Holy crap, you guys – I’ve just had a revelation. One that hit me in the face like a rolled-up newspaper on a dog chewing up Dad’s slippers.

I’ve been trying to get back to some sort of normality within the past six months. Between my job ending, nesting and the wedding, my life has been turned upside down. I no longer write like I used to, in frequency or quality, and that depresses me. As a teenager, I was much much more prolific, as I’ve probably mentioned before. I desperately want to start writing again, to kick-start that process and begin a routine. I’m still toying with the idea of becoming a freelance editor, to move into writing eventually. I’m not confident enough in my professional corporate copy to go straight into writing. I need to find ways to stop watching so many Rooster Teeth videos and start writing again.

I found a lovely blog which was just Freshly Pressed, Studio Mothers: Life & Art. Although I’m not yet a mother (well, I have a four-legged child), their advice and stories were incredibly pertinent to me, and when that part of my life does eventuate, I’d still love to keep my creative practice going. A lot of them mentioned journalling, especially daily, as a great tool to clear out their thoughts to start afresh. I’ve kept paper journals off and on from the age of 8, and digital journals off and on since the age of 15 (they still exist, but I’ll never tell you the usernames :P). Journals seem a great idea in theory, and history has known some excellent diarists, but it never seemed to gel with me. My online journals were more blogs, and were fuelled on discussion and connectivity rather than pure journalling on my part. I think my main problem with keeping a journal was not only keeping it up on a regular basis, but I had this weird hang-up on how it would seem when I re-read it. I tended to journal my negative thoughts and not positive ones – being a depression sufferer unfortunately makes me lean in that direction. I tended to whine and overreact, which would be painfully clear upon reflection. And my life wasn’t that interesting.

But, here’s my revelation: some journals are not meant to be read.

Journals can act as a channel to clear your mind of thoughts, to wipe the slate clean for that day. It’s a way to express your emotions and thoughts creatively, instead of having them just stuck inside and maybe even clouding your mind for that day. I’m starting to get it: I’m starting to think of my creativity and writing as water in a muddly delta. Perhaps regularly journalling could help break down the silt through which it’s currently flowing like a trickle. Maybe I could have my steady stream again. And, let’s face it – writers love writing about themselves. Trufax. I realise that I’m bottling up a lot of my emotions – positive and negative – and regularly expressing them could do me a lot of good.

The idea of keeping a journal that no one will read – even myself – is beautifully liberating. I always found myself self-censoring (still do) so I didn’t appear too boring, too silly, too depressed. I will record any minutiae, any detail, any fleeting idea that flitters through my head. I’ve started a new life, as a new person with a new name and a new family, and somewhere in the back of my head I want to record these moments.

I have a beautiful leather-bound journal with fibrous cotton paper which I received as a birthday present a couple of years ago. It’s proper old-school – bound with thread, ties up with a leather strap. Like a lot of journals, I’ve never used it. I was afraid to. Sometimes I don’t like sullying beautiful books with my silly words. But I feel like I need to do this. For me and my writing. During the past six months my mental stimulation has greatly decreased, my depression increased, my motivation deceased.

I’m ready to get back on my horse. And then write about it in my journal.

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