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Journaling for the Folks Who Can Never Think of What to Write

Even as I write this article, I can’t help but feel the inevitable struggle of putting my thoughts on the page. As much as I wish it weren’t true, writer’s block stresses me out more than most daily struggles.

So, unfortunately, journaling has never really been therapeutic for me. Whenever I’ve tried, I look back on what I’ve written and cringe at the narcissism and pettiness I poured all over the page.

No matter how many times I try, my words just don’t reflect how I’m feeling. But I’ve discovered an alternative form of journaling that allows me to express myself in a more honest and comfortable way.

Rather than struggling to come up with my own words, I collect quotes that touch me or articulate the feelings I couldn’t. These quotes can come from books, songs, poetry, movies, everyday interactions, or even be original thoughts that you were proud of.

This form of journaling eliminates the stress of figuring out how to put your feelings into words — the exact opposite effect journaling is supposed to have. Plus, our constant media consumption can finally be put to good use — create a more nuanced picture of what your life is like in this moment, something you can actually look back on years later and still feel comforted!

You can organize them in any way you want: chronologically/as you find them, by theme (inspiration, comfort, funny, etc.), by type (music, poetry, etc.) — any way that allows you to make sense of your complicated, amazing life!

But, even this idea was inspired by a couple of movies I’ve watched over the years.

In A Walk to Remember, Jamie shares with Landon the journal her mother kept of all her favorite lyrics, quotes, and bible verses. Even though her mother was gone, Jamie had this special insight into her mother’s passions that could have been overshadowed by mundane details so typical of an average journal.

Much more recent is the book/film series Beautiful Creatures. In the series, Lena reveals to Ethan that she uses her powers to collect poetry — but in a very special way. She uses the very thing that makes her life so complicated — magic — to make her feel like your average, book-loving gal.

Give this “faux” journaling a try! You can start small with a mini notebook you keep in your backpack, or you can finally buy that gorgeous journal you’ve never felt the need to get and start filling it with the quotes you need to remember.

Whatever method you choose, remember that you don’t need to put yourself through the stress of suddenly becoming a writer in order to calm yourself down or express what’s on your mind. Journaling is for you and you only.

Cover image source: Pexels

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