This is a subject I always find fascinating! It’s interesting to see the rituals and procedures folks go through when they’re getting ready to journal. There are four questions that always come to mind when I’m setting out on a new journal journey:
- WHERE will I write?
- WHEN will I write?
- How OFTEN will I write?
- How do I get READY to write?
Where will I write? For me I prefer a comfortable space. A space where I can prepare to meet my inner self. I have a couple spots. My desk in the “library” or my “Edith Bunker” chair in the living room.
I write at my desk when I’m writing in long-hand. It’s a bit sturdier. And I like to use it for personal correspondence (yes, I do still WRITE letters) because it feels cozier. (Cluttered?) I discovered something weird when I was doing NaNoWriMo in 2013. When I’m in a creative mood, I need more space to breathe. So sitting in a corner of the living room is perfect for flights of fancy. I used to write my Saturday Morning Kitchen Khronicles at the kitchen table, but the height of the table didn’t work well for me when I started typing them instead of writing them out.
Now I really can journal just about anywhere. Private and peaceful are not necessarily a prerequisite for me. As long as I can sink into my own little world (which is fairly easy since I have one of those personalities that can feel all alone in a room full of 200 people!) I’m good to go. Starbucks is one of my favorite places to write. I’ve also written a lot at airports.
So now that I know where I’m going to write, when and how often become my next questions. And that kind of depends on which journal I’m working in.
The Journey Matters — I write in this diary-type journal every night before I go
The Saturday Morning Kitchen Khronicles — a weekly update about the whole …..family, I write, of course, on Saturday mornings.
Moodlings — when I feel the need.
Others I write in as necessary. When I find a good quote. When I finish a book. My travel journal when we’re on a trip. I know to some people it probably seems strange to have so many journals going on, but I think I realized in this six months off that it’s the structure they provide that comforts me and makes me feel squared away.
How often is only an issue with my personal journal. There are days when I need it and days when I don’t. Times when the spirit calls, when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or just when the opportunity presents itself. My writing in that journal goes in cycles. I tend to write more when I’m agitated, angry, or feeling blue, though I also record happy moments in there, too. Life is full of rhythms and patterns. I think the most important thing is to find a rhythm that works for you. Listen to your body, mind, and emotions. They’ll let you know what’s best for you.
One thing I have learned is if I have a semi-regular time to write each day, I begin to look forward to it and my mind starts to get ready.
Finally, when I’ve decided it’s time to write, THEN I get ready. (I love rituals!) I usually always have a candle going and soft instrumental music playing. Occasionally, if I’m feeling funky, instead of the candle I’ll light incense. And most generally I have a pot of tea or hot chocolate at hand. I love it when I have the house to myself which isn’t often these days. But the obsession to write (something, anything) definitely outweighs having my setting be ideal. Though I must admit there are times I just grab the bloomin’ personal journal off my desk and set forth in a snit bothering with none of that.
But there’s one more important thing you don’t hear folks talk about. That’s that we need to give ourselves permission to take the time off from life to journal. When I don’t do that I find it easier and easier to blow it off if I’m not in the mood. But if I’m IN the mood to blow it off, chances are I really NEED to write.
Ok, think I covered everything that’s important to me. Now it’s your turn to weigh in.
Where, when, and how often do you journal? Have you given yourself permission to take the time to get better acquainted with yourself or just enjoy yourself? And finally, do you have a ritual you go through when you write?
Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Or if you find you have a lot to say, I invite you to do so on your own blog and pingback to this post.
“I write when I’m inspired,
and I see to it I’m inspired
at nine o-clock every morning.”
— Peter DeVries
“The mind can weave itself warmly
in the cocoon of its own thoughts,
and dwell a hermit anywhere.”
— James Russell Lowell
Picture Credit: fourhourworkweek.com
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Raili’s post (soulgifts — Telling Tales) — Journaling