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Is Your Journal a Work of Art or a Work Horse?

January 11, 2013

by Kerry Kilpatrick

“Trap your ideas by writing them down. When you write them down you “write” on your mind also.”  from The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

Are you a perfectionist? If your journal is a leather bound work of art, you will tend to want to create perfection on the inside also. You will take your time and write very neatly and cringe when you make mistakes. That can be a problem because it will tend to stifle your creativity and spontaneity. The success of journaling is more about quantity of free flowing ideas and not the quality of your penmanship or whether you stay within the lines.

You need to have the type of notebook that a scientist might use in a laboratory. One that you’re not afraid to get a few drops of coffee on or scribble out the mistakes you’ll inevitably make. You may not consider yourself a scientist but think of your life as a giant lab. Make sure you use your journal whenever you “experiment” with this great study of life.

Have your journal with you when you go to coffee. Take notes regarding the people you meet, what you talked about, and any ideas or plans that came up. Have your journal at the side of your bed so you can scribble any profound thoughts you may have during the night. You need to write those down first thing in the morning, even though you’re blurry eyed and can’t write very neatly, or they will vanish. Take your journal with you when you go to meetings or seminars to capture notes and ideas that resonate with you. Drag it along while you take walks in nature to capture the free flowing ideas that result from quiet times of introspection.

You handle a work of art very carefully and as little as possible. Your journal should be your work horse. It functions best when it is with you at all times and you shouldn’t be afraid if it shows the nicks, scratches and results of it being dragged along with you wherever life may lead you.


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