Thoughts on Journal Writing

“The pages afforded glimpses into my soul where I’d hidden it, behind masks of paper and ink.” ― Rachel L. Schade, Silent Kingdom

The greatest cure I have found to my own writer’s block is diligently keeping a personal journal. Some days, if my fingers won’t willingly dance across the keys of my laptop, I take up my pen and put the ink to paper, easily scrawling away the mess filling inside my headall of the anxieties, doubts, fears about the unknowns, random thoughts, memories, coincidences, and dreams. Once my journal writing session is complete, which takes me anywhere from 10-20 minutes (depending upon the weightiness of my heart and the heaviness of my soul at the time), I am finally confident and steady enough to confront a blank screen. After I journal, my mind is straighter and freer, and I am able to write fluidly with a clearer perspective, lighter heart and peaceful demeanor―no matter the subject matter.

It takes only a quick Google search to discover why famous authors, past and present, have kept a journal. Personally, I find the process cathartic; a balm to my emotional, sentimental nature. I would much rather my journal be the vessel bearing the burdens of my inner-person, fielding the complaints, taking the hits, mending the brokenness, offering the therapy, relieving the stress, questioning the injustices, remembering the laughter, piecing together fragments of memory, working through shame, healing past hurts, expressing grief, and recording both the simple and profound moments of my life. Essentially, my journal is where I work out the sorrows and write my way to discovering the joys.  

A cup of tea, a near-perfect pen, a journal waiting to be filled―this is my prescriptive remedy for a happy calm. Journal writing is as essential as breath. 

If you’re intrigued by the journal writing process, but have no idea where to begin, I recommend reading this:

May I also suggest reading this essay on writing?  Ellen O’Connell Whittet muses in beautiful detail about how everything we write matters. 


“I say to people that I am not writing, but I keep writing the diary, subterraneously, secretly, a writing which is not writing but breathing.”  ― Anaïs Nin, from her Diary


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