I bought a journal from my favourite little store in Cardiff, Tiger for £2. It fits in my handbag quite easily, and being the type of person that’s equipped with a pen at all times, I can write where ever and whenever I want when I’m out and about. I originally bought the journal just to keep track of things. To-do lists for the day, numbers and emails that I needed to get in touch with. I just like to write things down rather than using my phone. But, as I found myself heading to work with nothing but dread filling my head, on my 8am morning commute I started writing what I was feeling, and trying to analyse why I was feeling that way. I wrote for the whole journey, my handwriting at times messy and difficult to read. But despite my cramping fingers, my head felt lighter as I got off the bus and walked to my place of work.
Since that morning, I’ve started writing religiously in my journal. Not so much diary entries – at times they’re fictional. There’s been times of boredom where I’ll make up a character inside my head and make them come to life in the pages of my book. Illustrations of what goes on inside my head. Sometimes they’re filled with personal feelings, and sometimes just a line of what someone has said to me. It’s relaxing to have a place my head can vent, instead of inside itself.
In the writing world, people have spoken highly about the practise of morning pages. The idea is to write three pages before you get on with your day, and write whatever it is that’s on your mind. It could be an idea, it could be an emotion or even an insecurity. Write it down, even if your mind feels empty. There’s always something going on. This practise came to light whilst I was studying in university – my lecturer spoke highly of it, telling us that most of her ideas are developed in those morning pages. I promised to do it, but I never did. I finished university earlier this year, and I’m finally doing it. Hand on heart, that £2 journal is the best thing I’ve purchased.
I can’t say that it’s a cure to every issue, but it does make you lighter. It empties your head of your morning anxiety – and if you don’t do it in the morning, but instead write it at night, it clears you of your day and leave you refreshed. It’s something you’ve got to stick to. I have always found writing to be rather therapeutic, even when I delved into places that I didn’t want to go. The whole practise of ink staining white lined paper, for some reason, gives you a sense of validation. There are some things that I have written in my journal that I wouldn’t whisper in secret, like some of my own insecurities, but this black and white knitted journal knows them all. And I can see the progression in my writing, the positivity I’m placing in myself as I clear my head every morning. It’s actually rather empowering, and even more so to think that this positivity is coming from me.
I urge anyone to try it for a month, or even a week, and feel the benefits of a lighter, clearer and empowered mind.