Wednesday, March 26, 2014
The Joy of Journal Writing
I just finished a historical fiction novel today. It's one of the great joys about spring break = the ability to catch up with my reading! The format of this novel was a journal. Reading this book made me reflect on how much I loved keeping a journal when I was younger. I still keep a journal, but I write in it less often than I used to -- mostly due to time constraints. But the more I progress through the month writing these "Slices of Life," I realize that it's a choice. Writing daily is a choice, and I have to see it as a commitment of time. I always loved keeping a journal, for many reasons. Though many of my journals are comical to read now, it was a very special place in which to write my thoughts, emotions, and learnings about life. I have been motivated more and more lately to renew my journal writing habit.
There are several purposes for writing in a journal. Some of these are:
*Writing in a journal helps me to capture the events of the day.
*Journal writing is therapeutic.
*Writing in a journal may not help to literally solve problems, but it's very calming.
*Journal writing is a stress reliever.
*Writing in a journal helps me to think through situations.
*Journal writing is a great place for list-making.
*Writing in a journal promotes a sense of peace and helps me to think positively.
*Journal writing is a place for writing deepest thoughts. It's a confidant of sorts.
*Writing in a journal is a great place for setting goals.
*Journal writing is comforting.
*Writing in a journal helps with further writing ideas.
*Journal writing is a place to share sorrows, hopes, and fears.
*Writing in a journal helps to tell a life story.
I encourage my students to sometimes choose journal writing as a writing activity in their notebooks from time to time as well. I use the term, "Daily Pages," which is a term that Aimee Buckner uses in her book Notebook Know-How. This is one strategy that students can use to describe their day, what they are thinking about, or just as an old-fashioned "What I did Today" kind of entry. This type of writing doesn't take up the bulk of their writing in writing workshop, but I encourage students to write a "Daily Pages" entry every once in awhile in order to be reflective and thoughtful about their lives and daily happenings.
After all this talk about journal writing, I think I'm off to write an entry now!