Writing is one of the few art forms that can be practiced by virtually anyone. Whether you’ve taken a class to become a better writer or not, or you just want to write for pleasure or for friends and family, writing can be a cathartic and healing activity, and can be done almost anywhere and at any time.
Many people who are new to the writing process often find a relatively easy and cost-free way to begin, is by starting a journal. Journal writing is also a pretty low-pressure way of introducing yourself to the joys of writing, and the topics on which to write can be endless.
So get started with any one of these journaling ideas!
1 – Life Occurrences
Write about anything noteworthy going on in your life, like a big upcoming birthday and your feelings about, say, turning 40. Write about everything that happened at a recent high school reunion. Think back to your wedding day, and write about what you were thinking and how you felt about your marriage on that day, and then on your first, fifth or even tenth wedding anniversary.
If you start to see a theme emerging that you find yourself writing about one topic more than others, consider buying a journal for that topic alone, and dedicating all the writing in that particular journal to that topic. For example, consider creating a ‘Gardening Journal’ or a ‘Journal for the Grandchildren’.
2 – Small Observations
Sometimes a fleeting thought will hit you while you’re sitting in traffic, or looking out the window at the rain. Take that fleeting thought and turn it into a journal entry.
Sometimes writing about the smallest observations can lead to more profound observations about life, and can prompt further writing on that topic. Writing is a process by which the manifestation of our thoughts becomes a more tangible thing, which we can come back to and read, reread and even share with others. Let your small fleeting thoughts become larger ideas that you explore through your writing.
3 – Writing about Family
The possibilities for family journals are endless. Whether the topic is your partner or spouse, children, siblings or parents, writing about family – loving them, being saddened or frustrated by them, learning to trust them – can be rewarding and also can create opportunities to learn about ourselves and the family members we’re writing about.
4 – Childhood Memories
Write about the things you experienced as a child, like the first time you learned to dive off the pool diving board, or went to the prom, or found your first summer love. Writing about those memories not only helps to preserve them, but also can lead to observations about yourself that you might not have realized until you got the full story out on paper.
5 – Poetry
Consider writing your own free-form poetry in your journal, or even write a poem in the style of your favorite poet. Sometimes just the process of freely writing words and concepts can lend itself to a poem or a longer journal entry.
Writing can be one of the most rewarding activities you engage in. So get out your writing set, and get started!
By Mary Celeste
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