Recently I started journaling again.
I used to journal constantly, from the time I was 10 or 11 on into my teenage years and my 20s. I wrote about everything that was on my mind, and some days would fill 10 or 15 pages with my ruminations. I got away from it in my mid-20s, when I had my first job and was writing for a living, and then once I made the transition to blogging I stopped journaling entirely.
Lately, though, I miss journaling. My blogs have become more focused as I've developed as a writer, and no longer replace the therapeutic process of journaling. So that's one reason why I've decided to go back to it.
The other reason is that I feel like getting into the habit of journaling on a daily or almost-daily basis might assist in my quest to be a writer again. Since I've been freelancing less and less over the last couple years, and especially since I stopped writing almost entirely -- even working on my novel -- the last few months, I've felt like I need to make some changes to my day-to-day life and habits if I am going to be productive as a writer again.
I started out by trying to journal on my computer. I haven't journaled regularly in almost ten years, and since then I've migrated to doing almost everything on the computer. I thought that journaling there on the computer too would be okay, maybe even better, because that's where I will be doing the rest of the writing I'm trying to encourage myself to do, right?
It turns out that journaling on the computer feels just a little too impersonal to me. I like the relationship between my pen and the paper when I journal; I like watching my handwriting fill the page. It's soothing, and feels like it inspires deeper reflection. So I abandoned my journaling app.
The good news: I found a use for that beautiful blank book I bought some time ago, even though I didn't know what I was going to do with it.
What about you? Do you journal, either on the computer or by hand? Do you feel it helps you as a writer, or just takes you away from your work?