Podcasts & Books

Grab Your Moleskines And Get Journaling

By Jacqui Thompson
18th Nov 2013

In the age of blogs and twitter, journaling—the practice of keeping a diary or journal, is the quieter cousin of personal communication. However, the age-old art of journaling is making a comeback. 

Laneway Learning Sydney is holding a class on the Joys of Journal Writing this Wednesday November 20 from 6.30pm – 7.45pm at Cowbell 808 in Surry Hills. Tickets are $12. Learn how to kick-start your writing, get the juices flowing, and keep going once you see the benefits.

So what's all the fuss about?

For years, famous writers like Lewis Carroll and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and artists like Frida Kahlo, kept journals and credited the practice with their creative success. Today, writers and non-writers alike find keeping a journal relieves stress and unlocks creativity. Want to start your novel, add more creativity to your day or just have a good old-fashioned vent about life? Get yourself a moleskin and start journaling. 

Here are some great reasons to start:

• Get to know yourself. Expressing yourself on paper will help you see your true state of mind, moods and feelings in a new light. 

• Solve issues. Brainstorm solutions, organise your thoughts, solve problems and clear blockers by addressing any ongoing issues through daily reflection. 

• Ease your mind.  Writing in a stream of consciousness style is a form of meditation. It's a great way to let go, vent and clear your mind of worries. Get it out on the page!

• Unlock creativity. Simply by loosening up and letting go, writing can be a powerful tool for unleashing ideas and encouraging creative thinking.  

• Set goals and dream.  Journals help us to capture dreams and desires, and make plans for the future. 

Journaling is cheap, easy and you don't need to be a writer to do it. Here's 10 tips to get you started: 

1. Write the same amount each day. Try for a minimum of two to three pages. 

2. Make a special place or space to write and commit to a regular time. 

3. Early morning is best. Most of us are at our most creative in the morning and it frees you to write without the hassles of a long day clouding your thoughts.  

4. If the blank page is too frightening, break it into small pieces and write in chunks or sections. 

5. Write with a pen and paper and avoid the computer if you can. There's something about a blank screen and keyboard that makes us self-edit and stifles creativity.

6. Let yourself write junk. If you write 'I hate this, I can't think, my leg hurts' for two pages that's fine. The trick is to get started. 

7. Ignore your inner critic. Tell it to go back to bed. There's no right or wrong way. 

8. Go wild. Let go. Don't write proper sentences. Write lists. Write about colours, sounds, or your neighbour's cat. Just write and don't be too logical. 

9. Try not to share your writing and keep it just for you. You'll write better if you're free from worrying about what others will think. 

10. Explore other creative arts. Visit a gallery or watch a great film and notice how it refreshes your writing.

Image credit: Behance

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