It started as a way to keep track of all the scary and fun new things I was experiencing as I got older. It then shifted into a safe space for me to process my worsening depression and start to figure out this whole 'oh wow I'm totally gay' thing. Now that I'm older, I love looking back at my old journals and seeing how much I've grown, and how much bolder and stronger I am.
It encourages me to keep writing, to keep exploring who I am, and who I can be, and most importantly, to keep hope, because tomorrow is bound to be brighter.
Creative Writing Gets Personal
After my little brother passed away on my 14th birthday, I started to write to him every night, not caring about how anyone else would perceive it. It was just for me and him. I just tell him about my day and how I miss him. Keeping this daily habit keeps me grounded and helps me bring Ben with me through my life. It also helps me vocalize my feelings through my grief and normal teenage stuff.
I'm only 16 now, but I've already filled almost six journals and it's been so helpful!
I tell them things about present day me, but also about my favorite current music, fashion, and I sometimes slip in things I'd like them to remind me about when they get to read my collection of journals, so I never forget the amazing life I get to live. I mean, occasionally l may mention what an 'amazing kid' I am, just to make future me's life a little easier! Every once in a while I'll look back at the 11 completed dairies sitting on my shelf, and be reminded of how much I've changed and how much I haven't changed at all.
Now I keep a journal for poetry and writing, and diaries for more factual things. It's nice to have a place to positively obsess over things. I don't feel as lonely when I write in it, it's kind of like a friend to me. I pour out all of my opinions that I would never share in real life.
I almost become a different person, swearing and scribbling and gossiping when most people only see my more restrained version of myself. Not to say I'm faking when I'm with others, I just try to be nicer.
50 Things to Know About Journal Writing: Exploring Your Innermost Thoughts & Feelings (Unabridged)
I write my goals for the future none , retell dialogues, and let myself be the emotional teen that people hate. Initially it was just 'the thing young girls did', but it evolved into a journey of personal exploration. Writing about everything from my first kiss to dealing with depression. I keep a journal because I see tremendous value in being able to go back and read moments in my life.
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To me, it is leaving my legacy, not to the world but to each stage in my life. It is so beautiful to go back and see tear stains on the pages where I was sorting out the trials of my girlhood and to see how my penmanship changes from heavy to airy depending on what I am writing. The personal one I use to unravel my thought and make it easier to understand my feelings, thoughts, ideas, and problems. I guess it's best described as the mess in my head is like a huge knot of yarn. When I write, it's like untangling that knot and being able to see the whole string laid out.
It helps with my anxiety as well, as every morning I loosely plan out my day and talk about what work I need to get done, so that the prospect of doing stuff that day isn't overwhelming. My art journal is a place where I can practice and enjoy drawing without worrying about what it looks like. I tend to be a perfectionist, so my art journal allows me to experiment freely without worrying about the final project. Alzheimer's run in my family so for me it's the way to be in control of my possible condition as all those memories are too precious to be forgotten.
The main reason why I use a journal is because it keeps me organized without having to worry if I've forgotten anything.
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I try to bullet journal and I know my bujo really isn't as pretty as the ones you see on Tumblr, but it's mine and it helps me keep a clean mind. I started bullet journaling a few months before school and ended. Those few months ended up being way easier, and made me realize just how important being organized is. Sure my room is a mess, but at least my mind and desk are clean, and cleared of clutter. The first page is a self-care page! That way, I have little ways to help myself feel better.
I've somewhat let it 'go' over the summer, but over the school year, you'll never see me without it. Sometimes, I write about how hard being a woman is, how hard it is being bi, and amazing moments in my life. It's helped me for three years, and I can't imagine going without.
In high school, you have activities and homework keeping you so busy, so to be able to take a second for yourself out of the day and reflect on it and yourself is something that keeps me going. I keep a journal and make myself write in it at least every other day. In three months of this routine, I have already noticed some big differences in how I shape letters to look like they are supposed to, particularly vowels like a, e, and u.
50 things to know about journal writing exploring your innermost thoughts feelings Manual
I figured that if a journal can help mental illness, why can't is help learning disabilities too? So I started writing in my journal every day and including pictures, ticket stubs, anything that I can look back on to remember high school. I've loved journaling so much that I'm starting a bullet journal to stay organized this year! Each one is small enough to comfortably carry around. In them I record the places visited I during the day, the people I met, the food I tried, the sights seen, and the emotions felt. Part of the problem is that when men become depressed, they conceal their feelings and prefer not to seek help.
While this work is hugely important, there are still plenty of other men out there who may not feel quite ready to talk and prefer to keep things private. This is where the power of keeping a journal can be so helpful. Journals are a safe space to offload, without fear of being judged. I was raised not to share what was going on at home and therefore how I was feeling.
I was so disconnected from my emotions that I was unaware of what I was thinking or feeling. Staying emotionless and carrying on just felt easier. Everything changed when my mother took her own life and, two years later, I suffered a breakdown. Nine years later, my journal has changed my life. MindJournal is a guided project; a notebook filled with questions and tasks that encourages men to record their innermost thoughts.
I view journaling as medication for my mind. When I have a headache, feel anxious or stressed, I jot down a few sentences.