by Vickie MacFadden
Ready for true confessions? I love technology. I’ve had every iPad including the new iPad Air, both iPad minis, and the iPhone 5S. In the office, I have both an iMac and a PC. So, would it surprise you to hear I have also taken up journaling? It sounds a bit old-fashioned, doesn’t it? Pen + paper?
Journaling allows you to access your left brain — you know the analytical and rational part. Your right brain is then free to just be itself and create! University of Texas researchers say journaling will help reduce stress, clarify your thoughts and feelings and even aid in problem solving. Could I have a big dose of the last one, please?
The art of writing has been around for years. I realized before I started journaling that there were very influential “writers” in my life. Not professional writers–but those who had grown up in that time when thank you notes were a practiced art. One writer was my favorite Aunt. I have letters that are pages long and the most delicious thank you notes. My favorite was a Spanish Christmas Card–no, she wasn’t Spanish. She purchased them by mistake and was too frugal to return. She sent those cards out (Feliz Navidad!) with the craziest handwritten note. It is one of my most precious memories!
The other writer in my life was my former Mother-in-Law. Dee wrote little short stories in thank you notes that were always unique. She followed proper writing etiquette–thank you, tell why it’s useful or special and thank you again in closing. But it was the “middle” that was special–the tales she shared and the insights–those are the treasured keepsakes.
With that inspiration, I decided to start journaling. How did I get started? First, I made it convenient. I always have a journal book and pen near by. I committed to once daily. No set time and if I miss a day, it’s because I want to. No pressure.
I choose journals that speak to me-either printed with quotes, words or colors I love. I prefer book bound journals over spiral bound. Confession #2: I’m a pen snob! So having a pen that writes smoothly, no skipping or smearing was important to me. (luckily I had a stash of those!)
Next, I promised myself no worries about spelling or grammar – even though I have those tendencies in my business life — the journal is my space for what is flowing, whatever feels right, no editing.
Anything goes–pens, crayons, cut and paste–I’m not one of the creative types. But I promised myself when I started it was not for a grade. It was for expressing me!
I use two different journals–one is purely a Gratitude journal. It’s what’s printed on the front.
The second journal is my soul journal–the diary so-to-speak. Even though there’s no lock on my journals, they are for my eyes only. This freed me to write what I wanted-no judgement–my private playground.
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to start a journal? Don’t wait! Set your own rules and boundaries.
Go with your gut. But start.Today.
Vickie MacFadden is the founder of www.PROMOrx.com working with businesses and schools on branded marketing items. She is co-owner of www.WhereDidYouGetThatCase.com which offers smashing designs printed on iPhone and iPad cases along with the new Journal Book line inspired by her new found love of journaling. You can find her on twitter @VickieMacFadden , email Vickie at PROMOrx dot com or on the Blue Ridge Parkway in her red convertible!