How Journaling Makes Everything Better

Any copywriter who ever worked for a corporation will be inclined to write the headline of this post, “How Journaling Can Make Everything Better.” Here’s why: Though the way I wrote it is better, legal won’t like it. Because it promises too much.

By saying “can,” we leave some wiggle room. We can leave some wiggle room.

So lame.

I’m not promising journaling will give you fresher breath and whiter teeth in just ten days. I’m saying writing stuff down makes stuff easier to deal with. And it does. If you have doubts about that, I challenge you to try it. If you are struggling with a work or life problem, I urge you to try it.I’ve always known how this works. I’ve kept journals of all kinds, all my life. From lock and key diaries, to fear and loathing travel journals. From migraine journals to holiday menu plans. From strategic and creative business notebooks to nap and poopy baby journals. Yes…

Everything Gets Better

I can tell you, in every case, whatever it was, it got better when I wrote it out. Often immediately. Sometimes days or months later. Sometimes, by osmosis, inconspicuously–and I know this by looking back many years later at a journal.

Take the family Thank You journals we kept with the kids in the late 90s. With gratitude, our lives became so much more abundant over a couple of years. Kind of amazing, actually. I kept a journal which revealed I personally wasn’t getting happier, though, because the money was at the expense of my family time and values. Sad.

However, I was working at a job where I learned a lot, the hard way. I took a lot of notes there, too. I once led a meeting on business branding for super dull data-driven clients, and succeeded in convincing one particularly tough exec over the course of several large sheets of easel paper.

Later,  my best friend at the company had her office wallpapered with them–a crazy mind map of spider webs, bullet points, flower bursts, arrows and other lists. I felt mortified at first, but she was beaming with pride. She said, “I love them. This is your essence, on paper. They’re beautiful.” Happy.

See, this was a place where I was once told I was a genius (!), if only I could be “repackaged.” Anyway, that’s long gone. My pen has led me to Zen now. And my work friend? We’re souls sisters. Likely why the universe arranged our meeting at that job. And why I’m able to reveal to you now:

This is My Brain

  • It’s really crowed in there
  • It hardly ever turns off
  • It’s closely tied to my heart
  • It’s broadly connected to the world
  • It feels curious about so many things
  • It looks weird, wired, nuts, messy and more, on paper–at first
  • It brings forth all my ideas and I love that about it
  • It’s excellent at disseminating information it has gathered
  • I own it. It’s a huge part of what makes me, me

This is My PaperMy Paper Journal Pen to Zen

  • It catches stuff coming out of my brain
  • It mirrors my brain and my heart if I let it
  • It can be messy and crowded, look weird, etc.
  • It can be neat and organized, brief, etc.
  • It’s for 1st drafts, fast genius, long form, anything
  • Drafts are rough, ideas progress, records kept
  • There are many kinds of paper in all sizes & forms. I grab some when I need it

This is My Brain on Paper

Don’t freak out.

Another friend wrote a fantastic short story once about Betty Flesh, and people made of meat. We decided:

I am made of paper. Notes, lists, legal pads, spiral books. Surrealistically it’s cool.

Website Journal pen to Zen

In reality, it’s great. How does everything get better? Well, each of these journal issues has (go ahead click on the pics and read them). The website was launched with great success. I am up to three websites for my internet business now, since that May 2013 productivity/To-Do journal page.* And all those sticky notes–most done, some morphed, some dropped. Fresh Market? Check.

No idea lost on accident. We’re writing on purpose. So, I’m made of paper–what about you? Would your comments below.

Journaling pen to Zen



Notes My Brain on Paper Pen to Zen









*Edited on 1/26/2014 to add: Three websites was too many. Simmer down with your journal if it gets that crazy–I had to. In fact this website changed from a niche site on journaling to one focusing only on my copywriting and marketing services since then. But, I’ll say this: journaling did make that transition better, too.


2 Responses to How Journaling Makes Everything Better

  1. Dawn Herring September 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Journaling DOES make everything better; I can certainly attest to that! With all of our life dimensions on the page, we can create positive change where we need it. It can be so surprising what writing it all down can accomplish. Whether it’s messy or organized, what we put down in ink can reveal so much; we can discover who we really are in the process!

    I am host of #JournalChat Live for all things journaling on Twitter; and I have chosen your post, How Journaling Makes Everything Better, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 9/18/13! I will share a link on the social media networks, on my blog and website, Refresh with Dawn Herring, and my weekly Refresh Journal (

    You’re welcome to join us for this week’s #JournalChat Live when we discuss how our journals reflect many of our life dimensions with our topic, Your Journaling: Journal Jottings.

    I love your enthusiasm for journaling and for the fabulous effects we can experience as a result of keeping one.

    Be refreshed,
    Dawn Herring
    Host of #JournalChat Live on Twitter

    • Faith Watson September 18, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Dawn, thank you so much for your comment. You broke my streak of …. zero!

      This blog is new, and I had “secretly” chosen the keyword “journaling” when I started it. I knew I’d be writing about writing in all forms and fashion, as that’s what I do for the majority of my living. But I can’t get to the money without the process–creative, business, listy listy, whatever. It starts in my head (life, heart, etc.) but it transpires on the pages in the notebooks. I’m so glad to learn I’m not an audience of one because I have a lot more to write about my secret keyword. Lotsa notes on that. ;-)

      I know, when we produce content, that’s where our end product isrevealed. But the journal is the journey. Without the process of recording and writing through what is on my mind, to me it would be like eating the spaceman futuristic food they always show in sci fi films. You could take a pill or eat a foil packet then be done with your “meal” and it would nourish you, but you’d have missed the flavor, the chew, the aroma and the sight of your food.

      Man that would suck. I hope I’ll be home from my conference this week to join #JournalChat…I’m going to try. If not, next time! Nice to “meet” you!

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