The Habit of the Great

My mama used to say: “Journaling is the habit of the great.” and she is right, any person can write, because writing is thinking on paper, but only a few people can make words come alive, those we call: writers.

I kept a diary before I learned to write well, my mom always has kept a diary and still does and I wanted to be just like her; but unlike my mom, I wasn’t consistent. I kept on changing methods, learning new words and languages, and got hugely influenced by books and characters who kept a journal like Jo March, Anne Shirley, Judy Abbott or Bella Swan.

I discovered that a journal comes in many forms, and writing can be put down on paper in many ways. So, no, there isn’t a wrong way to write. Here’s my list:

  • You can keep a journal to write about your mundane day-to-day life.
  • You can write a journal for special occasions or moments of great impact.
  • You can make your journal your confidant and write your feelings, inner thoughts and great ideas.
  • If you have an artistic gene, you can make a journal scrapbook or fill it with photos, newspaper clippings or even sketches.
  • If food means the world to you, your journal can be an entry with a recipe, or food memories.
  • A journal can be kept for an interesting time of your life, like traveling, grieving, moving to a new country, starting your new business, getting pregnant, telling your life story (it might even become a memoir!).
  • It can be like writing a book, you tell a story to yourself, every day a chapter.
  • It can be a spiritual and meditative journal about discovering the world and God.
  • You can keep lists, make charts, pros and cons, make the best decision about some kind of choice.
  • It can be about keeping secrets of others, when you need to unburden. (Don’t tell anyone you are doing that!)
  • If you are a witch it will be called a “Book of Shadows” where your spells and potions are written down.
  • It can be about experiments, science and new discoveries like Leonardo da Vinci.
  • It can be a gift to your daughter or friend about a time that belonged to them but affected you like pregnancy or a wedding.
  • Your journals can be a printed copy with a paper for each day, or a small paragraph like a Twitter post, as for me, the longer and blanker the better, I like mine without any limits.

You see where I’m going with this? Journaling is about your life. You can write about anything that interests you. I’ve been almost through all of them, I scraped, wrote, adding clippings of newspapers and magazines, writing poetry, I felt, I cried, I kept flowers, cinema tickets, hospital name bands, receipt, recipes, magazines, polaroid photographs, lyrics, ideas, feelings, plans, wishes, hopes, dreams, nightmares, and so on.

Each time, the journal evolved, I evolved, my need to it differs everytime. I don’t want them published, or read by anyone else, truly. I even considered buring most of them at some point, it’s not about them being scandalous or anything, they are just personal, full or rambling and secrets reprieve from life. My words belong to me, no matter how silly or flawed, ask Bridget Jones.