A journal can be a creative playpen, a dreamcatcher or a dumpster. At the very least, journaling is a memory aid – our faulty memories are to blame for most of our lives’ misperceptions and mistakes, and a good journal is a place to check the record.
And it’s a place to talk to ourselves.
A popular quote says we are the sum of the people we know and the books we read. Shouldn’t some of the books we read be our own? Shouldn’t some of the people we know be ourselves at our most contemplative?
I use my journals to record my brightest ideas and my darkest moments . . . my favorite conversations and my private rants. What fun it is to reread these months and years later.
The best Christmas gift my mother ever gave me was a set of colored pencils and a blank journal. I was 45. Like going from black and white to color TV, it was a sensory upgrade of the most dazzling kind. I wonder what I ever did before with merely a black pen and pencils.
One of my favorite artist/writers, Austin Kleon, posted this about how Stevie Nicks journals.