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Open Journal

Why have an online public journal?5 min read

I’ve been journaling since I was a teenager, ever since I tried to excise my anxiety and existential angst onto paper. It’s always been one of my key self-care practices for making sense of my emotions and the world, it helps me stay organised, allows me to find clarity and turns my dreams into reality.

Journaling has is a transformational process for me – and writing grew to become an extension of my journaling. However, recently I’ve felt a need to take my practice to a new level.

Lately it’s become more evident to me how fully this lack-mindset I grew up with has permeated every aspect of my life and shaped some of my major choices. And this decision to stat journaling in public is partly because I want to really amplify abundance, particularly in my thinking – and what better way than to show more of myself, become more visible?

This is very much an experiment in vulnerability that isn’t for the faint of heart. I’m pretty hardy (and stubborn to boot) and even I feel nervous about this, like I’m exposing what’s going on inside of me so that you can witness my self-expression.

But I also know that to become stronger and develop I need to have the courage to be vulnerable. Vulnerability can’t just be something I practice when it’s convenient or easy for me, it needs to be the practice by how I live my life because I value personal connection immensely.

So, my goal is to draw something out from deep inside and bring it into full view. I want to show my emotions, my struggles, and my inner world because I want you to know that you’re not alone in your struggles.

It’s also a selfish practice because I know that when I share my fears, say them out loud, they tend to dissipate.

Is this too revealing?

I’m not publishing everything. Some topics are too sensitive to share because they’re still too painful, the wound still open, or because other people’s narratives are involved and those aren’t my stories to tell. I also greatly value privacy in my life and though I’m opening up my heart here, I still want to keep my life mine.

So, I will be as honest and raw as I can in my writing even when choosing how vulnerable I wish to be. I’m not imposing word limits or goals neither setting a timer when I write.

I won’t publish every day because I don’t write every day. And even when I write, it doesn’t mean I’ll hit publish

I want to grow but not erode my motivation to keep writing, so, the entries (or sections of entries) that elicit a feeling of discomfort tempered with sufficient excitement and personal revelation are usually the ones that get published.

I’ve been writing from a place of exploring my own inner emotional life in order to find insight for a long time and so far, I’ve rarely been afraid to hold back. But that’s always been when writing articles with a purpose, to answer a question or explore a hypothesis, and the end result has always been (by necessity) more polished.

But who knows what I’ll stumble across in the recesses of my mind with only journaling and without the safety net of editorial writing? If it feels too much like I’m about to launch myself off the face of a cliff, I’ll probably step back and review.

What will I write about?

Free writing

A lot of my writing centres around free writing and I make liberal use of it even when writing professionally. It helps to clear out cobwebs and whatever clutter is getting in the way of clear thought.

Thinking and self-improvement

I use journaling as a tool to practice philosophy and deep thinking about important topics. Through the years I’ve learned to use writing as a way to make sense of myself, develop personal beliefs, reflect on my choices and values as well as to understand my purpose in this life.

Problem solving & searching for clarity

Writing down things I’m trying to do but don’t know how help me gain perspective. Problems I’m trying to solve, worries that I need to vent and emotions that are too heavy to hold inside all fall into this category.

My goals and intentions

It’s been proven that writing down your goals increases the likelihood of your achieving them. Social accountability, someone else also knowing what you’re working on, also increases the likelihood of success. I’m trying to accomplish some major change and need all the leverage I can muster.

Using prompts

Sometimes when I sit down to write all I get is nothing. Crickets and tumbleweeds. When this happens, or when I find prompts that help me explore the issues I’d like to explore more deeply, I’ll state the prompt that I’m using to write at the beginning of the text.

Pushing my own boundaries

To practice vulnerability you need two things: to show up and to choose to expose your vulnerability. Sometimes I’ll have something on my mind that I’d rather bury than bring out further, and that’s when I have to make that choice. This usually means insecurities, exploring things I feel I’ve done wrong and fear of rejection.

Why am I doing this?

As I said before, I want to make vulnerability an even stronger practise in my life. I want to grow more resilient and become more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

I’ve also struggled with finding my voice since deciding to build a personal brand as an artist. Years of working as a copywriter and brand communication expert means that I can rapidly pinpoint the essence of any brand. But now, as an entrepreneur I’ve struggled to pinpoint my own voice, my own value.

I’ve never been a prolific note-taker because I always ended up with tons of orphan notes which make no sense out of context. Through this, I’d like to promote networked thinking by writing – in my own voice, my own words – threading my thoughts and sharing it with the world creating a feedback loop.

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