New Year, New Experiences: Journaling

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I haven’t really been a journal-er. I’ve done the whole “Dear Diary” thing in my youth, and I was already writing something, but journaling was far too consistent for my in-the-moment lifestyle. And journaling was always such an art form to me, one that I had no experience in and no guide to help me. So I stuck with basic writing, pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, without actually creating visually stunning pages.

Then, while going through Pinterest, I spotted really beautiful journaling pages–beautiful without being intimidating. Recently, I’ve had some experience with scrapbooking (after my two trips to Ireland), and I realized that journaling and scrapbooking are so closely related that they could be considered the same thing, in most aspects.

Why Journal?

Journaling is a great way to keep record of your life. It’s also a great way to stay sane.

For me, it’s all about writing. (The staying sane part comes from writing, for me, already.) I want practice writing in any way, shape, or form that I can get.

Journaling is vastly important. How much understanding of the Holocaust would we lost without the diary of Anne Frank? Where would we be without the journals from those who lived through other historical time periods, like the Civil War or any of the world’s revolutions? Journals help us to understand history. Journals help us to understand people.

So it doesn’t make sense, to me, why I haven’t already started journaling. Daily writing practice with today’s experiences. My mental voice was telling me, “Get on it, Chase. What took you so long?” Hemingway kept a journal. Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Ray Bradbury, C.S. Lewis–all of them kept journals. And so shall I, Vivien Chase, who is so far from where they are in the literary realm but who longs to stand among them.

So with the dawn of 2016, I did something I haven’t done in years: I made a New Year’s Resolution. I resolved to start journaling.

Types of Journals:

You’ll be interested to know that there are various types of journals. Travel journals, bullet journals, food journals, faith journals, dream journals, character journals, etc, etc (on into eternity). The beauty of journaling is that it’s entirely what you want/need it to be. Do you write in long sentences that should have ended pages ago? Do you write in one-word sentences? Do you illustrate? Do you prefer lists?

There’s a journal for that. And it’s YOUR JOURNAL. And your journal could be a combination of any of those journals, making one gigantic monstrous beast of creative glory.

What type of journal would you create? For me, I have a couple already: a music journal (which is a daily journal that includes the day’s playlist) and a character journal.

Your journal doesn’t have to be pen and paper. Make one that’s digital. Use a beloved app or software, or look into a new one. The sky (both real and digital) is the limit.

Prompts and Resources:

I’ve linked my Journalist Pinterest board to help you get started. It certainly helped me! Happy journaling!

Follow Vivien’s board Writing – Journaling on Pinterest.

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