How often should you journal? As often as possible, really. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to journal sporadically – just whenever I felt in the mood. And that was fine, but it wasn’t life changing. If you’re serious about journaling dangerously – that is, to make radical positive changes in your life – then you should aim to journal every day.
There’s something about journaling every day that really makes us look at our lives.
This is why it’s dangerous – if you’re not looking to get out of your comfort zone and change your life then you don’t want to do this.
Journaling every day allows us to connect with who we are and what we want. It is a way of spending time with ourselves, of getting to know ourselves, and coming to like and accept ourselves. I spend time with my partner every day, why not with myself? Surely building a relationship with myself is equally if not more important?
In The Artist’s Way Julia Cameron notes that we can only complain about some undesirable situation over and over again for so long, before we actually start to do something about it. The same goes for our dreams and goals – we can only write out how lovely it would be to have or do this or that, before we start to take action towards these things. Often it’s not conscious action, but things in our lives will start to shift.
Most of us have goals and desires; most of us imagine how our lives could be better or different. But often these desires just bubble away at the back of our minds while we are busy with the all the day-to-day ‘stuff’ of life. Sometimes they fade away completely.
By journaling each day, you forge a connection with your true self, your truest and deepest longings.
You learn (or relearn) what it is that your soul most desires and bring this to the front of your mind. By keeping this in front of you, in your mind each day, your life will start to change in previously unforeseen ways to bring you closer to these things.
I know this sounds all a bit new-agey and hippy-dippy, but this has been my experience.
And it’s essential to journal each day if you are looking to expand your creativity. Firstly, you need to reconnect with your deepest self, as mentioned above, and secondly, journaling each day brings the inspiration to you. It’s easy to feel as though you need to wait for inspiration to strike before you can create. If you don’t feel inspired, why would you sit down to create something?
Showing up at the page each day means that the inspiration will find you. In Still Writing, Dani Shapiro says, ‘I sit down every day at around the same time and put myself in the path of inspiration. If I don’t sit down, if I’m not there…then inspiration will pass right by me.’ I love this. It doesn’t just apply to writing – it applies to any creative endeavour.
The main thing is that you must show up every day.
I find that journaling every day keeps me feeling creative and inspired most of the time. The very act of showing up at the page actually creates a channel for the creativity and inspiration to find me – which I would miss if I just got on with life and waited until I felt inspired.
This post is part 5 in a series of posts to help you get started with a regular journaling practice. You can read the previous post here and the next post here.