A is for Architecture
Architectural design is based on a few basic rules and a whole lot of creativity. The same could be said of journal writing, especially if you have never done it before.
Here is a basic guideline on how you can start your entry for the day:
| Note the date and time
|| 1 April 2017, 7h13
| Note the place where you find yourself
|| At home. Got my feet up in the living room because I am home alone today. F already left for a photo shoot in Jo'burg. Coffee brewing in the kitchen and making my mouth water.
| Note your physical well-being
|| Knee is aching like a bitch. Tried to be careful in my work-out this week, but will need to carry on with the anti-inflammatory meds the doctor gave me on Monday. Although I am happy with...
| Prompt for the day
|| Today I wrote about.../ that my experience…/I learned…/I have to…
There is no right way of doing this, but you can start with the suggestions above and work from there.
It is alright if you start off on one thought and then progress or jump to another. Don't think about it, just let the words come. Single words. Bullet points. Short or long sentences, it does not matter. What is important is that you let your thoughts come while you write.
Most authorities on journal writing recommend that you do so first thing in the morning, for about 20 to 30 minutes. Give your mind a chance to clear before you start the day.
There is no fast rule for early morning writing, as you might prefer to reflect late at night, or before you go to bed.
Tools of the trade
There are many beautiful and elegant notebooks available today that you can use, but that is not necessary. Any notebook, cheap or expensive, will do exactly the same job: record your thoughts when you write them down.
The same goes for the pen. Personally, I like using a fountain pen (I have several that I acquired over the years) but on some days I like to use a simple ballpoint pen. You can use whatever writing instrument feels comfortable in your hand.
Different colour pens can be used too. If you feel particularly happy, use a blue pen. Or when you're thinking about an issue, use a black pen.
Finding a particular entry again
When I write in my journal, I sometimes get an idea for a blog post, an art project, or a story. I write it down, but it can easily get lost in the words around it. So I came up with a simple system to mark specific entries that I might want to go back to. I use a fiber tipped pen to mark the pages on the edge. If the journal is closed you can spot the marks on the side of the pages and they are then easy to trace.
This is your journey
Whether you choose to follow a prompt to direct your thoughts, buy an expensive notebook or not, this is your journey. Start today and make the most of it. You will be surprised when you open yourself up to this new experience.