The art of outsourcing thoughts to paper is a practice which has become as much a part of my life as brushing my teeth. For numerous years I’ve been scribbling down at least one coherent sentence in a book.
What began as a yearning for some sort of express enlightenment has eventually turned into a practice that essentially has no rules, except one: get something on paper.
Trialling multiple different approaches, from gratitude, goal setting, bullet point journalling, reflections and live stream thought, I’ve found the simple effort of writing regularly and allowing whatever might be happening to come out on paper has worked best.
There is immense power in taking a problem from inside your head, seeing it on paper and recognising the thought for what it is.
Journals aren’t made for anyone else but yourself. Used as somewhat of a record keeping of progress, I can look back on even the most incoherent scribble and travel back to that very moment, happy, sad, epiphanic or random and at the most fundamental level know that I started a practice which in some strange way has made me a better person. Whilst I am a fan of structure, it seems that journalling gets a free pass. As long as something goes down on paper, that is the achievement.
Now you may find your own process of journalling. It may be more or less frequently than daily, it may have a rigid structure or it may be thoughts in real time. Whatever the case, there’s a good chance that how you begin writing won’t be the same way you continue to write. Nor will you find any significant change to your life in the short term.
By starting some sort of journalling now gives you an opportunity to reflect back on this time window in your life, or merely outsource a problem in order to realise you needn’t stress on it as much. Journalling is as personal as you want it to be and as long as you have a pen and paper, you can scribble anything your brain wants.