The following points were taken from a talk by Brad Wilcox. When I read this, it changed my views about journal writing & I hope it will do the same for you.
How a Personal Journal Helps You to Think, Feel, Discover, Expand, Remember, & Dream…
1. THINK: I once asked a college professor what he thought about a particular issue. He said: “I don’t know. I’ve never written anything about it.” His response puzzled me at the time, but not anymore.
“Thoughts are created in the act of writing. It is a myth that you must have something to say in order to write. Reality: You often need to write in order to have anything to say. Thought comes with writing, and writing may never come if it is postponed until we are satisfied that we have something to say. The assertion of write first, see what you had to say later applies to all manifestations of written language, to letters… as well as to diaries and journals” – Frank Smith
2. FEEL: You are better when you require yourself to verbalize your innermost feelings. Journal writing puts you in the valuable position of finding words for hard-to-express feelings.
3. DISCOVER: Helen Keller, who was both blind and deaf, once said: “I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences. I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”
Often, simply by writing about ourselves we begin to see life from a new perspective. One young woman put it this way: “My journal gives me a chance to discover things about myself I didn’t even know were there. As I write, I can figure out who I really am.”
4. EXPAND: Spencer W. Kimball counseled, “Write … your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies”.
It follows naturally that if we are expected to write such experiences, we will become more aware of them in our lives.
“Writing, like other arts, is a representation of life. Thus, the writer is compelled to live life more consciously. Journal writing will not make passive people miraculously more active. However, regular writing does make it harder for us to remain passive.” – Brad Wilcox
5. REMEMBER: Modern memory experts agree that writing down experiences can help us remember them longer and with greater accuracy. Journals make it easy for you to look back over your life and see the progress you are—or are not—making. They can motivate you to stay on course or make positive changes.
6. DREAM: “Journal writing provides a place for self-expression where one can afford to take a risk, experiment with ideas and materials, and even make a mistake” – M. Joan Lickteig.
Many professionals agree that because a journal is less structured, many find it instantly inviting—it’s a protected place, an invitation to open up. They are a safe place for your most personal goals and deepest dreams.
On Saturday, 20 June 1942, Anne Frank wrote the following in her personal journal: “I haven’t written for a few days, because I wanted first of all to think about my diary. It’s an odd idea for someone like me to keep a diary; not only because I have never done so before, but because it seems to me that neither I—nor for that matter anyone else—will be interested in the unbosomings of a thirteen-year-old schoolgirl. Still, what does that matter? I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart.”