5 Things every journal writer needs to know
It's Monday morning and I've just spilled coffee on my journal. Journals are meant to get worn down and a little destroyed. They are your travel companions. But I really didn't want to spill coffee on my journal. Although I know my journal is going to get ripped, spilled on, and such I always hope to keep it a pristine place. Like a temple. But I guess even mud gets tracked into temples, right? It's not the journal itself that is sacred so much as what I write in it. The words, ideas, dreams, thoughts, prayers, even fears are sacred. I don't know why. For me, they just are. My journal captures things I don't even know I'm thinking about until I see it written down. It has this way of getting to the goods faster than any conversation can. Faster than talking it out. My journal has this way of knowing just how to get me to open up and let go. So it's understandable that I didn't want my morning coffee to cover it's pages. Also, I love my morning coffee and don't care to lose a single drop.
For some, this could totally derail using their journal. A torn cover, coffee stains, ripped edges, creased pages and suddenly the journal isn't as enticing. Which is really too bad. In "Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg she writes that to be a good writer you can't be afraid to make a mess out of your writing space. You can't be afraid to put crap in your journal. You have to get under all that surface stuff to get to the goods and that surface stuff has to go somewhere.
It could be your grocery list or how you hate how tight your jeans are today. You have to write what's there in the moment to get to the rest. Maybe by letting yourself write your grocery list in your journal you clear enough head space to tap into all the other parts of you. Don't be afraid to fill your journal with stuff that's not great. Because your journal doesn't judge what you write. Only you judge what you write.
Inspired by my coffee debacle came 5 things I think every journal writer needs to know or at least keep in mind when journal writing.
No. 1 - There are no rules to journal writing
Don't ever let someone tell you how to journal. This is completely up to you! Journal how you want.
No. 2 - Your journal is the most supportive tool you have available
If you have a journal than you have support at your side. Your journal is always available and open to whatever you need to say.
No. 3 - Your journal will evolve and grow, let it
Your journals will change. Your writing style will change. Your content will evolve. Your obsessions will change. Just go with it.
No. 4 - Embrace anything and everything that comes through your writing
If you allow it to, your journal can show you, you. We're all works in progress and with a journal we get to explore that work from every angle. You may not always understand what comes through your pen. It's ok. You are not there to journal, you are there to be journaled.
No. 5 - Your story is worth telling
This is how we witness life and observe our world.
Don't be so hard on your journal. The irony is, in 50 years I'll love that my journal is coffee stained. It means it lived a good adventure. Those are always the ones I want to remember most.