Journal Writing Tips

Journal writing tips about this enjoyable and self reflective activity, which enhances your creativity and sharpens your EQ (emotional quotient). Some tips on how to start one.

One of the elements common to most famous writers is that nearly all keep a regular journal in which they write down their daily accounts. Keeping a record of your life gives you an insight into your subconscious mind that would not have been possible otherwise. Also the habit of writing something daily unleashes your creativity and writing skills as you try to transcribe the events of the day into words. By giving you an insight into your consciousness, it helps raising your emotional quotient (EQ) and in controlling stress.

Most people at some time or the other do try to keep a daily journal but miss out due to some simple mistakes. Following a few basic guidelines will enable you to start a journal and more importantly to enjoy keeping it regularly.

The first thing to decide is what to put down in your journal or diary. This is where most people trip up by not knowing exactly what to write in it. They complain of not having anything to write as nothing "╦ťimportant' happened during the day. The mistake they make is in assuming a journal is just a record of the day to day events in their lives. Instead, the journal should deal not with the events that happened to you but what you yourself achieved during the day, not with your daily routine but with your experiences during the day.

What you should put in your journal is the thoughts and feelings that went through your consciousness during the day. It is equally important to know what not to write down. While writing down your account, try to recall what experiences you went through: what made you laugh, what made you cry, what touched you deeply. Remember, you are writing down your account so that you will be able to access this phase of your life at a later date. You will then hardly be interested in recalling at what time you had woken up on this date or what you had had for breakfast. The coffee might have been particularly good, but it is hardly something that is going to interest you much later. On the other hand, if during breakfast, your partner had given you a particular look that had sent your pulses racing, you will enjoy rediscovering that feeling from the past again. Similarly, if you have just given an exhilarating presentation in the office, you don't have to put down the details of the presentation itself, instead you should describe the reactions to it: who was encouraging, who was catty, who gave a particularly warm compliment. You must also write down your own reactions, how thrilled or proud you were and so on.

Also while writing down your account, give free rein to your creativity. Use all your senses and writing skills to analyze not just your own emotions but also those of others. You will discover as you do this that you are far more aware in your subconscious mind of other people's feelings, and this in turn will sharpen your own EQ or emotional quotient.

In trying to recall what to put down, you will find that the situations that stick the most in your mind are the ones that made you laugh. In fact, this is the best way to start, at the end of the day simply put down all the events that made you laugh, all the wisecracks of your friends and others and their conceits. Recalling these at the end of the day is the surest way of controlling stress. Also put down how much you laughed, whether you laughed till you had a bellyache or whether it made you laugh much later also. You will find yourself laughing all over again as you describe the event, and this will heighten your emotional stability, your emotional quotient (EQ).

Another thing to remember is that you don't have to write every single day, avoid making your journal writing into a chore. Instead keep a small pocketbook by your bedside and at the end of the day, just scrawl down a few notes of the day's events that will bring them back to you when you sit down to write. For the same reason use a good notebook instead of a datefilled formal diary. You may also use a laptop or other computer if you are comfortable with one. Then every three or four days or whenever convenient, you can write down your account from your notes.

The aim of writing a journal is to enable you to return to it someday and relive the highs and lows of your life. But even more than that, writing the journal itself acts as an outlet for your subconscious mind.

Nearly all successful writers keep a journal regularly. By regular journal writing, you can give free rein to your creativity and hone your writing skills. It acts as a catharsis for your pent up feelings and will help raise your emotional quotient (EQ). It remains as a treasurehouse of memories for you, and gives a permanency to the events in your life. Your journal will act as a powerful tool for you to analyze your life, and add new meaning to it.

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