Journals are the place to weave the dreams of the future,
dreams that are yet too tenuous and fragile to be spoken aloud.
~ from “Weaving a Woman’s Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom” ~

As a reader, you’ve probably been asked, “If you were on a desert island and could have only one book, what would it be?” My answer? Does my e-reader count as one book?

However, if you told me I could only have one creative or spiritual tool, my answer would be a journal.

In my book quoted from above, Weaving a Woman’s Life, I write, “Forget diamonds, her journal is a girl’s best friend.” The same is true of any artist or creative (and remember, I believe everyone is creative). The gifts of a journal are many such as:

  1. Freedom from external constraints. You don’t have to please anyone but yourself in a journal.
  2. An emotional outlet for creative and other experiences. The journal is a safe place to vent and to heal.
  3. A place to experiment with new ideas and solutions, creative and otherwise, before making them more concrete.
  4. A place to record dreams that includes a title, the date, and the dream written in first person.

While the reasons for keeping a journal are many (and I didn’t list them all), the rules are few. Find a journal you like, that pleases you aesthetically. For my fiction first drafts, I like soft cover journals because I like the flexibility to fold and bend, especially if I am traveling while writing.

Find writing tools that make you happy as well, whether it is a fine-quality fountain pen, like I prefer, or fine-tipped markers. Use tools that make the journal writing both inviting and enjoyable.

One final rule, especially if you were given a diary as a young girl with dated pages that compelled you to write every day, making you feel guilty when you didn’t. Write when and where and how you want to. Draw or collage in the pages if you want to. Doodle or color or …well, you get the idea.

Think of your journal as your very best friend. You know, the kind you haven’t spoken to in weeks or months but when you pick up the phone—or the pen—it is as if you just spoke yesterday. That’s the kind of relationship you want with your journal.

And who knows what secrets the journal might share with you.