I think I’ve journaled in one way or another since junior high. It’s a good thing. I forget so much these days that it’s good to know I have a written record of my life so that I can remember that I’m as much a goob now as I was when I was 14.
I remember a particular youth group retreat with my church in which the speaker urged us to practice spiritual disciplines, including prayer, Bible study, journaling, meditation, scripture memory, and giving. For some reason, I took him seriously and as a result, I have boxes of journals and notebooks.
When I began blogging in 2005, I saw it first as a novelty and a way to perhaps communicate in a creative way with folks who know me. I never dreamed I would encounter so much personal growth from the discipline of regular writing.
Growth has come in several ways:
- Wisdom to write strategically (believe it or not, most of my posts are well-considered before I post them).
- Discipline and discernment to think before I type when I respond to commenters who are “ornery.” 😉
- Grace to admit an erroneous opinion or flawed observation when it’s pointed out to me.
- Perspective to realize that I don’t need to be offended too deeply or be too bothered by stuff going on in the blog world.
- Patience to write about sensitive issues only after I’ve spent a lot of time considering pros and cons, attempting to see all angles before voicing a strong opinion.
- My research skills have greatly improved. I know better what sources to turn to that are dependable and which are not.
- Insight… it’s amazing how much I learn about myself and those who comment on particular blog entries.
I think there’s a lot to be said for consistent, disciplined writing – whether on a blog or in a journal (I do both). The sheer effort and willpower that it requires to record your thoughts in a cohesive way is a great mental exercise.