Photo Credit - Kat A

Photo Credit – Kat A

Journaling 101

Let’s cut to the chase right from the beginning: there is no right or wrong journaling frequency. If you are comfortable doing it every day or just once a year, either way is fine. The most important concept that will make you happy about the experience is your habit matching your goal. For example, if you want to write once a week and you only manage about once a month, you won’t be satisfied.

I just want to consider for a second the ramifications the consistency of your journal keeping has on the content within. These are things I have learned from experience, but would love to hear if you have seen the same trend with your own writing.

Journal writing can be closely compared to Google Maps. When you are zoomed far out on, say, the state you live in, it is like writing in your journal rarely (like once a month or longer). Although you can’t make out the details, you get a quick general sense of the landscape. Sure, you don’t know what you daily routine is like for that period of your life, but you do know the main themes and story lines. You can’t see the town you live in, but you do see some mountain ranges and how the location relates to other states.

Now consider the other end of the spectrum. Let’s say you journal every single day without fail. Now you are zoomed in to where you can even see your house and backyard. You know what color your roof is, you can see your neighbors car and you see the road to your work. If you move around a bit you can see your kids school and nearby parks. You can’t see where you are in relation to the nearest city, but you have a ton of detail about your neighborhood and town.

Does this make sense? I am not arguing for one or the other end of the frequency spectrum. Journal often and you will have a ton of detail about your daily life with few generalities and trends. Journal rarely and you broad perspective but little detail of the little things in life. I have experienced both and I think every level of journaling frequency is interesting in its own right.

Perhaps the best method is to find a way to do the best of both worlds. One way this could be accomplished is by keeping a daily journal on your smartphone or tablet and once a month sitting down and writing a full entry about that period in your life which you can add as an entry later or keep as a separate journal. Again, there is no right or wrong way but it would nice to have a way to see all level of detail in your life’s map.

How often do you write in your journal? Or are you consistent in your inconsistency like I sometimes am?