writing.jpgThere is a stack of used writing pads beside a chair in my home office. Most are yellow paper, most are letter-sized pads, a few legal length. The chair is black leather, big, comfortable, over stuffed. A reading lamp is perfectly positioned behind my left shoulder to spill illumination into my lap as I sit. Books surround the chair, some in neat rows in shelves, others in hapazard stacks, piling up over time. It is a place I am fond of and where I am comfortable.

There are probably dozens of writing pads in that stack, for that stack contains my journals for the last couple of decades.

My journals are important to me. I find the practice of journaling steadies me, focuses my energies, helps me make sense of the world around me and of the world within me. Reflecting on the events of the day, how I could have dealt with them at a higher level, praised more, appreciated more, loved more, all helps me be more proactive the next day.

Journaling also helps me realize what is truly important in life because I find it is the memories of the people moments that my thoughts are most often drawn to at the end of the day. Journaling also helps me get perspective on myself and my life; it is interesting to go back and visit with myself in years past.

Sometimes I write at night but I tend to write most often in the early, soft hours of the pre-dawn morning. Some entries are only a line or two, others run a page or more. For a while I experimented with a commitment to journal daily. In the end I found myself most comfortable with the affirmation that I will “journal faithfully”; looking back I made 13 entries over the last 30 days.

I often read something inspirational before I write. Today it was 2 or 3 pages (p. 52 to 54, chapter “Surrendered Life”) from Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love.”

Closing Quotes:

“I write constantly, but only in my journals. I have three of them: one for travel, one for home, and one I write in before bed. But the last thing I want is other people reading it… What’s really fun is reading your journal, like a year later.” — Cameron Diaz, American actress

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” — Christina Baldwin, author of “One to One: Self-Understanding through Journal Writing”

“I am enamoured of my journal.” — Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist (“Ivanhoe”)

“I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot…and memory is important.” — Judy Collins, American folk singer, songwriter, Grammy award winner (“I’ve Seen Both Sides Now” and “Turn! Turn! Turn! To Everything There is a Season,” were two of her biggest hit singles)