If you’re interested in writing, a great way to wet your feet is to start a diary. Many of the world’s greatest writers, male and female, kept journals.
From the historically important, like Samual Pepys and Anne Frank, to the emotionally enlightening diaries of Virginia Woolf and Henry David Thoreau, journaling has long been the recourse of burgeoning writers.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are some excellent reasons why this year it’s worth starting your very own journal.
1. It helps improves memory and problem solving
Writing a diary can work towards improving your memory. Having to recall events in detail every day and then writing them down can cement them in your mind. It is an excellent exercise in keeping your mind elastic and sharp. It can also provide mental clarity; for instance, if you have a hectic schedule, or feel overwhelmed by work, writing out your tasks and problems allows you to take a step back from your situation and analyse it more clearly.
2. It’s a time Capsule
For your children and grandchildren, writing a journal can give them an insight into what things were like for you in the past, but also how you approached life. Diaries the world over have led to important and significant insights into our own history; perhaps the most famous of these was the diary of Samuel Pepys who journaled from 1660-1669, to this day Pepys diary is one of the best primary sources of information we have from the Restoration period. It may sound overblown, but your memories are important and documenting them will give others a window into the experiences of your lifetime.
2. It helps monitor your health
An interesting health study was conducted showing that health could improve over time when writing a journal. Amazingly, this seems to apply to your physical health too, a study carried out at the University of Auckland in New Zealand showed participants who kept a journal and faithfully documented their emotions seemed to display accelerated healing of their physical injuries. Apart from the physical benefits shown in the study, journaling can help you to express your feelings and look back over repeated patterns that can aid in a lot of self-reflection as well as self-expression.
3. It promotes development and Personal Growth
As well as offering possible health benefits, and charting your experiences for others, keeping a journal will track your own development and personal growth over the year, or over ten. It is a wonderful retrospective that provides you with a detailed account of who you were, and who you are currently.
5. It’s great practice
If you are interested in writing, then starting with a journal well help you hammer out ideas, jokes and stories. Perhaps, most importantly, journaling what you did throughout the day will get you into the habit of writing. If you are looking to write your memoirs, or try poetry or fiction, then actually taking the time to write is excellent practice. Learn to harness your creativity, and boost your discipline by regular writing.
If these factors interest you, then pick up a journal and get started, it is never too late!
Do you keep a journal? What benefits have you found? Let us know in the comments below!