We are writers. We write. Good, bad, ugly and sometimes completely indifferent work and words all scribbled down in the dark of night, or dawn. We often can’t help but write. And we often wonder if we are just wasting time.Turns out we aren’t. Journaling, even if the work doesn’t lead to the next great novel, will, at the very least, promote better health and clearer thinking.
Journaling is good for us. Like coffee. Like red wine. It’s enough to make you believe in a benevolent god.
The science on the health benefits of journaling is not conclusive because reports of well being, reports on shared and private writing are self-reported as well as difficult to definitively measure.
But according to programs like Journal on Line, consistent journaling can:
- Boost thinking ability
- Increase working memory
- Reduce pain, tension, and fatigue
- Enhance mood and sleep quality
- Positively influence immune system function
- Help wounds heal more quickly
Sign me up! But what exactly is journaling and how does a writer approach it?
Journaling is Julia Cameron’s famous morning pages, which are similar to Natalie Goldberg’s ten minute writes, which is the same as unconscious or spontaneous writing, which is the same as bitching on the page to avoid bitching to loved ones.
But it doesn’t always need to be just about spilling out all your frustrations and angst until the pen runs out of ink. – journaling can help with your creative projects.
Do you want to get better at an activity? You can journal about how that will feel, why you want to do it, what you will do today to achieve your goals.
Want your muse to show up on time? Sit down and start writing in your journal.
You know journaling works so I’m not telling you anything new. But I do encourage you to take another look at the activity and possibilities of journaling.
Start with a notebook and a pen. Write for ten minutes a day.
Let me know how it goes!