I really enjoy keeping a journal. It’s nothing like the middle school “Dear Diary, OMG, today my crush waved at me at the hallway and I was just like, SOOOOO excited and Catherine is SUCH a terrible frie…” No. It’s more like a place I can vent, which has helped me a lot in the past year. There’s so many negative things that go on in my head, it’s great to have somewhere to put all these thoughts and stop worrying about them myself. When I write down my thoughts, I feel like they’re no longer my problem. A weight is lifted off my chest, and now it’s the journal carrying my worries, not me.
There’s not much obligation to it. I don’t force myself to write everyday. I don’t have to be neat or follow a certain structure. It’s just anything and everything, messily spewed out on a fresh page. Hell, it’s not even just venting. There are some short story ideas and play scenes interwoven within the entries. It’s nice having something you can keep your thoughts in without pestering everyone else about them and seeming whiny.
I strongly suggest keeping a journal for anyone going through a rough spot, feeling left out, doubting oneself … even now, in normal conditions, venting helps. It’s so simple. My journal isn’t even a pretty “diary” with a lock. It’s just a notebook I keep in my bedside table. Always there but hidden away 🙂