Why? Analysis paralysis and the fear of doing something wrong.
And I was afraid of journaling wrong.
Stupid, right? I thought so too.
So I started journaling again, and for the past month or two I’ve been reasonably consistent (at least every other day). This sort of inconsistancy in the past sunk me mentally – Well if you can’t do it everyday, then maybe you’re not meant to keep a journal, dumbass.
Yeah, that’s how some of the selftalk goes.
How I am getting over the journaling hump:
- Forgive myself if I don’t journal as much as I intend. Crazy idea, right? But it’s a big deal. And it carries over into other aspects of life.
- I bought a nice journal. Believe it or not, this was part of the hump. Forgive me in my weakness…
- Make gratefulness part of my journaling. I thought about a gratefulness journal, but I like all my thoughts and ramblings in one place. In the mornings I write down 2-4 things I’m grateful for, I write down a couple of things that would make the day go well, and I write an affirmation. In the evening I write down some good/great things that happened over the day, and notes about how the day could have been better. I don’t always fill everything in, but it’s an important part of my day.
- I let myself write anything. Seriously, anything. Whatever is running through my brain at the moment is allowed to go on paper. To-do lists. Ideas I read in books. Stuff about my kids. What I want to be lists. etc.
- I also make time for focused writing. Getting down ideas. Brainstorming.
I’m not sure that the journaling has made a quantitative difference in untethering income from time (yet), but it sure has made a qualitative difference. Here are a couple of upshots:
- I don’t lose ideas. Brain dumping allows my to free up processing power, and coming back later to old ideas on the written page spark new ideas.
- I see my weaknesses quickly. When you write the same things daily in the “how I could have made today better”, you’ve got something to work on the next day.
- I start to see trends. A couple of times per month I’m compelled to write down all the things I want to be doing with my time instead of sitting in an office all day. I don’t always write the same things, but trends have emerged. It helps to focus me when I am reminded of my core values.
- My brain is all over the place. I can get down all my ideas about everything in one place, and know that I can come back to them later if I need them. And then focus on what’s important at the moment.
- I’ve started writing down ideas. Duh, isn’t that what we do in a journal? But I mean ideas for muses and businesses. I read Altucher’s How to Quit Your Job the Right Way, and out of many of the awesome takeaways, the one that I jumped on was writing down 10 ideas per day. Any idea. It doesn’t have to be feasible or good. Just ideas. So far I’ve at best gotten 5 per day, and it hurts to do this, but I feel a creative muscle being stretched. And already there are some ideas that could bear fruit (but not until I’ve gotten my public domain data sales off the ground).
Now like I said, I haven’t been perfect with this, but you don’t need to be. Just start writing.
Not sure what you want to write on? Here are some ideas:
- A Microsoft Word file. My least favorite idea. I want to have pencil and paper and get away from the electronics. YMMV.
- A plain old composition notebook. Probably ridiculously cheap at Walmart. Or $2 each from Amazon Prime. Probably the best deal out there.
There is something about a leather-bound journal, though. Here are a couple that I like:
- Leuchtturm 1917. Lots of styles to choose from. I like this one – It is linked up with the Whitelines app on your cell phone so that you can scan and share easily (if you are so inclined. Sometimes I am). Plus it has little dots to help keep your notes straight. I don’t like grids and I don’t liked ruled paper, but the dots are just enough to keep this man with messy handwriting from veering off.
- I like Moleskines, as well. If you like thicker paper and no lines (I do), then I recommend this book; if you are OK with thinner pages, then this will do nicely.
But it doesn’t matter what you write on (and if it does to you, then get what you want). It just matters that you start writing. Give yourself the freedom to get things down on the page, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t journal perfectly (whatever that means) – just do it.