Writing in a journal, i.e. on paper, is the most advanced and secure technology for private documentation: every journal is a one-of-a-kind object, any work is always at the highest resolution possible, needs no electricity or secondary device for use. The technology shows no sign of going obsolete, and if preserved, it will be a great reference for future generations that want to understand something about how you saw the world, and how your hand wrote about it.
Journaling is a best-kept secret in plain sight. No matter where you are in age, career, relationship or personal development, if you're not writing and documenting where you are, there are good reasons for starting.
Writing—by hand—can be an especially effective tool for creative people who need “space” to incubate ideas, for highly sensitive persons (HSP), and for introverts in particular as a means for outlet. It provides a low cost channel to help manage emotions privately, and a means to refer back to those moments for clarity.
There are number of ways to approach your journal:
As a friend Your journal is always there for you, at a pace that is comfortable. By writing, it becomes possible to let your feelings and ideas pour out from your mind and to the page. Often, after a session of personal writing, you'll find yourself more at ease and less irritable.
For your relationships Any relationship goes through its various stages of painful growth. Especially when one or both people are working on themselves, change brings about unfamiliar behavior, which can be misunderstood and lead to conflict. A journal is a safe and private space to express the strong feelings that might not be fully resolved, but that need some place to go.
For emotions As a creative person, and especially if you also have a caregiver role, it's a short drive from irritation to frustration to complete overwhelm. Instead, taking a pen to your journal and documenting your heightened feeling is a good habit to develop, and a completely private one.
Time Management As a creative person, you're likely wearing many hats on any given day. A journal is a great way to lock down your “three things to get done tomorrow”, or to track your progress on larger goals in a more open, long-form writing format.
Journaling for Self-Care Being an artist and/or creative person often blurs the line between work and life. If balance is the key, then documenting your effort toward it is absolutely essential. Journaling is an excellent way to manage both guilt and permission for things accomplished and things left undone.
When the pressure drops in the airplane, there’s a reason you’re advised to use the oxygen mask on yourself first and the person next to you after: you have to be capable of helping in order to help. Ultimately, journaling is a great companion tool for incrementally learning to be compassionate to the one person in whom you can most easily invest—yourself—so that you can be of service to the people and causes you care about.
The material in the guide has been distilled from studying the habits of people with low-stress, high-productivity lives that they conduct on their own terms. The Journal guide (get the PDF below) contains a few simple, consistent prompts for your journal. Use it on a daily basis to document and improve a Self-Care regimen, and ultimately a life of better results and Gratitude.
Download the guide to get started on being nicer to yourself.