I have seen a tremendous difference in how I go about my daily activities by writing my thoughts down in my journal. Studies have shown that journaling can be deeply therapeutic. There have been many times in my life where I felt restless and couldn’t turn off my brain to sleep, thinking of what I had to do the next day or what bills needed to be paid, etc. Having a journal on my nightstand and writing down my thoughts or any ideas gave me a sense of relief and within a short amount of time, I found myself drifting off to sleep.
I believe this helps us greatly as a writer as well, with our ideas for characters and a plot for that next book. One night, I started to have ideas as a story came to mind and suddenly, character names and a plot started to form. I picked up my journal and quickly wrote it all down, which has now become the novel I am currently working on. Based off my own experience, it is why I feel that journaling can be great for writers.
How Journaling Can Help If You Have Trouble Sleeping
Have you ever heard people say that keeping a journal can help improve your sleep? A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that writing in a journal before bed can be extremely effective. It is also a way to remain happier and improve your memory function. If we get in the habit of writing in a daily journal, it will enable us to unload many thoughts or ideas we have racing through our minds.
This helps reduce the amount of time we spend thinking about it and therefore allows us to find sleep. Your brain can get overloaded to the point to where you can’t do anything to the best of your ability. Using a journal to transfer that information overload in your head to paper is the perfect way to keep a high performance level and a clear mind. The result is a much happier and stress free you.
Sometimes our writers brain just won’t be quiet. I’ve caught myself saying “stop” as I’m lying in bed trying to fall asleep. This is why I started writing my ideas down in a journal. It helped clear and calm my mind. I like referring to it for future ideas as well. I use to only write in my journal at night but now I find that I even like writing in it during the day. This helps whenever I need to be reminded of something or just have some great ideas that I want to get out of my head.
As a writer, we know that we have to keep a sharp focus on our writing skills, but if you’re writing a book, I’ve quickly learned it’s not just the writing but the editing as well that can take a lot out of you. I find that even if I just write down my worries for the day, my stress level is drastically reduced and I can fall asleep much faster.
Writers Block – Being Stuck in the Murky Middle
If you have a love for writing, it can feel like it is an essential part of what makes us whole, fulfilling a purpose and a part of our well-being. There are days that I find that I have nothing to add to a story and other days when the words just flow. I found that when I first started writing my book, I couldn’t stop writing and had wonderful ideas that I had written down from my journal but as I came to the “murky middle” of the story, I fell victim to writers block and blank page syndrome. I realized that I needed to keep writing in my journal daily which helped in manifesting other ideas to get past that dreaded, stuck in the middle hump.
Writing to Heal
Journaling has helped me transition through difficult times in my life. I have always loved to write and felt that writing was a way to heal from past insecurities from my teenage years and into adulthood. As a teenager, I even wrote a poem about love which some thought was beyond my years. Even then, it helped me heal from a broken heart. There are no hard set rules for keeping a journal, in fact journaling has been the secret weapon for many well-known writers, including C.S. Lewis. He wrote in his journal about his struggles with his grief following the death of his wife, Helen Joy Lewis.
Did you know that writing down intentions and reviewing your goals can help improve your mental state? Some of these benefits include, improving blood pressure levels, improving mood and memory, increasing feelings of well-being and improving functioning of the immune system. Journaling is beneficial for the mind and spirit and can help you get to know yourself by revealing your most private thoughts. As Ernest Hemingway quoted, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.”
A journal can be one of the most helpful tools for a writer. It can sometimes help us by allowing us to write down our thoughts, ideas, our worries and stresses. It can assist us with finding a better nights sleep, and quiet our writers brain. It also has the ability to allow us to overcome writers block and to heal from insecurities and grief. Journaling allows us to set goals for ourselves and to analyze our circumstances. Being in a position to explore our thoughts and to put them into words is a wonderful way to discover who we truly are.
It reminds us of important memories and lessons that we’ve learned along the way and for many, it can be a spiritual practice. Journaling can be a great pleasure for a writer as many of the thoughts and ideas can be turned into inspiration for writing stories, poems and articles. Whether writing in your journal during the day or at bedtime, it is a way of tricking your mind into relaxing. Interesting things often start to happen and you may find that a blank page can turn into the next big story.