The biggest obstacle that people face when they try to start journaling is not knowing what to say, or not having anything to say. The same pretty much goes for any other form of daily writing, whether it be for a newspaper, a blog, etc.
However, what I have learned and realized to be true more and more, is that even when you have nothing to write, it is not because there is actually nothing there, but just simply there is a lot of shit that is covering what you have to say.
In Anne Lamott’s book, Bird by Bird, she talks about the shit draft. Whenever you are writing anything, I believe you should use the concept of the shit draft. The shit draft is basically when you write without caring about how you sound, your grammar, punctuation, and you just write to get everything you have in your mind onto paper. For all my essay, I will title my first draft, “Shit Draft”, and after editing what I wrote there, I then call that my “First Draft”.
The same goes for journaling. In order for you to get to the good stuff, the realizations, the revelations, you have to get through all the clutter. People think that every time they journal they are suppose to come to some significant realization, that’s crazy. That is like telling a gold miner that every time they hit a stone, they are suppose to hit gold. Sometimes it will take months of writing nothing, until you finally hit a realization. I realized that for me, it takes on average 2 weeks to a month to come to a significant realization.
Not having anything to say is a part of the process.
Adversely, there will also be times when you start to write, and you will go on a spree of discovering revelations. They will come everyday, but this is usually because you will be stuck on a single issue for so long, without revelation, until finally you hit the right spot and find a gold mine. That is what self exploration is. You are mining for gold in the biggest mountain ever. It is there, but it is going to take time.
All good things come to those who wait. Stay patient. Keep digging. Write Shit. The gold will come.
It’s that simple,