The Daily Write

15th November 2018

Do you journal?

pile of journals, coffee cup and flowers

I ocassionally kept a teenage diary but I’ve never really written a journal.  Of course I’ve blogged over the years but that’s not quite the same.  Blogging is a record of course but not quite as personal and freestyle as journalling.  I’ve never really been a journal writer.  I mean I’ve bought the stationery and I’ve thought about the concept but frankly I’ve always been a little too self-concious to actually journal.  The word seemed grand and I felt at sea with no real idea how to begin.  I was never really sure where diary ended and journal began.  Do you journal with a thought to posterity, a historical log, Pepys style?  Or should it be a daily stream of consciousness.  A downloading of thought, a spring clean for the brain?  I never really dared try in case I did it all wrong.  I know….

So then I signed up for Kim Klassen’s Write Your Heart’s Desire course.  I began with the taster class – Write Now.  I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I signed up for Write Now.  I love writing and like many bloggers I nurse a secret desire to do a little more with my writing, but of course (and I dare say I’m not alone here), when it comes right down to it, most of my writing takes place in my head and never even makes it to the page.  I’m fairly certain that doesn’t really count as writing, I mean, you have to actually put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard at some point along the way, if you are going to call it writing!  I was hoping that Kim’s course would be the nudge to make the writing on page/screen actually happen.

open journal, coffee cup, flat lay

In my hurry to sign up, FOMO was a major factor, I didn’t really take in the content of the class and once it started I realised that it was much more to do with creating a journalling practice.  It’s not the first time I’ve been in such a hurry to sign up for something that I’ve haven’t really taken the time to understand what the actual content of the thing might be.  So when the class began I was a little surprised to find that it wasn’t ten steps to becoming a writer but rather a course on developing a journalling practice.  However, I love Kim, I mean she taught me Lightroom (a huge achievement for a technophobe like me) and I find her online presence inspiring and generous, so I decided to give it a go and see what transpired.

I hesitate to use the phrase ‘life changing’, I mean I’m from the presbyterian suberbs of Belfast and we just don’t use phrases like that, but my goodness me, I’m so up for this!  Each week Kim has talked us through different techniques and approaches to journalling.  Questions we might ask ourselves, lists we might make, ideas to explore.  I’ve listened to her prompts each day and to my surprise I’ve felt my inhibitions fall away and the words begin to rise and fall onto the page.  It’s been so cathartic.  It’s cleared my head and soothed my soul.  It’s helped me plan and dream.  It’s like I’ve suddenly learned how to exercise a muscle.  The sort you could never quite reach and suddenly you work out how to stretch it, you feel it lengthen and strengthen.

This has been an odd year in many ways.  I started out last January with a determination to learn how to market my products online and grow my sales, a year of learning.  Along the way I learned a lot about myself and I finally realised that in actual fact I might want a very different sort of business altogether.  This is the year I learned to dream.  I finally gave myself permission to hope for more.  As the year draws to a close, I realise that I now have a clear idea of the sort of business I want to explore next year and this practice of journalling has been a vital part of the journey.

pile of notebooks and sunlight

Before I began this daily writing habit I had only just begun to imagine what direction my dreams might take me and what changes I might make to my business.  The idea was there but the edges fuzzy and hard to decipher.  I had no real idea of how I might begin or what the reality could possibly look like.

Kim’s course taught me that the first step to realising your dreams is to begin writing them down.  To write as though those dreams came true, to write As If…   So that’s what I’ve been doing.  I’m filling pages, I’m writing as if…, I’m writing lists, I’m writing plans.  Of course the magical part is that all this writing is in fact creating action.  The more the words unfold each day the clearer the steps become and once you have steps, you have a path.  And I totally know what to do with a path, my boots are all polished up and ready to step out.


What an interesting post. I do keep a journal, indeed, I have written journals on and off since I was 16, although thankfully the early ones were consigned to the bin. I kept a journal electronically for a few years, with more recent ones (the past five years or so) being hand-written. I have settled on a good A5 notebook and fountain pens with varying ink colours as being my favourite form of journal keeping. At the moment, I write first thing each morning, as I have my first cuppa of the day, and I write about what I did and thought the day before plus perhaps a brief note at the end of what the current day has in store for me. Although there have been long periods which I have chosen, for one reason or another, not to record, I have never struggled as to what to write – I just write what I need to write at the time I sit down to write. I am mindful that the journals are, in part, something that my child or grandchild might one day read, I try to use my own authentic voice so that the entries can be recognisable as genuine ‘me’, but in truth I am writing for no-one but me.

Pamela, I’m sorry I am so late to seeing your comment, it’s lovely to see your response here. What a wonderful record you are building up, I can imagine the thrill of someone down the line discovering that collection of beautifully written journals and the connection they will feel with the past. It’s a really important thing you are doing.

Also, I am a fellow fountain pen user. I have a favourite vintage pen that needs to be filled directly from the bottle. I love the fact that the ritual of filling the pen and the need to blow upon the ink to dry. I will always search my pen out before writing in my journal, an ordinary pen just doesn’t feel right.

As you know, I too have been exploring my relationship with writing. Like you, I write all the time (in my head) and have been hesitant to commit my words to paper or screen. But I love reading you and am so looking forward to seeing how your plans make progress next year and beyond. x

Thank you Vanessa, it’s so nice to compare notes with you. I’m really surprised that I’ve finally got the hang of this whole journalling thing but I’m so enjoying the journey and it feels like it’s helping me make sense of so much of that jumble in my head. I love that we are navigating these paths together.

Love this… inspiring. Please share where you’re lovely stationery purchases are ftom too!

Thank you so much Diana. The pink linen covered notebook is by Stamford Notebooks. I love it and I’ll definitely be ordering another. Slightly slimmer and smaller than a standard A5 and really good quality paper, you can choose from grid, dot, lined etc. I love that my fountain pen ink doesn’t bleed into it.

Love this… inspiring. Please share where you’re lovely stationary purchases are ftom too!

It’s been a great learning experience. Thanks for sharing your discoveries.

Thank you Bonnie and yes, it’s been such a voyage of learning, I’ve really enjoyed the process and it feels like I have a new tool in my bag.

What a lovely post. Journaling is something I have considered a lot this year. I shall look into this course and hope to turn this into sometime do more of in 2019 x

I found the course really helpful. I never really knew how to start before but Kim introduces so many prompts and ideas. It only takes me about 10 minutes each day and I’ve found it so empowering. Plus, new stationery 😊

New stationery.. can a girl ever have enough?! Thanks for the post, I have saved the details for later!x


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