I’ve been journaling daily, right from the first day of 2021 and going strong now 8 months down. I recently came across a video on daily journaling by Matt D’Avella and found it to be a really shallow and misleading exercise in guiding someone towards the benefits of journaling and I journaled some ideas I thought were important to my habits.
I tend to journal daily keeping a few learnings in mind that I’ve understood from reading ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, excerpts of ‘Getting Things Done’ by David Allen and from Stephen King’s phenomenal ‘On Writing’
The idea I borrow from GTD is to get everything that is on your mind out there on paper. This clears the mind for better things. Our mind is not a storehouse it is made to process data. So its not a hard disk, its bad at being one, its a processor with some RAM. Given that so much happens in everyday life, family and work and ambitions and thoughts, on TV series, on other people, on the news, on a million other things. The mind is storing that. And then if and when we sit to meditate we wonder why we are feeling so distracted. Our processor doesnt know the priorities of what to process first and what later. Writing on the journal daily, doesn’t solve entirely this problem, nothing can, but it gives tangibility to thoughts and feelings and constructs them in neat packets called words on a page. There is a certain calming order to doing this and journaling provides that. It can also help sort from whats important and whats not and prioritize your tasks accordingly.
The Artist’s way part that I think of is only limited to doing the morning pages first thing in the morning. It helps coz if theres something still in your head after your brain has consolidated it in your sleep, it might just be better to get it out than let it be in. Its like taking a morning dump and sure enough many people call it that. For me, its the equivalent to not taking a good dump in the morning and carrying on with my day with varied levels of uneasiness in the brain throughout. Bonus is when you have very little to write but you still force yourself to every morning, maybe starting with auto-writing and then things just churn out from air bringing you stories, clarity on previous thoughts, thoughts you’ve long ignored but need to address etc. These I’ve gathered are invaluable.
The King part is where its absolutely necessary for me, atleast it was in the initial days and still is to a large extent that no one else is in the room. Do it while others are sleeping, do it in a place where you have solitude. You are talking to yourself on the page, you are sharing some really deep secrets that you can share only with this trusted friend at times. Even if no one is looking, psychologically our sub-conscious presumes its content written for public when people are around in the room. You connect deeply with yourself, enter your own world and harmonize with yourself much better if you write alone. Don’t let reality flow into this world as much as you can.