I have officially been journaling for a month and 10 days. I have to admit, I started partly because I found this awesome teal leather embossed journal at Walgreens. (My mom was jealous, I have since bought her the peacock feather version). I had tried journaling several times throughout my childhood. I remember thinking of elaborate codes and drawing flames over the names of my elementary school crushes (to indicated that I thought they were SMOKIN' HOT! I guess...). I'm sure my younger sister, Frankie read just about all of them, so she could probably tell you some funny stories.
I was obsessed with the Princess Diaries and Dear America books, so I think a big reason that I didn't stick with journaling was because my life seemed vastly less entertaining than these fictional diaries were. I mean where was the plot in my diary? The foreshadowing? I admit, I tried hard to make my life seem cool and interesting but the pressure was too much and my journaling just fell by the wayside after a while.
Confession #2 concerning the start of my journaling: I was also inspired by the book I was reading at the time, The Official Biography of the Queen Mother by William Shawcross. (Yes, I am the biggest nerd/ old lady living in a 21-year-old body ever, I know). It seemed like aside from being generally AWESOME, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon spent a lot of her spare time doing fun old-fashioned things, like writing letters to her various pen pals, friends and family members and keeping a daily journal. The book was mostly excerpts from these letters and journal entries and it was refreshing to see a real life person's journal was not the polished and carefully paced work of fiction that I had compared my writing to as a kid. Even after Elizabeth married Prince Albert, her journal entries showed that they both took time out of the day (you know, between attending to their royal obligations, surveying their various estates and going on romantic walks) to write, both in their personal journals and in letters. This is probably the thing that inspired me the most-- the taking time out of each day, away from the internet, homework, stress and worry, to just write about whatever I feel like writing about.
For me, each journal entry is different. Sometimes I recount the day, sometimes I write about my thoughts and ideas, and sometimes I just write about how tired I am and that I am going to sleep. I haven't set a minimum or maximum length for my entries, so they vary from a few sentences to a couple pages. The important thing to me is that no matter what, I take some time to write something every day. They say if you are trying to start something new, you have to do it everyday for a month before it becomes a habit. It's become a really nice part of my daily routine, something I look forward to everyday. In the last year or so, I've realized the importance of slowing down and taking time to take care of yourself and I've found that journaling is one small thing I can do to work towards that.
Have you ever tried journaling? I would definitely recommend trying it, even if you don't know what you possibly have to write about everyday for a month. Some days, I just go to Daydreaming on Paper, a website that offers randomized journal prompts and just write about whatever question comes up! 30 days isn't a very big commitment, and you never know, you may find you have a great new relaxing hobby at the end of it!