Did you have a diary as a child? One of those little hardback books with a lock and key to hide your secret dreams? Yeah, me too, but I never got much further than “today we learned our times tables” and other not so useful information. I was never one to pour out my thoughts and dreams on paper. After all, someone else might read them, you know!
I did keep a travel journal in college when I spent a semester in London. I could write my own tour book of London from the diary I kept, but you’ll never figure out what was going on inside my head. I guess I’ve always thought of journaling my thoughts as an invasion of my private space and not the enjoyable, relaxing activity that many people find it to be.
And then I began reading The Creative Call, a book that takes you on an 8 week journey to discover your creative side by – you guessed it- journaling every day! Now, I have loved most of the author’s suggestions, but I bristled at the thought of a daily writing assignment. Finally, though, her gentle pleas to “just give it a try” got to me. I reluctantly followed the instructions to get up 20 minutes earlier than usual and go write before talking to anyone or doing anything else. Let me just tell you, I was amazed!
The pen took on a life of its own and wrote almost faster than I could think! The second morning, I got up more readily, began writing, and actually had to bite my tongue so I wouldn’t snap at my husband when he dared to walk by and speak to me. It was as if speaking somehow destroyed the flow of creative energy.
I’m now in the fourth week of the experiment, and while I cannot say that I have gotten up early every morning, I have done it often enough to see a huge difference. In those early morning times, my thoughts flow more freely and my brain makes connections between ideas almost subconsciously.
So, whether you’re a regular journaler or you’ve never written a word, I encourage you to give it a try this week. Perhaps you, too, will be pleasantly surprised at what you discover.
If you would like more information about the benefits of journaling, check out this article: www.infed.org/research/keeping_a_journal.htm.