The main reason I journal is because it’s helpful when coping with anxiety. Writing (typing) words helps me put my thoughts out of my head and forget about them for a little bit. It’s also how I brainstorm.
I’ve tried mind maps, word-association, flow charts, etc. None of that works for me. But free writing my thoughts out has helped me come up with some good ideas for future creative projects, for changes I’ve made to my “office job” to make it less infuriating, and for basic stuff like “I need to buy new shoes” and “I should meditate more.”
I’ve been doing it for years and pretty much any keyword I search for in Evernote or Bear will show me a journal entry. Photography, family, TV, film, music, relationships, friendships, etc. I’ve written about it at some point over the past eight years (which is as far back as my Evernote journals go).
And so when I search for “sharing” I’m shown all the times over the past nearly-decade when I’ve thought about the need to share my work with others. Even if it’s not completely ready—it’s still worth sharing.
So no wonder that Austin Kleon’s book struck a nerve. Like many of the best self-help books (does this classify as one?), it takes ideas I’ve already been toying around with in my head and organizes them neatly into sentences, paragraphs, pages, and chapters. All of a sudden there’s an order to the chaos in my brain and I can go from thinking about things to doing things.
1) Keep a journal
2) Write in it consistently
3) Repeat until the endless repetition of similar ideas “clicks” in your head.