For some, writing thoughts, questions, and experiences comes easily. Others struggle. They can appreciate the potential benefits of journaling but can’t quite take the step – a step that can seem immensely daunting since novices usually ask people who seem to have the journaling thing down.
It makes sense: ask an expert. but an expert can’t always remember those first few steps, and they often don’t accurately recall getting around the first few potholes of struggles. Then there is the baggage of journaling for school projects, which usually demanded organized thoughts, complete sentences, and deadlines.
But the point of journaling isn’t to produce a masterpiece. Perhaps you want to document your life for people who follow you, but most often, journaling is helpful to ourselves as we process. We get something out, which is one one step forward in healing and grieving.
That process might be a single word to get started. Just one word. Or a phrase. Or a doodle.
I could only eek out one short three-letter word the night I sat in the dark on the other side of the wall from the man who told me he wanted out of the marriage we’d worked on and grown in for over two and a half decades. But that small word captured a moment in time. It is a marker, a reminder of where I was but where I no longer am.
If you want the benefits of journaling, set aside the expectations you have with it. Start where you are, because that’s what journaling is – a marker of where you are.