You go first.
Organise my feelings and ideas..!
Capturing my thoughts, writing things that I want to remember, or offloading onto a page so I’m not carrying angst round in my head. It’s something I do to help me answer a question I’m struggling with, understand something that I don’t yet understand or just expressing some of the randomness that pops into my head in the quiet moments when my brain is free and not full of all the life stuff that I need to deal with each day.
Brain dumping when stresses or anxious.
Gratitude and success logging when feeling a bit low.
General random thought logging or even just describing a day or a week or some particular emotion or thoughts that a book brought up.
I also have an art career one where I download ideas and thoughts for projects or for who to contact or for possible 'passive' (someone needs to come up with a new term that doesn't make it sound like you just sit and do nothing, but also encompasses the idea of something that can bring in income after you've created and hence, while you sleep sometimes) income plans.
And I have a big picture thinking journal where I introspect about what I want from life going forward and what I want to want.
I think a single journal can do all of these things, and my main one often gets the other bits mixed in, but I do like having the separate ones for dedicated and focused thinking on a particular topic.
And totally agree they do not need to be neat or pretty (but can be if that gives you satisfaction or pleasure). Mine can be very late night scrawly that I can barely interpret and also clear-headed morning neat. All of it helps.
The journal is a tool for.....
Emptying out your mind to see what's really in there. Also a way to extend the life of your memories when they inevitably tumble out of short term memory and get replaced.
I keep a sketchbook where I doodle my head rambles, I do morning pages when I need a good brain dump. Specifically journaling might be something to start or not! I do love looking at journals in bookshops and pondering thoughts that I might write. This prompt has give me pause and possible ways for expansion -
What a great prompt, Adam. I have a daily notebook for brain dumps, just unwinding whatever is on the surface to clean it up before the day begins. Like written meditation, maybe? I find, though, that I don't have a system for excavating the little gems and ideas that pop up and get written down, but then are buried back in the notebook forever. I like how you go back and circle things — I would like to try setting aside time for reviewing them and capturing the gems somewhere.
A few lines that turn into unexpected haiku. Microessays. Making bad art. Making good art. The beginning paragraphs of a flash fiction story (that actually will be published soon!) gratitude sketches. Character sketches. Field note on craft and process. Morning pages that go nowhere. A shopping list that became recipe. Various rants. And quotes. And etc.
Self inspiration. Getting motivated.
Ah!! Good plan