I can't sleep.
I've never been a steady sleeper. When I was a kid, I often crawled out of bed in the middle of the night, crept downstairs to the dark kitchen, then sat on the cold linoleum floor and ate slabs of Wonder Bread straight from the bag.
As I got older, I developed new strategies to deal with my sleeplessness. I watched hours of Letterman and Leno. I read volumes of The Vampire Chronicles. And most frequently, I wrote in my journal.
My journal became my confidant on the long nights when my mind refused to rest. In my journal, I could pour out my thoughts, worries, fears, and frustrations. I could tell my journal anything I needed, wanted, loved, or regretted. After pouring out my thoughts and feelings onto my journal pages, I could usually find some semblance of peace and return to bed for a few hours of sleep before work.
Journaling helps me clarify my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. Writing puts my life into perspective, turning problems and turmoil into more easily managed black and white lines on a page. Journaling brings a sense of logic to life events that are often unpredictable and out of control.
Because I am a believer in the power of journaling, I have written Writing Down the Highway: Guideposts to Journaling for Self-Discovery to expain why, when and how journaling can help single mothers and all women write for self-expression.
On January 1 my ebook Writing Down the Highway will be available by download to new subscribers. Please complete the sign-up form in the sidebar or pop-up box.
Also watch for the new Journaling Prompts page for ideas to begin your own journaling journey.
Letterman and Leno are off the air now. I finished The Vampire Chronicles long ago. But I still journal, and I still sometimes eat bread in the middle of the night.
What are your experiences with journaling? Have you found journaling helps you express your thoughts and ideas?