Uses of Journaling

Many important and well-known historical figures used journaling to record their life and scientific findings. However, journals kept by ordinary people could eventually turn out to be a true story of an awful time. Anne Frank is one such example, initially writing in her diary about mundane life, but as Nazi Germany took over her home, it became the story of her life in hiding. Her father, Otto Frank, was the only survivor of the Jewish family, published his daughter’s diary upon his return home. Journals can be used for many different purposes and can even be a guide for someone in the future experiencing a similar situation. 

First and foremost, journals are a good outlet to release pent-up or intense emotions. They can help manage your emotions and feelings so one’s anger isn’t taken out on someone undeserving of it. They can help one feel a sense of calmness when their life feels chaotic as well. Journals can also help push someone to further their goals and aspirations. They help people find and analyze their dreams and goals so they can figure out the best ways to reach them. Journals can be a good release for one’s emotions or a way to find out their biggest goals and go about ways to achieve them. 

Journals can also be a good way to record and track one’s observations and studies. Charles Darwin’s book The Voyage of the Beagle initially started as his journal during his journey. Journals kept by Leonardo Da Vinci also possessed his writings on astronomy, mechanics, architecture, and even the flight pattern of birds. Journals can help one, and those that come after, understand their surroundings and the things that make them up. 

Many artists keep journals as well, no matter what art they are pursuing. Musicians often keep notebooks or journals on them, because they never know when the next verse to their future favorite song will pop into their head. It also helps them see all of the verses they’ve made and decide if one that was originally scrapped could fit into a new work in progress. Painters and drawers often have a journal or two full of their artwork. These can be fully colored and fleshed-out paintings or even just rough design sketches for the real deal. Writers of every genre will keep a journal of all the ideas they have. The ideas within the pages are the action scenes, deep meaningful ones, and everything in between used to grab the reader’s attention and leave them wanting more.

Journals are also a way to write history as it happens. You never know when a big event could happen. People like Anne Frank, who wrote about her experience in hiding during the Holocaust, and Zlata Filipović, a Bosnian girl who wrote about what it was like to be in the middle of a war when she was eleven, are first-hand examples of this. These two girls captured a piece of history in their writing, and by publishing the diaries, more people who are in a similar situation won’t feel alone, and others can see the realities of what happens during war. History happens all the time and we don’t know it, so a journal is a good way to capture not only your own story, but perhaps the story of a key event in the world. 

Journals aren’t for everyone. Some people may have a busy schedule, or some may just not want to write down everything about their life. Some people find journaling helpful, and you will never really know if journaling could help you with your everyday life. Journals can be a good way to reflect on your emotions, goals, learning, and personal history. 

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