Part Two of our feature with artist, writer, singer, photographer and all around creative Natalyn Bradshaw. If you missed Part 1, start here. Natalyn gives you practical advice for why and how you can start and maintain a journaling habit… whatever that looks like to you. It could be art journaling or pen and paper journaling or typing out notes in Evernote. Everything counts. Everything matters.
Journaling is a great place to start. It’s intimidating for a lot of people, but it does not have to be.
The importance of cultivating a journaling practice cannot be understated. I have journaled on and off in one form or another since I was nine. Remember diaries? I had one!
Here are five benefits of maintaining a journaling habit:
- You remember creative ideas you would have otherwise forgotten. Seriously; jot it down!
- You look back over desires/dreams/goals you had and see how many of them came to pass, or something better happened.
- You see answers to many prayers you’ve prayed.
- People and singular events that you may have forgotten about are brought to your remembrance.
- You are able to heal from past issues/hurts. Writing it down is a part of processing it, and releasing it.
Those are just a few. I could share more. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy yourself as a journaler or a writer.
“But Natalyn, I’m really NOT a writer.”
What if you really do want to journal and begin cultivating a journaling practice, but feel like your lack of writing skills gets in the way?
Here are three easy ways to get around that.
1. Get a notebook and some colored pencils, markers or crayons. Start coloring on pages. Or, grab some tape or glue and start attaching scraps of paper to your notebook pages. Now you’re journaling.
2. Grab a notebook. Think of some of your favorite quotes, movie lines, song lyrics, book passages, etc. Look them up and copy them in your notebook. Now you’re journaling.
3. Get out your recorder, or the voice memos app on your phone. Record yourself talking about your day. Record yourself talking about what you want to get done next week. Record yourself talking about why you hated the season finale of Arrow. Then, listen to the recording. Type it out (transcribe). Then, write it down. Now you’re journaling.
Start with journaling without words. Then move to recording yourself. Then move to writing some of what you’ve recorded.
Bonus tip: Stop saying you aren’t a writer. Even if you think you don’t like to write. Everyone is a writer in some form or another, because everyone has a story. I have plenty of stories. So do you.