I started to keep a journal in 1995 as a requirement of a writing course I was studying and I haven’t stopped since. My first journal was a small notebook, which soon had to increase to A4 size notebooks, a much preferred landscape, which enhanced my writing process. I alternate between A5 and A4 size journals.
There are no rules with journal writing; all you need is a blank canvas, a pen and you’re on your way. Sometimes I will cut out magazine or press articles and paste them in my journal along with my reflections. Sometimes I will write poetry, small reviews of films, books, and travel experiences that I find inspiring. Lately, I find that I record spiritual moments, which often arise out of the blue or from a challenging life experience, the writing of which is often revealing.
I have found it useful to experiment with my journaling, e.g. writing with different coloured pens, depending on my mood. It’s the process of writing, the physical feeling of the pen creating the words on the page – allowing the creative artist in me to bring forth language and string and blend words together to form sentences, paragraphs, pages, chapters, articles, books and so on.
I love the freedom of writing my thoughts and feelings, of choosing when to write, how much to write, or not. I have found journal writing to be a form of self-discovery since until you allow yourself the luxury and indulge your creative self i.e. the writer within, you don’t know what may come up and face you, confront you, challenge you. This can be positive and negative – even that process creates realism, harmony and balance in your writing.
In September 2009, I started a Music Journal to record thoughts and feelings about how my piano lessons, playing and practice are progressing. I used to keep a Dream Journal so as to capture those rare premonition dreams along with lucid and recurrent dreams that can so easily be forgotten. A few months ago, I signed up for a free private online journal at www.penzu.com and I am enjoying this new experience.