There was a lot of great response to a Facebook post I shared about journaling. I had a quite a few people email me questions, so I thought maybe some of you might have similar thoughts. I decided to share one of my responses here because after I re-read it, I decided it was actually really good advice for anyone going on a journey of discovery about themselves.
So here it is: the Q & A about journaling.
I used to journal all the time but stopped because it felt too ‘dear diary’ ish. Can you share any ideas about how to dig a bit deeper when writing in a journal?
Really journaling is whatever you want to make it. It has very few rules except to generally write consistently and be true to the process.
Mostly it’s about what you are thinking, what you love, what you hate, what God is saying to you. Many of my journals are prayers. A lot of my journals only cover the really good and the really bad. Very seldom do they discuss the mundane.
The way to dig deeper is to keep practicing. The first three versions of my book were very surface, but then I just started being real. Asking the hard questions. Sharing the hard lessons. Not every entry is going to be life-changing, but a journal is a chance for you to get beyond the answer, “Oh I’m fine.” Because most of the time, we aren’t.
To reach the emotions, start with your heartfelt prayers. And write about things you love and you are passionate about. For example, describe being a mother as if you were talking about it to someone who has never been one. When you start with something familiar that you are passionate about, you will learn to reach a little deeper into your heart. And once you unlock that vault, you will be able to express all kinds of emotions in your journals.
Your journal doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to be read by anyone. But it is a great tool to help sort out your loves and hates; and in doing so you will find your passion and your purpose.
Do you journal? In the comments below share how journaling helps you discover your authentic self.