Karen Gowen, on her blog titled “From the Shadows to the Page” (don’t you just love that name?) writes about using Journal Writing as Psychotherapy in her recent post. Actually, she writes about more than that, touching on three topics I have also expounded upon recently.
The therapeutic benefits of journaling are scientifically documented, but I like Karen’s personal take on it: “I’m a writer, so I write and write and write until it all becomes clear.” I feel the same way. Although, if you’re a regular reader of Writing Through Life you know that you don’t need to be “a writer” to gain clarity through the writing and journaling process. Even non-“writers” (I put this in quotes because whether we’re writers or not is really just how we label ourselves, how we see our kind of communication in the world) can benefit from scribbling on the page about their thoughts, worries, dreams, hopes, and fears on a regular basis. As for me, I need to do all that and engage in some pretty hard-core exercise at least three days a week.
In the same post, Karen says that she wouldn’t want “posterity” (whoever that is) to read the mess that her journals are. Judging by the responses to my articles “What Will Happen to Your Journals?” and “Journal Writing for Memoir: Story Your Stories” (on womensmemoirs.com), we all have pretty strong feelings about the subject, one way or another. Just be sure to let someone know what you decide.
Finally, Karen taps into the topic of recycling paper to create her own journals — a wonderful idea. I write mine on a computer, print them out (double-sided) once a month and keep them in a binder. Creating your own journals using recycled paper would also lend itself to more art journaling, because you’d want to decorate those pages, wouldn’t you?
Lots to think — and write — about.
Photo by Pauline Paulette