Monday, January 14, 2013

Keeping a Journal...It's not just for teenagers anymore

     Keeping a journal is a time honored exercise for many writers and since I fancy myself a writer, I'm no exception.  I've kept many different journals over my lifetime and find it a rewarding past time.  Journaling isn't just for 'writers' though.  It is a wonderful way to keep track of whatever it is you desire to record.  It can be therapeutic, spiritual, practical, health-promoting and fun!

****  Are you always noticing the weather, keeping track of the phases of the moon or when the cherry trees bloom? Which birds are visiting?  Do you love walking at the beach or through the woods and observing  nature?  How about keeping a nature journal!  This has been one of my favorite writing exercises over many years.  I found a ten year journal that was perfect.  It has only a small space for each entry but you can compare the weather, gardening observations etc with the previous years.

****  Perhaps you are starting an exercise program or a diet.  (It is January, after all.)  Writing down goals and then tracking progress, including keeping a list of what you eat and how and when and where you exercise, can be a powerful motivator.  It is also great to look back to see where you were.

****Many people keep a gratitude diary.  This is easy....just list all the things that happened each day for which you are grateful.  This can be tied to a spiritual practice or not, your choice!

****  A spiritual or prayer journal  can be  another source of nourishment.  If you are in the habit of communicating with God,  meditating mindfully, contemplating a higher power, or sitting in silence, journaling about the experience can be fruitful.  Perhaps you read scripture as part of your meditation.  After reflecting on your reading, write about how it moved you.

**** The arrival of a new baby into a family is a wonderful time to begin a journal.  New mothers  are often given a book to record all of their baby's milestones but there is no reason grandma or grandpa or even dad can't write about the little one!  Along with your  photos you will  create a treasure worth more than gold!

**** I love to bring a small book along when I go on vacation.  I try to record all the sights, sounds, smells and sensations of my experience in a new place.  Along with my photos, my travelogue can recreate moments from a vacation long after the return trip home.

**** If you are artistic, your journal can incorporate other  ways of communicating to enhance your words or  instead of words.  I am not  very artistic  but have recently been drawn to using paint, pencils and pens to "doodle."  I bought a sketchbook and, when the time is right, I  plan to create  a visual journal.

****Some other journal ideas:  Cooking and recipes, memoir writing, poetry or haiku journal, mindful moments,  a garden diary(with photos,) a dream journal, a reading journal (with book reviews/synopses)  Keeping a journal is proven to reduce stress and can be life affirming and lift one's mood.

   Although I blog ( an online way to journal)  I keep and have kept many paper  journals throughout my life. The idea of creating a book, even if it never sees the light of day, appeals to me.

Try it!  You may like it!

For Recuerda Mi Corazon Postcards from Paradise


  1. Hello Barbara and a very Happy and Healthy New Year to you. I hope you had a wonderful, joyful Christmas. I feel I have been a very poor blogland friend :-( Last year was difficult in several ways and my blogging efforts suffered, hopefully this year will be a better one :-)

    I do admire people who keep journals or diaries. As a child I would usually be given a diary at Christmas and would always start off the year very enthusiastically but after a few months they would tail off. As an adult I enjoyed keeping a Nature diary for a while but when I started blogging that too fell by the wayside. Your post has made me think I might start again :-)

    I loved your Christmas post. The part I enjoy the most is the Christmas hymns and the tree, the presents and commercialism doesn't interest me but the carols and tree still hold that 'magic'!

  2. Ja kiedyś prowadziłam dziennik ze swojego codziennego życia i swoich myśli. Mam go do teraz. Pozdrawiam.
    I had kept a diary of your daily life and your thoughts. I have it now. Yours.

  3. When I was young I kept a Diary. My parents snooped.
    Today I have FaceBook, and if they ever read that! LOL.

  4. Hey Barb your comments on about keeping a journal really hit home. I've oten thought about doing just that but have never done a good job of it. I have recently got back on my exercise routine after the hectis holidays and have also started watching what I eat. Trying like hell to get off gluten to see what the affects might be. The gluton thing is really hard coming from an Irish and Italian backgroung makes it especially hard. I' gonna start writing evrything down and log my workouts. Since I'm around food in my work and I've become he king of tasting everything we produce it is that much more difficult. So tomorrow I will start my journal and keep you posted on my success's and my indescretions when it comes to my love of bread.


  5. Bravo! Good luck with your new regimen! You have to look great to 'give away the bride' in May.

  6. Hi Barbara, Like the new look. I love my travel journals from years past. Although sometimes I don't finish the end of the journey because I'm so tired! Love my blog because it keeps track of what's going on in the garden! Thanks for the reminder! xxoo Nancy

  7. What a delightful post ~ I have journaled for years and find it very focusing for me and now that I am widowed it is rather like a friend sometimes to talk with ~

    Lovely ~

    ( A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  8. I've always been very resistant to the idea of keeping a journal - though I love writing. Strange... A couple of years ago I suddenly realised I was doing it - jotting down "stream of consciousness" bits and pieces in odd coffee-time moments; in a notebook where I'd written THIS IS NOT A JOURNAL! In big letters, so I wouldn't get jinxed by the J-word. I found, though, that when I started blogging a year ago the paper-and-ink writing faded. You've inspired me to consider starting again, as well as blogging - and I agree it is a joyful, therapeutic and (for me ) spiritual practice. Just don't ask me to call it journaling...

    Thank you, Barbara. I've enjoyed discovering your blog!


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