Journaling journey, finding tranquility in writing

Josiah Anderson, Writer

Writing has always been an escape for me. Starting in elementary school, I would write because stories would fill my head and cramp the space inside my mind until I wrote them down and released them. The issue was these stories were of fictional lands about people who were nothing more than figments of my imagination. This meant that while writing was an escape, it only served one purposeit helped me run from any issues I had rather than face them. This evasive behavior towards my emotions changed when I discovered journaling.

I was introduced to journaling by a soft-spoken school counselor around third grade. At the time, I had perceived it to be a medium for complaints rather than a vessel for self-conducted therapy. But for someone like myself, writing is the best way for me to express myself, and journaling provides the perfect avenue for expressing myself and working through my emotions. I started journaling several months ago and very quickly began to do so every day. 

I originally started journaling not with the intention to write my thoughts, but my ideas. I received a journal as a Christmas gift so I might have a place to write down ideas for stories and books, but swiftly found myself using it for far more. It became a part of my life and has been ever since.

Preconceived notions lead some to believe that my journal is where I record my deepest, darkest secrets and tidbits of juicy gossip, but quite the opposite is true of this leatherbound book. Most of my recordings are mundane, everyday thoughts that I just needed to place on paper to process. I write about things as simple as what school assignments I have due that day or what book I want to read next.

The beauty of journaling is what I find to be the beauty of creative writing as a whole. It can be anything you want or need it to be. For some people, a journal is a friend who will listen to everything, no matter how small or inconsequential. Or, perhaps it’s a medium for organization and preparation. To some, it may even be a productive and constructive way to express emotions like anger and frustration. At one point or another, it has been all three of these things to me.

Perhaps the greatest thing I have gained from documenting and writing in a journal is the understanding of what processing my thoughts creatively and abstractly can do for my mental health. The mind is a hectic place, a fact that is bolstered by an already busy and distraction-filled world. I not only find solace in writing, but it has taught me the harsh repercussions of judging too swiftly. Finding peace in oneself can be done through a myriad of ways, and for me, that was journaling, but prior to taking up this practice for myself, I found journaling ridiculous or laughable. In my mind, it seemed strange that simply writing down one’s thoughts and feelings could accomplish anything productive. Granted, journaling does not always make sense for everyone.

Look through my post history on Bearing News and anyone can see that I love a good story. Whether it’s in the form of books, movies or television shows, stories appeal to me in a way activities such as sports cannot. I feel close to journaling and I find it highly calming and therapeutic. It allows me to tell the story of my life in the way I wish to convey it. Fragments of my life are pieced together one day at a time to construct a larger narrative. 

Each life consists of stories, but the lives of individuals are rarely told from their own perspectives. Journaling allows the original perspective to be recovered and has helped me discern how I see myself from how others see me. It grants me the opportunity to better understand the story of my life and my struggles in such a way that I can better combat and deal with them. That is the power of journaling to me and is the reason I continue to write every single day.


Do you like journaling? Let us know in the comments below.