The Benefits of Journaling

B. Lynn Goodwin shares some of the many things she’s learned from journaling.

It’s easy to tell others to take risks. It’s harder to live by that rule, especially if you’re wise enough to consider the consequences. Have faith. Take a leap and trust that someone will catch you.

Weigh your choices.

Don’t hesitate to give to a stranger but don’t give everything away.

Be who you are. Everybody else is taken.

Life is short. Have the courage to leave a miserable job, if you’ve tried everything you can. The same is true of a miserable relationship, as long as you’re not hurting your children. If you’re afraid you might be, weigh the value of staying in a struggling relationship against the possible outcome of moving on.

Don’t be afraid to move on and move forward. Don’t let fear hold you back.

Don’t be afraid to love; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve.

Remember that life is what happens while you’re making other plans.

Drink plenty of water.


Consider your body, with all its imperfections, a gift from God. Treat it well and know what you can and cannot change.

Accept what you cannot change; change what you can; ask for the wisdom to know the difference.

Be grateful for what is right in your life.

Record what matters. No one can tell your story but you.

Who’d be interested? Kids, grandkids, spouses, your siblings who remember each moment differently, and generations you may never meet.

Keep journals. Write as often as you can. Add photos. Remember you’re writing to friends and family who may live a very different life. What do you want them to know about you and the way you lived?

Don’t worry about rules. Your journal–your rules….Continue reading on

Lynn is a freelance writer, editor, teacher, former caregiver, and the author of You Want Me To Do What? – Journaling for Caregivers.

Why Risk-Taking Pays Off
Are You Choosing Fear Over Love?


Myriam Derome
Myriam Derome5 years ago

I keep meaning to keep a dream journal, since I know that's supposed to make lucid dreaming easier and I can't think of another dream I want to journal on. I always forget about it though, whether it be the journal itself, or waking up quickly enough to scratch all the experiences down before I forget. I always keep some of my dreams, but they're always vague and disjointed pretty quickly. Also, I need to get designing for National Novel Writing Month this November.

Kay M.
.5 years ago

Thank you Gail for the article. It had a lot of good information. I also enjoyed all of the comments from the care 2 members. I did not realize so many people kept journals. I started while I was caring for my Dad in1980 when he was suffering from heart trouble, and he was on kidney dialysis. I spent a lot of time 3 times a week in the waiting room while he got his treatment. after he passed in 1981 I continued while I took care of my Mom in her last years. It was a personal release to write down all of my concerns and feelings. I found it recently when we were moving and I looked it over again. Boy I did not realize how those 2 deaths affected me. I did not want anyone else to read my feelings and thoughts, so I burned up the books. Now I am in a better place and I think I will start another journal again. Thanks......

B Lynn G.
B Lynn G.5 years ago

If you keep a paper journal, keep it in something that doesn't say "journal," like a bag or a box. Or fill the first pages with lists. Oops. It might be too late for that. Store it on a high shelf in the linen closet or the laundry room. No one will think to look there. =)

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

B Lynn G.
B Lynn G.5 years ago

Dot, you're exactly right. Writing does right things. Clever phrasing.

Thanks to Dot and everyone else who shared thoughts, motivations, or variations. WTG

Lynn, Managing Editor of Writer Advice,
Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

Fred Hoekstra
Fred H5 years ago

Thank you Gail, for Sharing this!

B Lynn G.
B Lynn G.5 years ago

This morning I started journaling about the end of May and how it means that summer's just around the corner. For so many years, even as a teacher, I believed that ten weeks was long enough for something life-changing to happen. Journaling gives me perspective on the old feelings arising. I can hang on to them, observe them, or let them float away like a balloon.

What did you journal about this morning?

You didn't? It's always morning somewhere.

B Lynn G.
B Lynn G.5 years ago

The comments are wonderful here. Have you journaled today? Many journals are private, but if you want some positive feedback send it to me at Lgood67334 AT comcast DOT com.

Ute Weiss

I love journaling but some times I just forget about it.

Anna Undebeck
Anna U5 years ago