There are at least 872 things I want to tell you about journaling:
- That you don’t need to write a chronicle of your daily life.
- That you get to write whatever you want.
- That you don’t have to write perfectly or adhere to any rules of grammar or worry about an audience because this is all for you, glorious messy wonderful you. And if you want to write something for public consumption, then you can revise, but first, just get it all out on the page.
- And there is so much more I want to tell you, but if I write it all, my wrist will fall off and you will feel paralyzed by information overload.
- Because ultimately, you have to figure out what journaling is for you and you alone.
- Because you might just write gibberish.
- Or you might write lists.
- Or poetry.
- Or you might actually sit and doodle.
- Because there’s no right way to do this.
- You just do it.
I’ll save the other thoughts for later posts, or maybe a book – who knows? I sure as hell don’t! My muse does not believe in memos or Ten Year Plans, so I just have to see where my writing and journaling lead me.
I just know that journaling is an essential part of my self-care plan, and I want to mention it again and again, so I can inspire as many people as possible to write messy glorious incoherent journal entries.
If you want to read more about journaling, then I cannot recommend enough The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. This book inspired me to write morning pages way back when I was a miserable lawyer. Now that my kids are five and 2.5 years old, I’m working on getting back into the practice of writing morning pages (a.k.a. expressive journal entries at the beginning of the day.) Cameron advocates journaling by hand, but I journal on laptop, and I’m a firm believer in doing what works for you. Also, if your kids are early early risers, then just do your Mama Pages whenever it works. Your kids will not always need you in the morning, and as remarkable as this may sound, they will eventually sleep later than you. (It’s true. Hello, teenagers of the world!)
Go forth, my adventurers! Journal! Just get the words flowing because next up: I want to talk about writing your postpartum story. Writing my memoir was such an essential part of my recovery from postpartum depression that I want to help other mamas write as much of their stories as their heart desires. (Spoiler alert: I’m not going to try to make you write and publish a memoir, though I will share that information if that is where your heart is leaning. But I am going to share journaling prompts to get the wheels in your head turning…)