J – Journaling = Brain Cleaning

Historically, I have been terrible at keeping a journal.  When I was a young girl, I used to get diaries and journals all the time – from the cutsie, brightly-colored ones for girls, to blank books from the bookstore once I got a little older and wanted a mature looking journal. I still have some of them scattered around my old room at my parents’ house, and not one was ever filled.  I was terrible at keeping a journal.

And I tried all sorts of different tactics.  For one, I tried thinking of it as writing letters to God, but they weren’t very reverent in nature.  I tried keeping a journal of poetry, but poetry’s not really my medium.  I did share a journal, delivered back and forth between me, as a new freshman at my high school, and a junior that I had gotten to know through my older brother.  It was a nice correspondence, and we nearly filled it up, but like all the others it went by the wayside.  I’ve always been fascinated by people who can be so dedicated as to write every day in a journal.  (I recently saw an interview with Emma Watson, who turns out to be an avid journaler.)

But all that changed with a wonderful little website, 750words.com.  What this site gave me was the motivation I was lacking.  I had never had anything pushing me to write in my journal everyday, but 750words, with its badges, streaks, monthly challenges, and daily email encouragements, has kept the drive going.

Of course, I still have my slip-ups.  I interrupted a 90 day streak a couple of years ago, and have yet to be able to match it.  But no matter the slip-ups, it is the best motivator I could have hoped for.  It allows me to experiment with story ideas, challenge myself with writing exercises, explore my thoughts on philosophical ideology, or just dump out the contents of my brain, so I can focus on my creative side.

If you are not currently using a journal, I highly recommend it.  I know that some bloggers use their blog as their journal, but sometimes, you just need another place to experiment.  You can use 750words.com if you visit and find you like it, but it’s not necessary.  All you need is a blank page, and a writing or typing tool, and the motivation to get out your junk!

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Filed under blogging, exercise, writing

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