Last year I started writing in a journal nearly daily. It's a mixture of a bullet journal, to do list, sketchbook, calendar and classic stream-of-consiousness feelings writing. I use this graph paper book, covered with some pretty paper. I write in pencil and fill blank spaces with washi tape and ribbon. I keep a digital calendar and notes as well, but something about the act of physically writing is incredibly helpful to me.
What I find the most important part of it is the secrecy. Meaning, the ability to have a special place where only you can go and just unleash your feelings & thoughts. This can be a hidden folder on your desktop or phone, a pad of paper in a locked drawer, words written in a secret language or in my case just a book that I know no one else reads but me.
I share the drawings and to do lists and particularly pleasing ‘bujo' spreads, but most of the pages are just for me. If you are struggling with an emotion, having difficult feelings, really angry, or even very happy it is nearly always helpful to spend 10 to 20 minutes just writing. Without the worry of what it may sound like to someone else or if the grammar is correct or if your handwriting can be read, you are free.
In journaling I have unlocked patterns within myself, become aware of my true thoughts about certain things or people and discovered a better idea of what kind of person I was & who I want to be. I used to think that journaling was just a recounting of the day, a captain's log of a life that held far less adventure than any captain I can think of. Instead, it is a place to record versions of yourself. It is a time capsule of sorts. I believe in keeping journals for our future selves to reflect on. There are those as well who find that they need to burn their past paper selves, as a form of growing.
Recently, I read a journal entry from myself at fifteen years old. The Tris that I saw there surprised me and I was grateful to have this image of who I was and what I wanted then.
This may seem like a no-brainer to some. But just in case you haven't before, I urge everyone to journal. I also urge you to doodle in the margins, or all over the whole page. I'm also very passionate about the health benefits of doodling, but that's a subject for another day of writing into the abyss of the internet.