Journal writer and blogger, Samuel Lytle, produced an exhaustive list of 101 reasons to journal write. I’ve had that list in my Evernote notebook for a while, but finally got around to reading through it today. And I must say, if you’re wanting to discover the power of journal writing, you owe to yourself to browse the list and discover either what you’re already doing as a journal writer, and for what other purposes you could be journal writing.
The following are the reasons I highlighted for on Samuel’s list, and I include additional reasons of my own. I would love to know you reasons. Feel free to share them in the comment section.
Vent and relieve stress: Most definitely. When I’m feeling stressed, writing lets me release those thoughts and clarify my feelings.
Goal journaling: I’m doing lots of this now as I work on my forthcoming book. Journaling about my goals helps me keep focused, and it motivates me when I’m feeling challenged.
Finding out who I am: even though I’m 56 years old, I still use writing to help me understand myself—my likes and dislikes, and how I could improve.
Develop a well-defined bucket list: Yep, I have a list, and have marked it on my calendar to review on a regular basis. There’s plenty of things I still want to do with my life, and writing those things down is a commitment to planning and getting them done.
Plan how to overcome weaknesses: I don’t drink enough water everyday. Journal writing has helped to correct that shortcoming. I also don’t always show enough gratitude toward my wife and kids, writing reminds me to do that.
Become a better parent, spouse, sibling: I have several journal entries about family related issues and challenges. I write about how I could build those relationships better.
Record the lives of your children: Wish I had started doing this when my children were younger, but I was too busy changing diapers. But not any more. I always try now to capture what’s going on in their lives and tag those entries in Day One with their name.
Practice writing, every day: Writing is what I do for a living, and believe me it takes constant practice and improvement.
Try to see both sides of an argument: I do that constantly, especially for those few times when my wife and I have argued.
Record good quotes: and also good tweets, emails, and memes.
Prevent wasting time: most definitely. I always write about my job and how I can get work done (not more work!) in less time. I have journal entries in which I’ve logged entire days of activities, to really see how I’m using my time.
Travel/vacation log: I kept, and plan to publish, a journal I wrote when I visited Ghana with my wife in 1994. Don’t travel anywhere without keeping a journal. It enriches the experience.
Sex diary: if you’re married or in a dating relationship, you definitely should be writing honestly about your sex life. Read The Sex Diaries Project: What We’re Saying about What We’re Doing for inspiration and guidance in this area.
Reflect on social and political issues: there’s a lot going on our communities, country, and the world. We need to have opinions about what’s taking place. Journal write and share what you think needs to be shared.
A humanist connection with other people and life: I’m not a religious person, I’m a humanist. I use my journal writing for understanding how I can be a better human being, and reflect on how we humans could do better with one another.
Record the music we like: I’m a huge fan of jazz, and though I’ll probably never get around to playing an instrument, journaling has helped me appreciate the art form even more.
List writing: I keep all types of lists—books read, movies watched, ways I’m taking care of myself, things I need to get done.
Record new meals: Cooking or eating a new delicious meal is an event for me. I always try to capture it in my journal.
Okay, that’s enough for now. I’ll share more in other posts. In the meantime I would love to read your reasons for journal writing.