3 Benefits of Keeping a Journal

Although we live in an age of laptops and smartphones, writing has never been better. There are two tools essential to writers: pen and paper. And, just like a phone you never leave home without them.

I’ve been keeping a journal for over 30 years. Even the big blue binder I carried around my sophomore year of high school was a journal. Let me share with you some tips from my journaling experience on the benefits of keeping a journal.

Keep Memories & Material in Place

Journals keep memories and material in place. When I traveled to France in 2019, I kept a journal. I have notes from the trip to Paris where I ate the best-tasting tomato basil linguine pasta at The Ostera Cafe. I took pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower. One of them captured a couple taking wedding pics. I went on a foot tour of the left bank (artistic side) and right bank (fun side) because my girls were not skilled enough to ride bikes around Paris, and I learned to become a traveler instead of a tourist with the Black Paris Tour.

Re-reading the journal brought back so many memories of my trip I had forgotten entirely. The benefit of recording details of your experience can enrich your writing or storytelling and negate the choice of losing material.

Also in my journal in Paris, I wrote additional heart sparks (nudges of the Holy Spirit that starts a change and awakening truth) that I introduced in my book Flint to Flame. These heart sparks made the fire burn brighter for me to finish my second book called Heart Sparks.

A few of the sparks I wrote:

Heart Sparks will help when your’re going through the fire.

Heart sparks want your ashes.

Heart sparks are not the pictures you choose to post on Instagram.

Heart sparks know when you need a spark.

A heart spark is an ember that floats to you.

Your journal will always remind you of your precious memories and material and that’s a benefit you never want to forget.

Self Connect

It’s hard to know how you think and feel when your thoughts are always running in your head. Writing your thoughts and feelings helps you process your emotions and self-worth. Your senses become more transparent, and you can edit them. As feelings emerge in this process, they become intensely personal, private, and, many times, spiritual.

I have experienced moments when I let go of everything – a literal brain-dump. My pen didn’t leave the page, and I felt better about my present and future.

Relive Expression – Create New Material from Golden Lines

As I mentioned before about re-reading my journal, I had forgotten some details and lines I wrote. The lines stood out that they compelled me to create new material. A line that stands out is a Golden Line. It usually a powerful quote that automatically provides interesting discussion material or starts a discussion or a unique piece of writing.

I had so many Golden Lines that I will always have something to write. What a great way to relive expression and nurture the artist in you.

How do you feel when you re-read something you wrote, and a line grabs you? When it happens to me, I create new material. Creating fresh material from Golden Lines could be a strategy to keep writing. Many times people say they have nothing to write. Re-read your journal.

Here is a poem I wrote in a journal on August 22, 2019, at 6:20 pm ( I usually forget the time, but that day I didn’t.)

Deep in my mind

I wonder if you know

how much I dream of you

You are the symphony

of the waves that flow

as my eyes gaze

fixated like the moon’s glow

over my honey

No money can buy

your heart 

it is so pure

You are waiting

for me

I can see

No need for words

Let our hearts speak

Deep in my mind

I wonder if you know

how much I dream of you

You are no figment

of my imagination

I run with my vision

And I wait

Yes, I wait for you

From this poem, I took the highlighted line, our heart speaks, as my Golden Line. As a result, I wrote the following on December 22, 2020:

Our Hearts Speak

We greet

not saying a word

our eyes meet and then

our hearts speak

We feel the melody

of each other heartbeats

like the unforced rhythm of grace

glimpses of it become

spoken word and a symphony,

the perfect collab of you and me

our eyes meet and then

our hearts speak

We feel the warmth

We move closer and

The crackling of our fire

grow bolder and bolder

Embers dance

to the tune of our frequency

Our hearts become one

Just let our hearts speak.

Keeping memories and material in place, self-connect, and creating new material from Golden Lines are three benefits of keeping journals. Writers are artists, and everything we write in our journals is indelible expressions.

If you want to share your Golden line from either poem or add to the benefits of keeping a journal, leave a comment, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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