I’ve heard every excuse under the sun as to why people don’t journal and today I want to share them with you and hopefully inspire you to pick up your pen and write.
Now let me pause and say that I don’t think that journaling is the solution to all of your problems. However, I understand the importance of having a safe outlet to release what's going on in your mind so you're not keeping everything bottled up inside.
For me, journaling has been a form of therapy and it's been one way that I've been able to heal from issues that stemmed from my childhood.
If you're guilty of saying any of the following then it's my goal to help you change your perspective and encourage you to start writing.
“I don’t know what to write.”
Honestly, there’s no right or wrong way to journal. You can write however and whatever you choose. Some people like to start with journal prompts and there are others who like to freely write on blank lined paper. It all depends on your preference.
There are many types of journals that you can keep and here're a few ideas to help you get started
- Gratitude Journal - Write down what you’re grateful for each day
- Inspirational Journal - Write down quotes, affirmations and positive things that inspire you
- Travel Journal - Write about your travel experiences, places you want to go, etc.
- Book Journal - Write about the books you’ve read and favorite quotes from your reading
“I want to write but I don’t have time.”
We make time for what we want to do. If it’s important to you then you’ll find a way. Period. Journaling doesn’t have to be this long drawn out process. You can spend an hour writing or five minutes it’s really all up to you.
Personally, I like to write for about 10-15 minutes during my morning routine because that's when my mind is fresh and my thoughts easily flow. I have different journals for different things but I always take the time to write down what I'm grateful for each day.
My theory is, If you can spend time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram then you have time to journal.
“I’m afraid someone will find my journal and read it.”
My journal was stolen from me when I was a teenager and for the longest time, I was afraid to write out of fear that someone would read my deepest thoughts. So I would write about a lot of surface level stuff but nothing that had any depth.
However what I realized is that I was holding myself back because I wasn't writing about the things that were really bothering me and I was stunting my growth.
I got to a point where I stopped caring about others possibly reading my journal and I focused on getting free so that I could grow and evolve.
Journaling is your private space to write and gain clarity about yourself and your life. Don't allow the fear of "what if someone reads my journal" keep you from getting free.
A few suggestions if you’re afraid of someone reading your journal
- Keep your journal tucked away in a safe spot where you know no one will find it
- Have a heart to heart conversation with the person you fear would read your journal. Explain to them that your journal is your personal space to freely write and you don’t want your words to be taken out of context. Again I suggest that you keep out of sight so others won't feel tempted to read it.
“I don’t journal because I feel like I’m not doing it right.”
Who told you there was a right way to journal and who are you comparing yourself to? As I mentioned earlier you can't mess up journaling. Stop overthinking it and write whatever flows from your heart.
Journaling allows you to be present in the moment and mindful of what's going on with you internally. It's the perfect outlet to release stress so don’t worry if you’re doing it right, just simply write. Be as random or as structured as you like. It's your space to get free.
“I don’t have much going on in my life to write about.”
You don't need to have a lot going on in order to journal. Saying your life isn't interesting enough to write about would mean that you’re comparing your life to someone else.
Journaling is your space to simply be you. You don’t have to "put on," you just have to be. You are important and journaling is your space to be as awkward, random and as free as you want. My only suggestion is that you write from your true self.
“I don’t know where to start.”
No matter what it is taking the first step always seems to be the hardest step to take. Then once you get the hang of it you wonder why you took so long to get started in the first place.
Turn off the TV, silence your phone and set a timer for 10 minutes and write whatever comes to mind. Don't worry about being grammatically correct just write until you don't have anything else to write about.
“I am not that good of a writer.”
The grammar police isn't going to come after you because you forgot a comma or you have misspelled words. Your journal is for YOU. Write as neat or as careless as you choose. There're no rules. You can even draw if you choose to. You don't need to be a good writer to journal, but if you absolutely despise your handwriting, try using journal apps or start a blog.
“I’ve started so many times but I can’t seem to stay consistent.”
This is a common excuse that I hear all the time. There’s no specific timeframe that you need to write just choose a good fit for you. It can be daily, a few times per week or even monthly. Write when you feel inspired. I recommend doing it more frequently so you can have a clear picture of your development over time.
“I don’t feel like journaling will be helpful for me.”
You’ll never know how helpful journaling can be until you give it a try. If you feel stuck, lack clarity or just feel like you have so much on your mind then pick up a pen and a notebook and just write.
According to an article that I read on Huffington Post, here are ten proven benefits that you'll get from journaling that I think will encourage you to get started.
- Stretching Your IQ
- Evoking Mindfulness
- Achieving Goals
- Emotional Intelligence
- Boost Memory and Comprehension
- Strengthen Your Self-Discipline
- Spark Your Creativity
- Improve Communication Skills
“ I don’t know what to do when I am done.”
It’s all up to you what you decide to do with your journals. I collect journals and I love reading through old ones to see how much I’ve grown and developed over time. You can choose to save them, maybe lock them up or even destroy them if you choose to.
I can honestly say that journaling has been my go-to whenever I need to just spend time with me and gain clarity of my life. It's one way I practice self-care and pour back into myself by releasing my thoughts on paper. Journaling has got me through a lot of difficult times and every time I read some of my old journals from years ago I get teary-eyed because I've grown so much.
You probably noticed a common theme in today's post that there's really no right or wrong way to journal. Often times people over think the process and that's what keeps them from ever getting started.
If you've made any of the excuses above it's fine, you can start journaling at any point in your life. The reason that I feel so strong about writing is because I've seen my growth on paper and through journaling I've been able to discover my purpose and create a business that is impacting lives all over the world.
What excuse have you made that has kept you from journaling?