Journaling, by hand, is a habit I acquired early on in life. My English Mother always kept one. She used it mostly as a record of events and travel experiences rather than as a place to unload her deepest thoughts and emotions.
Early writings of mine reveal my initial mirroring of my Mother’s daily writing habits. It took me until my early 40s before I discovered the joys of the hand written daily pages as confidant, secret keeper, source of inspiration and so much more.
Giving ourselves permission to let it all flow out and onto paper, engages our creative side in addition to thinking and speaking of our ideas. It stimulates the fluency of our creative urges.
Recent research shows that writing by hand engages the brain in learning. M.R.I. scans reveal that handwriting lights up the brain in a way that keyboard writing does not.
The tactile quality of forming letters with pen or pencil gives us time to think – meditation on the page. It allows us access to ideas that are just below the surface, barely conscious even. Keyboard writing by-passes this step.
In the activation of our creativity and individual expression, we need the slower pace of hand writing. Time to think and receive messages from our intuition. Encouraging ourselves to try new approaches, then report back with news of how it went later. A conversation with yourself that can be deeply compassionate and understanding. After all, who knows you better than you.
Selection of a new Journal is a fun and playful process. Every one is different, and each reflects how we are feeling at the time. I have journals from my corporate days - these were very business-like in appearance or just plain black moleskin covered. How things have changed with me these days. Now, my journals have quilted covers, sequins, handmade, the one I am currently filling has a zebra strip cover. Another is leopard skin or snake skin. An animal theme has emerged these last few years. Keep them in a storage box.
Write your name on the front fly leaf - Mine says "For Her Eyes Only" - fair warning to any unauthorized readers! and makes me feel like a Marta Hari with an exciting life (sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't).
Tell your friends that a blank journal is always a great gift. Blank pages are an optimistic signal of our future - something to look forward to is always around the corner.
We invite you to share your own experiences and ideas about journaling and the creative process here.
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