I’ve had a habit of writing in a journal at night for years and although I don’t do it every night, I certainly try to.
A few nights ago, I started with a brand-new journal, and it’s always exciting to have all of those clean pages to contemplate putting these thoughts down on, and it reminded me of three really solid reasons why I think journaling is so rewarding.
The first is just taking the time at the end of each day to spend time just thinking about what happened to create that time for yourself to reflect on the day.
The second is there’s something about the act of handwriting that I think interacts with the brain very differently than what we typically do, which is write on a computer. There is something about how we are forming letters that requires something different of the brain, than simply pressing down on keys that I think is important to do. I think when we’re writing that it makes a different impression and that relates to the third point I’m reminded of.
William Zinsser’s book, Writing to Learn, where he talks about how when we’re writing, it’s actually reminding us of things we’re interacting with, what we’re saying, we’re making connections and that, in that sense, when we’re writing, we’re learning about the topic. In this case the topic is ourselves and I do think that when we journal it’s, in a way, informing us about ourselves and conjuring up different things in our minds, different memories, or things that we relate to.
So, I highly recommend that if you’re not journaling now, that for those reasons, you consider starting one.