Journal writing is different for everyone. The beauty of being a journal keeper is that you can make your journal practice whatever you want it to be! Each month I will take you on a Journal Tour of different journal keepers and their journal practice. These tours inspire me and my hope is they'll get you excited about your journal. Want to share your journal practice? Submit here.
This month's journal tour is with Michelle Marie of Seaweed Kisses. Her images alone are well worth spending some time on her site - but as a fellow journal lover I was thrilled when she wanted to show us around her practice. This is one you'll want to sip a cup of tea with. I'll wait...
Without further ado, welcome Michelle!
"Throughout the years, journaling has always allowed me to be more open, free, and understand a deeper sense of myself. By uncovering my love for self expression through writing, I've been able to gain and appreciate the power of the mind's creativity and experience the impact and effects words can play in our daily lives.
1. When did you start journal writing? Why did you start?
Journaling has always been a hobby of mine since I could remember. When I was younger, I would love to color in blank notebook pages and doodle various mini stories. It wasn't until the age of 11 that I actually started to document my days and thoughts by keeping more of a personal writing journal. It has been used throughout the years to help recollect memories and events from my day-to-day life.
2. What kind of journal writing is your favorite? Ie. stream of consciousness, prompts, poetry, etc
When I journal, the majority of the writing is freestyle. I write anywhere from how my day was, how I felt, what new thing I learned, how I'd like to better myself, etc. It's just pure randomness, really. In the past I tried organizing my thoughts into "subjects," but in time I found that having everything in one place worked best for me. It's easier to look back on the journal and see how much I've changed in all aspects of life.
3. What are your 3 top tips for keeping a journal or for getting started?
My top three tips for keeping a journal would be:
1- Just write for you. When I was younger this was a little hard to do due to a snooping step-mother and her curiosity for my journal, but if you have the freedom (or a good hiding space), don't hold back on anything. Keep the stories and feelings real and true to you. There's no one there to judge you, your writing, or your personal thoughts. With that being said, this leads up to my tip #2:
2- Don't hold back. This isn't a book that's going to be edited by anyone, so let it all out when writing. Emotions can play a big part in our memories. The more we capture these in writing, the easier it is for us to relive certain events or reminisce on past times.
3- Details make all the difference. I try to jot down every detail on whatever it is I'm thinking of. This happens especially when I'm writing about celebrations, life-changing events, or important milestones. It's always nice to reflect back and read how that day went, who was there, what that person said, what was felt, what made that particular day special, and so forth. Sometimes our memories can be a little fuzzy recovering every detail in our lives, so by writing them all down, it's a nice way to backtrack into memory lane.
4. Leave us a favorite prompt or journal technique we can use in our journals.
There's no right or wrong way to journaling, so do what makes you feel comfortable. However, one journaling technique that has helped me stay consistent with my writing is to just write everyday, even if it's small. When I was younger I could write pages and pages non-stop within my journal. Of course, I had more time back then (and an intense imagination), but that was always my excuse. I thought that if didn't have the time to journal in depth about what was on my mind, what was the point? Then I realized, "Who's to judge me?" So what if I write a one-liner? So what if I'm crunching for time and scribble down thoughts in an illegible manner? It doesn't matter because in the end the writing is here for me and only me. So even if I only had time to write, "Today was a sunny and fairly uneventful day," at least I was keeping the habit of journaling on a daily basis. Not everyday is going to be an essay kind of day, and that's okay."