Writing Wednesday: Lessons learned from my daily log hiatus

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29 | Journaling

A couple of weeks ago I completely fell off the wagon with my daily log/ journaling due to journaling hesitation. I had an eventful day that I wanted to do justice in my journal, so I waited until I had time to sit down and properly journal about it. But the next day I was traveling, the next day I was home and catching up on things, the next day… you get the idea. Before I knew it a week had passed and I hadn’t written anything at all. I had some serious catching up to do. (This is what gave me the idea for last week’s Quick Travel Journaling post as a way I could have avoided this situation!)

I didn’t want to write out of chronology (horrors!) so I missed several days of my usual daily log (which I wrote about with details of my method here). I discovered the hard way just how beneficial my daily log/ journaling habit is. Here are all the things I missed during my non-writing week:

My daily log makes me more productive and focused. Every day at the beginning of the day (or sometimes the evening before) I list the most important things I need to accomplish that day, and any appointments I have so I can see the layout of my day and when I have time to get things done. Without this daily focus I felt scattered.

My journaling helps me remember. I still write down cute things my kids say and do, and lately they’ve been coming out with some real zingers. Like the day my daughter told my son to “eschew obfuscation” and my son replied, “What are you speaking, Klingon??” I love to write things like this in my journal to remember what my kids were like at each age. Also, during the summer the days start to sort of blend together, so I like to write a brief account of what we did so I can remember each day clearly.

My daily record keeps details. I write on my daily pages details like online orders and reservation numbers, when I mailed documents or had important phone calls. This always proves useful. For example a couple of days ago an online order I was trying to place set off my card’s fraud protection system so I had to call my card provider and go through all their security questions to get the hold cleared. They asked me a bunch of questions about when I had used my card and for what amounts and purpose. Luckily every time they asked me a date I looked in my book and saw that I had written the name of the reservation/ order and amount, so I was able to answer their security questions quickly.

My daily writing helps me process events. Writing down what happened during the day helps me process events and frame information in my mind. I think through things, and capture what I deem important which requires me to evaluate the events of the day. This processing helps me settle my mind at the end of the day. I found when I didn’t have this evaluation and processing, things kept swirling around in my head. Getting them down on paper makes me feel like I have dealt with the loose ends and know what my next steps are so I can let it go and think of something else.

I’ve been keeping a daily log/ journal for almost three years now, and gaps in my writing are rare because my daily recording habit helps me so much. I am happy to say I am now back on the daily log/ journaling wagon and am feeling much better!

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