On Journaling

The skill & habit of journaling has continually managed to evade me. Or more accurately, I have managed to evade it. I could come up with all too many excuses as to why. The absolute classic of “I don’t have time”. The one distancing myself from responsibility – but with the same end goal – saying “I just ran out of time”. The one I know to be false of “It doesn’t benefit me enough”. The lazy one of “I don’t know what to write about” (more like there’s too much to write about because I don’t write it down in the first place). Or the one that’s closest to the truth of “I’m not taking full ownership of my life due to a general passive attitude”.

Now, this attitude carries a lot of inertia and it takes more to overcome it than the vague impression of wanting to improve my life. But what does it take to actually shift into this attitude? I can now convincingly say it takes more than a brief sense of resolve, eroded in the face of the faintest hardship or challenge. Rather, what comes to mind is “Work smart, not hard”.

How I see this applying here is streamlining the beneficial activities or behaviours I want to adopt, in order to increase their odds of adoption. There’s no point adopting the general practise of free form journaling if this style is imposing creative barriers to entry in your mind. Don’t blindly follow! Rather, set things up in a way that suits you. And I’ve just realised that journaling in the style of mini-essays is what works for me.

This way, I can meditate on ideas and write down a theory for the said ideas bouncing around in my head; without loosing them, and hopefully improving my writing in the process.

However, there’s more than just breaking down creative barriers; like implementing strategies that motivate me beyond just cultivating the habit itself. The case here would be channelling the ‘Work smart, not hard’ mentality and posting these mini-essays on my blog to keep it alive! And for what would be an added bonus, to get some feedback on my thoughts from anyone reading right now (I don’t expect there are many of you :P).

At the very least, this is a great way to coalesce my thoughts into a form that I can riff on in conversation!

Why am I making this resolution now? Because I’m sick of having a passive attitude. I’m sick of being aware of interesting ideas but letting them slip though my memory and not acting on them. I’m sick of gluttonously consuming content online without producing anything myself – especially when I know I have the capacity to do so!

So… I have a foible in my writing skills – finishing posts. Hopefully this journaling practise can help remediate this!

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