“Take care of all your memories, for you
cannot relieve them”

Think about your food memories: we all have that memorable
cake that mum used to bake for us, don’t we? Food has a way of transporting our
minds back to the past, like a very basic time machine that makes us feel the
way we felt back then. It is almost magic. Yet, there is another way of doing
that, and that is to keep bits and pieces of our life, our thoughts, our dreams
and our hopes stored. Some call it a journal, others prefer to call it a diary:
it’s a collection of our thoughts made by us, for us. Somewhere where we can go
back down the aptly named memory lane and retrieve a string of words, a picture
or a song that will trigger some distant emotions and feelings again, if just
for the shortest time.

Where were you in the past few days? And
what were you doing, and feeling, a few years ago? In this everchanging world
of Facebook feeds and Instagram profiles all we are left with is a projected
image of ourselves, that does not portray what we really feel. A journal is the
best way to set your own rules and write down what you really feel, in a
confidential, effective and unobtrusive manner. By writing down your thoughts
you achieve both the creation of a digital backup of your inner thoughts, but
also a mental exercise that is proven to help rationalise the good and overcome
the bad situations in life. Everyone’s life is a book worth reading, especially
for the owner of the feelings within it. 

1. How to start a journal?

The best way to start a journal is to… just do it. All
the questions, and all the answers to them, will come natural to you. There is
no set rule when writing a journal: you don’t need to write things perfectly,
or worry about the spelling of a name. This is YOUR world, where nothing is
wrong if you say so. Having said that, let us try and point out the “how to” on
how to start a journal, effectively.

2. Do I need a schedule to write my

Especially in the beginning, it is very important to
try and stick to a time schedule for writing your thoughts down. Over time, you
will effortlessly turn this into a habit with no time constraints, but reminders
are the best way to “educate” your mind to do just that at a certain time.
Remember that you are doing it for yourself, so in due time it will be the same
thing as “taking a break” and you will be looking forward to it!

3. Should I have a special place where
to write?

You can, and most likely will, end up writing from
anywhere. But when you begin, it is helpful to create some kind of ritual.
Choose a place where you feel protected, relaxed and free, and where you know
you can think of your memories and let them flow. Make sure to be physically
comfortable and if you can, make a point to focus on the task of writing,
without any external distraction.

4. So, what happened in your life today?

Maybe nothing immediately springs to mind, and that’s
ok. Not every day is special, and they don’t have to be. But what was really
happening during the day beneath the surface? Did you have a romantic dream
that made you feel happy and bubbly? Or did the rain make you blue and feel
like staying at home? And what about that random act of kindness you witnessed
that warmed your heart? Was that worth remembering? In the end, you are the
only one who knows what mattered, and why: so look for those visions, emotions,
feelings in your heart and just let them flow while you write them down.

5. What to write on a journal entry?

Some say the best form of keeping a diary is to begin
every entry with the word “today”. Others argue that making a bullet journal is
the quickest way to effectively keep your thoughts organised, but the truth is
that there is no right or wrong way to write a journal. One day an entry could
be a poem, another day it could be just some initials or a coded word that only
you could ever understand. No day is like any other, and no thought can be
categorized logically into something that must be recorded one way or another.
These moments were, and still are, yours: express them accordingly.

6. How long should I be writing for?

Unless you are writing your memoirs, you might want to
give yourself a reasonable time frame, from a few minutes to half an hour is
ideal. Of course you can write for longer on an eventful day, or skip a day
entirely if so you wish. Timing yourself is probably the best way to keep the
motivation going: if you know you have problems focusing make your effort very
simple by forcing yourself to write for just 5 minutes. Once you feel more
comfortable with it you can double or triple the time you dedicate to writing:
as usual, you set the rules instead of just following them.

7. Should I check what I wrote?

Most definitely yes,
you really should. Analysing your own words is crucial for you to understand
yourself. You might want to also write something about your own entry at the
bottom of it, expressing the feelings that it brought back and giving your
future self an extra key to interpret those memories.

8. Should I Sign-up for Diaro or use a
physical journal?

This is entirely up to you. Some people will always
prefer pen and paper, and considering that the ultimate goal is to make you
feel comfortable we will definitely want you to choose what your heart feels is
best. Diaro offers you an easy way
to get started in no time, quickly set a schedule and automatically get
reminders, as well as taking care of security, storage and device independence
issues. Signing up for Diaro will
enable you to write from anywhere, all you need is an Internet connection. Just
write: everything else will be seamlessly taken care of. 

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