Have you ever thought about keeping a journal? Perhaps, you did keep a journal at some point in your life, but stopped because you thought it was childish or you grew out of your teenage obsession or you found it a waste of time. Maybe you had nothing to say. There might be a variety of reasons, but main fears usually come back to one of the five below.
Five Reasons Why People Are Afraid To Keep A Journal
I don’t have time.
This excuse is used for nearly everything, and yes, it is an excuse. Every gets twenty-four hours in a day, so how is it that some people manage to achieve seemingly incredible amounts of things, while most of us find just managing day job and family demands overwhelming? It’s very easy to fill time with unproductive activities. Often, we don’t even know that we are wasting time, and so we think we are busy. If you want to do something, and I mean really want, then you will find the time even if that means sacrificing your favourite TV show, spending less time on the phone, cutting down on the window shopping or spending less time slaying dragons on video games.
I hate writing or I’m a bad writer.
Your journal isn’t supposed to be a literally masterpiece. No one else will even see it, so it doesn’t matter how good your writing skill is. As long as you can decipher it, and understand what you wrote, that’s enough. Like most skills, writing can only be improved by practice, so if you keep a journal, you get that added benefit of actually improving your writing ability.
I don’t know what to write.
If you get stuck, the first place to start is writing about your day. Write what you did, who you met, how you felt. Google for journaling prompts, or just keep a list of your own. I encourage you to do this especially for the ones you find effective. Write about your family. Write about where you live. What do you do? Make a list of your favourite things, places you want to travel. You can start with almost anything, and it will lead you somewhere else.
I’m embarrassed to keep a journal.
Some people actually do feel this way, and it’s okay. If you are embarrassed, that’s fine. Be a closet journal keeper. There is no need to advertise this to the world. Journal only when you are home, or somewhere private. If you are uncomfortable not telling the people you live with (clearly there is an issue you need to tackle in your journal) then journal in the privacy of you room, or even the bathroom. Let it become a habit before you worry about not hiding it.
What if someone else reads it?
This is a big one, and of all the fears listed here this is most valid because it is often beyond your control. Privacy is a genuine concern. If you are to make the best use of your journal, it is essential that it remains a private tool.
Here are several things you can do to ensure privacy:
- Consider your living situation. If you live alone, then you don’t have much to worry about, as long as you don’t keep your journal lying around where visitors might pick it up. Keep it in a drawer, or somewhere where no one else would go. If you have frequent stream of unannounced visitors or drunken guests leftovers, then it might be an idea to keep your journal in a locked drawer.
- If you live with someone else, then think about your trust level. If it’s family or spouse/partner, make it clear that this is your personal space and that what you write there are unprocessed thought which might be taken out of context. I would still encourage you to keep your journal out of sight to keep the temptation away. If you live with room-mates or even family members you don’t entirely trust, then always keep your journal in your private space. Back of a wardrobe, between piles of clothes, a locked drawer etc.
- If you keep an electronic journal, make it password protected, and make it a secure password. Always, always make it clear to people in your life that your privacy is essential to you, and that you will not take it lightly if they infringe on it. It’s easier said then done, I know, but you need to be in a situation where you can trust people you live with, and if you are not there yet, then that’s a big part of your life you need to take a look at.