Why do I journal? Why do I keep a journal of my workouts and health, a fishing journal, a work journal and a journal of my spiritual life? Simple answer – I can’t help myself.
But there are reasons I can’t help myself. They’re the things I’ve experienced over the past 30 plus years of journaling.
First journals have created a record of the activities and events I’ve been a part of and the associated reflections I’ve had so I can refer back to those moments at a later date.
Second, writing helps me process what I’m thinking and experiencing by bringing clarity to a topic, situation or season of my life. Some people talk things out, I write them out.
Finally, for what it’s worth, I’ve created a record of my life that one day my family and friends may want to experience and share.
More recently I’ve converted some of my journals from written only to photo journals with some writing. For example I’ve converted my fishing journal to a series of photo journals because capturing the moments of a fishing trip in pictures has become more important than creating a detailed record of the number of fish we’ve caught, the type we caught and where and how we caught them. I use Shutterfly to create these journals and I’m happy with the results.
In my written journals, apart from this blog, I still write them out with a pen in an actual journal. Somehow it feels more intimate and authentic doing it this way. Plus my handwriting reflects my mood, physical condition and the environment I’m journaling in, making my entries more reflective of the moment.
So now you know why I journal. It’s really not a compulsion in my life; it’s more like the act of breathing.