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To me, writing something stops it in time. That’s the beauty in it. Whether it’s a diary, a poem, a song, or a saying, your words become a picture of yourself at that moment. My sixth grade diary is a testament to that. 

Having an outlet is extremely important for me. Having something that pertains to just you, and having a moment to collect, rethink, and re-evalutate yourself is as important as building yourself up. 

The events of this past year have required me to breathe, recharge and think, and something that has helped me tremendously is journaling. 

When I was about 7 years old, I spent most of my time at my grandparents’ house in southern Brazil. My mother studied in Switzerland when she was a teenager, and she kept a journal of her time there. Since I was little, I have found inspiration in all the things she does, and since that moment, I decided that keeping a journal was something I wanted to do too. 

That’s the power of journaling – it stops the moment. To that pink sparkly journal with a lock and (lost) key, I am still 7 years old and scared of the dark and losing my front teeth. To my blue middle school journal, I am scared of 6th grade and the upcoming first dance and slow-dancing. To my high school off-white journa, I am not sure which college I will go to and what to say when people ask me. 

A journal stops things in time, and when you visit it refreshed several moons later, you are greeted with your past self. It is a reminder that things come and go, but your ability to remain yourself stays on. 

When I write in my journal I am reminded of that. So here is a small guide on how to journal:

  1. Find a journal you like. Not to bring horoscopes into this unnecessarily, but since I am a Virgo rising, I have to have things that match. I think it is important to find a journal that feels you; after all, you will be writing in it!
  2. Finding prompts on Pinterest helps! Morning prompts, questions that spark something, etc. First of all, it’s an excellent excuse to look at Pinterest, and second, it’s great to start writing.
  3. There isn’t a right way. Write when you feel like it – don’t force it. This is for nobody but yourself. 
Hi! My name is Marcella Zaffari Flammia and I am currently a freshman at Bentley! I grew up in Southern Brazil but have been living in Manchester, MA since 5th grade. I love reading, writing, traveling, and hanging out with friends.
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