What Is the Point of Journaling?
… you may ask. What is the point of spending time trying to write thoughts, ideas, and feelings on the page, particularly when it is hard to do so?
Rather than trying to convince you, let me present you with a listing of books that have been most helpful to me. The subtitles give some hint as to the value of keeping journals.
Life's Companion, Journaling as a Spiritual Quest by Christina Baldwin. First given to me by a client, this book has become one of my all time favorites. When Christina Baldwin began writing books on journaling, the Library of Congress needed to create a new category of listings. If you never write down one line, this book is still an excellent treatise on guidance for your spiritual quest. Having given away over a dozen of my copies of this book, I find it still to be the most inspiring book on journal writing.
In Walking in This World, The Practical Art of Creativity, Julia Cameron's finest book, she presents spirituality and creativity as inextricably interwoven. Having read nearly all of Julia Cameron's books on writing, I consider this to be the zenith of her writing and that of greatest depth. Thirteen chapters, with plenty of white space in the margin for scribbles or notes, this is an excellent book to for shared work with friends or groups.
Henriette Anne Klauser gives us a reason to write – not to record the past, but to record our hopes, wishes, and dreams in her Write It Down, Make It Happen. She presents the case for writing down the ‘What” of what we want, and letting the “How” appear later. This book, a quick read, gives an view of increasing the odd of manifesting what we want in our lives by the simple act of writing it down,... being sure to write down all the sensory details.
For anyone who has asks, what do you do with all those journals, Rosalie Deer Heart and Alison Strickland illustrate a method of reviewing journals and harvesting the "thought seeds" by extracting the important themes, events, and insights recorded in a journal. Not for the faint of heart, these two share their experiences as they commit to finding the worthwhile truths in their journal entries.
These are only four of the dozens of books on my selves that speak to the art of keeping a journal. Any of them, and any of the books listed in the appendix of these books can help you understand the value othes place on keeping a journal. But only by writing yourself through an event in your lifetime will you come to see the value it has for you.
Journals are not diaries of daily events, rather they are an expression of the self and the Self, a description of the internal life of the writer. Journal writing appears in the lives of most great leaders, especially spiritual leaders.