The other day I was going through an old bookshelf and purging some items that I just don’t need anymore. As I was going through everything, I found 3-5 journals. I started to peruse them and ended up laughing, crying and sympathizing with where I was at, at that time in my life.
When I originally started keeping a journal, it was so that I could document my life. What I did, where I went, what I learned, etc. When I was attending AMDA (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) in New York, I also stapled all the paperwork that I received, critiquing my vocal and stage work. I would attach pictures and postcards I received from friends and family that were excited for me and took the time to express it. I still own it and every now and then I scan a picture or two and post it on my Facebook page for “Throwback Thursday.”
In my late 20’s and 30’s, the reason for the journals changed. I started to keep a journal so that I could clear my head. A little hard to explain, but as I got older I let my mind wander and it started to get cluttered with dates, activities, concerns, to do lists, etc., etc, etc. I noticed that if I took some time in the morning to just write everything that was on my mind, I could relax and get on with my day.
Did I come about all of this on my own? No, I actually was inspired by two books, that I read within those years.
The first book was none other than
It’s funny, “Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy,” has totally evolved with me as a woman. When I originally picked up the book, I was an actress who was working full time in an administrative position to pay the bills and performing in theaters in the evenings. It was my first few years of being on my own, financially and I loved having all the time in the world, to write my “daily dialogue.” As my roles changed in life, the “daily dialogue,” changed. I went from a newbie adult, to wife/mother/caregiver/artist.
The second book that inspired me to write to clear the mind, so to speak, is
“The Artist’s Way,” calls them, “Morning pages.” The “morning pages,” are to be done every day and it should be three pages of “stream of consciousness,” writing.
One more item that I would like to include, is a website that I use when I don’t feel like, physically, writing in a journal. The website is
75o words really is my saving grace. After I prepare my children’s lunches for school in the morning, I sit down and check my emails. If I feel like my mind is backed up with excessive worry/clutter, I just go to 750words.com and start to type.
Why 750 words? Well, the creator of the site read “The Artist’s Way,” an found that 250 words is about the standard number of words per page. Hence, if you are write three pages everyday, it would 750 words.
Do I write my daily dialogue/morning pages/750 words, everyday? No, but I definitely know when I need to and you can be guaranteed, that on those days, it is the first thing I do in the morning. The only time that I do write everyday, without fail, is when I am working on a show or trying to complete an artistic project.
In the end, the reason I journal is because it really does encourage me to create and focus on the present moment. If I clear the clutter in my head, I am able to live my life, as oppose to worry about it. It’s no coincidence, that when I take the time to sit down and write/type, I find myself more content in my everyday.
Don’t hesitate to share, why you love to write in your journal and what routine works for you.
Acting Out Mama!