Around this time last year, I began to use a online journal called Penzu. Not working on my screenplays on the weekends, this fulfilled a promise to myself to write everyday. This was to be my first journal.
You all know what a journal is, right?
Your thoughts. Pure prose. Free writing at its finest. I found this process liberating — especially after writing scripts.
Now, I don’t just journal on the weekends, but instead whenever I feel the need to write.
It’s like therapy. I write down what I want to say. These thoughts aren’t always deep confessions. Sometimes they are just observations or pep talks to keep myself working hard.
I keep a notebook near my bed. In my phone there’s a memo pad. A few lines here and there. The notebook is the same. The days are spread about. I’m always sure to date each entry for reference. And then on my computer, there’s a folder titled “Free Write”. This is where most of my journal entries gather. Most are only a few sentences, but all just as meaningful as anything I’ve ever written. They’re personal.
All of these entries, either in my notebook, computer, or phone, are moments, thoughts, and feelings, from a day in my life.
One journal entry even inspired a screenplay that I’m still working on today.
Recently, I went through and read some entries. There are a lot of low moments. Moments of despair and confusion. There are also moments of confidence and ambition. And even looking back, especially at the low moments, I sometimes don’t even remember feeling that way – the way my writing comes across. I was then enlightened to the fact how time can change you. How moments change and just because you feel a certain way now, does not mean you’ll feel that way forever.
And all this should give you hope. Things change. Feelings change and sometimes when you feel low, that over time it can get better — and it will.
That’s why dating your entry is important. You can read what you wrote, grab a calendar and go back in time: “This is where I was that day” and “This is where I am now”…”Look how far I’ve come”.
Everyone should be writing. Everyday.