Quite a few years ago I thought how wonderful it would be to produce a double spread presentation of each day because in each day so much happens ! Even if your life has a very predictable routine there are always more things to observe and people to study! So I embarked on doing that. I don’t necessarily cover 2 sheets of A4 paper but my journals are now a tapestry of drawings, notes, accounts, ..that I treasure and frequently return to. Hence my enthusiasm for encouraging others to take up this hobby even if your daily journal is one paragraph or 3 lines long!
But from the perspective of memory – this blog site’s primary focus – journalling is not only a wonderful activity in itself but has multiple other benefits.
Journalling – a resource of memories. From the point of view of developing your memory a journal provides a wonderful resource for hanging verses, poems and other information or inspiration you would love to recall. Effectively you harvest your life experiences and put them to work! Many authors use material both major and trivial from their own life to create novels or histories or……
Write it down. You’re more likely to remember notes you write by hand than those you type so don’t necessarily use a laptop. The physical act of writing apparently stimulates cells at the base of your brain called the reticular activating system. When the RAS is triggered, your brain pays more attention to what you’re doing at the moment. Your brain is more active forming each letter compared to typing on a keyboard.
Develop a daily or weekly habit. I spend about 30 mins to 1 hour a day- often in the morning writing a journal.
Keep a pocket notebook and pencil/pen always at hand. I often use notes I have gathered in the day in a small A6 notebook that I keep in my pocket. Yes, you may appear to be a plain clothed police investigator but people get used to it and you can always ask someone if they mind you writing down something.
Writing as a kinetic experience. Get good writing equipment if you can. The actual experience of writing is important. I use a good fountain pen (Lamey 2000 or Sailor 1911) and use Midori note books which are wonderful to write in. This helps me want to write! These notebooks are not only beautiful but very long lasting.
Resource for Public speaking
A journal can provide material for public speaking opportunities. If you record family memories and incidents and you have to give away a daughter on her wedding day a journal is a very useful resource of stories ! etc. Other examples I have used include farewell speeches for colleagues at work, best man speeches, Church talks using real life stories, etc.
My family and friends enjoy me reading out extracts from my journals particularly times we were all together. This aural history is passed down and binds people together…..Rehearsing memories by repeating them also keeps stories and material in mind that you can use for learning scripture or poems…..
More practical tips to follow.