about some of the heavily touted benefits of keeping a journal or diary, such as, clarity of thought, cleansing the mind of negativity, celebrating the positive, reinforcing gratitude. Still, I’m unmoved by the experience.
In an effort to stave off the ambivalence and hang on to my determination to journal every day this year, I decided to do some research (as in Google) on why writing in a journal is so valuable to other folks. The avalanche of information included everything from expanding your IQ to unleashing untapped creativity to making you more attractive.
As of today, I have been journaling for 216 days (am I more attractive??? IQ be damned!). I am truly surprised that I have stuck with it. Boredom, procrastination, and laziness are a lethal brew that usually compel me to abandon stuff. Lo and behold, self-discipline is one of the benefits of journaling daily and it’s supposed to influence other habits too! I can’t boast that this has happened yet in those areas where I have the most difficulty, like *cough*, exercise, but baby steps.
I don’t think journaling is unscrambling my brain in a more efficient way. Most of my entries are inarticulate ramblings. There’s no beautiful prose to be found between these pages. My memoirs probably won’t be published posthumously and Hollywood won’t come calling to turn these thoughts into a movie.
Honestly, I feel as if I’m not writing down my innermost thoughts. Do I even want to face those thoughts? No…not yet. I decided to publish excerpts (can’t give away all my secrets) of a couple entries just to see what they “sound” like in a different space. Of course, I am not including the saucy bits (not that there’s a lot of that… *crickets*) or names of other people. Here goes:
27th December, 2015
I have been so preoccupied with establishing and setting up my blog that I’ve had little time to think about anything else. I really have to make a greater effort to journal daily in 2016.
19th January, 2016
“Because of your faith, it will happen”…I am at the end of an old, worn, tired book but I am also at the start of a new story. And I believe that God is allowing me to connect some of the dots in this story. I thank Him for that gift because it helps me to soldier on…
4th February, 2016
Man, it rained all day. My Grand Canyon hoodie came in so handy. To think I bought it soooo many years ago and it was uber handy today! We didn’t let the rain damper our spirits though. We took the Old Trolley Tour TWICE! It was great. Savannah is such a beautiful city. The squares are gorgeous and lush and green. The buildings are beautiful (except for the bathroom tile building…LOL!). Had some ribs at a creole food place. The music was all T&T soca. Heard songs I hadn’t heard for years at home. Ha! What a small world it is. Then, we met a Trini from Arima! He heard me say “Royal Castle” and started talking to us.
24th February, 2016
I swear my handwriting worsens on a daily basis. Anyhoo, onto business. I had a dream (2 dreams) this morning…
I was in a play with two renowned local actresses but I wasn’t sure how I’d been selected…I knew that I only had one line. My role was to be largely silent throughout the duration of the play. I went to the actresses’ dressing room to ask what my line should be. She answered the door, makeup half done, and basically told me the gist of what I should say but gave me artistic licence to come up with the precise words myself. She would be playing my mother (not a very nice mother it seems) and she closed the door on me. I remember mouthing the words of the line I came up with. I remember knowing that the audience would be stunned by the very short line and that it would end the play nicely. For the life of me, I can’t remember it now.
13th March, 2016
In a foul mood. Not about to journal feelings and life and disappointment. Watching Doc Martin instead. I could use a laugh or a million!!!
26th March, 2016
I am such a sucker for pretty pens J. I’m a sucker for pretty stationery actually. Who knew neon gel pens and a bright blue tape dispenser could make a gal so happy? LOL. I always say that I’m easy to please. I’m a simple, uncomplicated woman… Also, currently reading “The Prayer of Love”. I’ll have to re-read it to get the entire message in but so far so good.
6th April, 2016
I’m tired but proud of myself. My back aches (as it does when I’m a tad stressed) but I did it. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I almost gave up…but I didn’t let the curse of “perfectionism” get in the way…
16th April, 2016
It was really nice catching up with H. Great to chat with someone else who has a blog and who is into writing and who also thinks about pursuing an English degree. I think if I could afford it, I’d do a BA in English. I think editing and proof-reading are fun… Felt good that someone like H. thought my posts were good. Cause to me, she’s way more advanced than I am. It was good to reconnect with a kindred spirit!
8th May, 2016
I was going to write about the same old sad little man who insists on trying to destroy my family. Instead, I’m watching the majesty of Prince. What a man! Divinely talented. So confident in his uniqueness that his sex appeal is potent. Beautiful, crazy talented, sexy, humble, sweet. Imma need Jesus to send me one like him!
23rd June, 2016
That dream this morning emphasised that sometimes it appears as if what’s yours has been stolen. But it’s all illusion and you soon discover that what belongs to you was there all along. In a bit of disarray, but it’s all accounted for…the thief never wins. And the thief can be soundly defeated in God’s name…I’ve come to the end of journal one…
1st July, 2016
…I’m thinking, do I really have a book in me?? Should I attempt this? What would I write about? I have no idea…where would I begin? I have to create a schedule for writing daily. I have a couple blog posts lined up but I have to really settle down. Sometimes, it’s hard to be creative when life is coming at you but I have to give it a go. Tomorrow, I have to carve out my alone time to sort this all out.
Hmmmm… Maybe in 2017 I’ll journal on the blog instead? Maybe I’ll journal on Instagram, which I already do in a way. Maybe I won’t journal in 2017. By December I’ll check in again with a year-end review on the entire experience and see how I feel then.
Do you journal? Do you use pen and paper, or an app on your phone, or whatever? I’d love to hear about your experience. Might help me with my decision to journal daily next year or not.