The Benefits of Keeping a Journal

(Originally posted: February 11, 2015)

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BRONX, NY- At the age of 14, I began keeping a journal. In the beginning it was just to keep a record of what I did almost everyday. As I began to fill up more notebooks, writing became an escape for me. It has had so many benefits for me both as a writer and as a human being. Who would have thought that writing down my thoughts would help me organize the clutter in my mind?

During elementary school I hated writing. I look back to that time and see now that it was the rules I actually despised. Yes, writing does have rules, but I do not like to be told what to write. What I love about keeping a journal is that it’s free writing. No rules, no judgments. Just you, a writing utensil, and a notebook.

Here is what I noticed with the journals I have kept. First, my chicken scratch got a lot better. At least it’s more legible than from ten years ago. My thoughts are more organized when I write. Since my memory is not exactly the best archive for any great or stupid moments I have experienced, I can look back to my old notebooks and read what happened that day. Then there is the best part of keeping my journals; the writing ideas. As a writer I have found this so comforting. The best writers have kept journals to express themselves. I used to draw in my journals, but now I use a sketchbook. I keep a separate music journal for events, gigs, concerts, and other music related adventures.

Lifehacker.com explains the benefits of keeping a journal with this list:

  • Regular writing has mental health benefits

  • Keeping a journal helps harness your creativity

  • Even if you don’t do creative work, regular writing has practical benefits

Source: Henry, Alan. “Why You Should Keep a Journal (And How to Start Yours).” Life Hacker. 19 March. 2014. Lifehacker.com. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. http://lifehacker.com/why-you-should-keep-a-journal-and-how-to-start-yours-1547057185

The article also talks about the different mediums writers can use to start a journal and even about blogging. Journaling has become a huge part of my life. Hopefully it can help you, my readers, find your creative sides too.

Photo: Rosa Elena Burgos

Last updated: July 17, 2019