When I was younger, teachers told me that keeping a journal or diary helped your writing. I thought, “Oh, wow, just talking about myself can make me a better writer?!” So I tried. And found that writing about myself was hard. Anytime I sat down to write, nothing spectacular had happened that day. I almost had to force myself to be cool and do something worth writing about to journal. But, easily, I got tired of journal-writing. I thought it wasn’t for me; that keeping a diary should come naturally. I felt kind of awkward sharing all of these personal ideals (and basically random events since I didn’t do many interesting things as a young elementary-schooler) where anyone could find it and read it. However, I was obsessed with new notebooks, so I had the whole lot of them: spirals, marble composition, the ones with locks and keys, even sketchbooks. I accumulated a library full of blank pages, yet found no reason to journal.
Being a teenager is hard work, man. So many different stress-ers: homework, peers, hobbies, time management, friends, people we don’t like, other crap we find something wrong with. I mean, c’mon. And, most teens don’t share how they’re really feeling, they push it all down (me included!). This time in our lives is probably the most necessary and relevant time to keep a journal!!
Plus, with an expanded vocabulary, a teenage journal can be great fun. I found myself up late one night, with these useless worries careening through my head and I finally had it. I grabbed a notebook and furiously scribbled my entire situation down. In my rage, I used a teensy-weensy bit of foul language, (but, meine Eltern, calm down. I don’t use these out loud. Plus it’s my journal!! It ain’t yo business!) and I literally felt lighter. I know it sounds cliche, but, my gosh, after a few nights of that manic diary-writing, I slept some of the best nights’ sleeps I’ve gotten in a long time. I didn’t even need music to lull me to sleep. I relaxed.
So, my message to you (any age, but teens in particular!): WRITE. Use profanities. Compose a letter to the person you are thinking of and tell them everything you want them to know. Curse someone out, I don’t care! Just, get it all on paper. And forget about it. It’s…fantastic.