Last February I spontaneously created a folder in Google Drive titled “Thoughts and Feelings.” I remember I was upset about something, and I couldn’t accurately articulate my feelings to anyone, so I decided to write them down. It wasn’t until I finished my first entry that I realized I had created a journal. I’ve been journaling off and on for about nine months and it’s been great. Here are four reasons why I think everybody should keep a journal:
- Sometimes the only person who understands you, is you.
I started journaling because it was a way to express my emotions without having to form coherent sentences. I could just write fragments or lines that only made sense to me, and it was fine. I can also share emotions that don’t really make sense. For example, during the summer I was nervous about going to a new hair salon but also excited that I had found one that wasn’t fully booked. But I didn’t know how to explain this nervous-relief to my friends, so instead I wrote about it in my journal and when I was finished I felt a lot more relaxed.
- Stress-free writing.
I feel like around the time high school started I had less and less time to write for enjoyment. Whenever I wrote, it was usually for a paper or some other assignment. I always had to make sure my grammar was correct, and that it had good style. In a journal, I can use made-up words or use exclamation points at the end of every sentence. I can start off writing a letter and then end up with a poem. When deadlines start to pile up, it helps me remember why I like to write.
- Old entries are a blast from the past.
I’m a big fan of nostalgia and reminiscing, which I can experience when I look at past entries. I’ve been journaling for less than a year, so there isn’t too stark of a difference, but I’ll look back and think, “woah, I was in high school when I wrote that.” It’s cool to look back at things I’ve written and remember how different my life was then compared to now, and how I’ve changed.
- They’re versatile.
One of the reasons I keep an online journal is because it’s easily customizable. I can make the page yellow and the font blue, write in all caps, or change the font every entry. I enjoy how easily I can adapt my writing style to my mood. However, paper journals can be customizable, too. There are so many types of journals you can buy, and pretty much anything you can write on can be a journal. Spiral notebook, leather-encased covers, a series of sticky notes, a scroll, whatever you want. You can use bubble letters, or script, and pen or pencil or crayon. It’s a great way to have your writing feel like it belongs to you and reflects who you really are.