The Joys of Journaling
Keeping a journal is a great way to track important fishing occurrences, methods that work and don’t work, and many other details that drift away over time. Journaling is even better for tracking the thoughts and emotions of your life through your fishing experiences. If you never endeavored to keep a journal because you don’t have the time or inclination, consider the following information.
Chuck Nordrum – Fly Chuckers | St. Paul, MN
Your journal is the private place to express all your inner thoughts, record the day’s activities. Begin to understand your fishing, casting, fly patterns, water currents and how the weather affects the bite. Be recording the events and thoughts of the day, you can move closer to knowing who you are, how your fishing experiences are relieving the stress of the day. Record them all here in the journal for future reference.
Discover yourself, your improvements, your future dreams, your past failures.
Find a comfortable position in your chair, relax, bring your mind to the daily events and let your thoughts and emotions flow freely. It is important that your do not censor yourself as you write. Do not worry about grammar or punctuation errors. Put every thought onto the page. Be risky. Be daring. Be you.
What should I write about?
Writing helps clarify feelings. Start recording the adventure with time, people, location, water conditions, weather, and leaky waders, whatever. Follow your feelings.
It is important to remember that you will want some of this information for the next years trip planning. To go back or not, based on the good times you had today. Record the special highlight of the trip.
What did you discover about the water, the fly patterns, the weeds, the fall color of the woods. Many trips have ho-hum fishing, but the fellowship was great, or the eagles were fun to watch, or it was the first time otters were playing on the bank.
If the day was to be played over, what would you change? What were the unresolved mysteries? Would you spend more time chasing big bluegills instead of trying to catch a largemouth?
The day’s events and personal thought should be captured soon after the trip as many details will get glossed over at time goes by. Include the actions that you think you should have taken to improve the trip.
This info will be valuable for overall learning, and will push you into getting out of your comfort zone. Include actions items that you need to build upon for better success in future. You may laugh at some entries in the future as being dumb, but will show you how you have improved over time.
If you met some people on the dock or river and they recommended a new place, record the location and reason for future trips. Many adventures start with a single comment by a stranger on the lake. It is good to capture these when they happen.
It is good to record desires of new adventures, new boat, new rod, better waders, etc.
- What are you curious about?
- What kinds of things in your life do you want to build on?
- Find a photo for inspiration.
- Draw maps, images of fly patterns, birds, crazy outlines of fish in the journal.
- What do I need to change about my casting, fly tying, time of day, whatever can be recorded.
- Include individual chapters on Dreamwork, Drawings, Dialogues, Lists, and Maps.
- Record five things about the trip that made you very happy.
- Record memories of fishing with your dad, brother, or cane pole fishing as a kid.
- Discovery Journal — Get to know yourself by looking back.
- Remember how you felt, what you loved, were you afraid of, and dreamed of doing.
- As a child, a teen, and a young adult, what are the themes taking place in your life?
If you fill up a journal before the year is up, get another one and keep going.
How often should I write?
Write in your journal as often as you like. It is your journal and you are not limited to just logging in your last fishing trip.
Should I have more than one journal?
You can have as many journals as necessary. You may have a journal just for fly tying, knots, maps, new adventures, etc. You can put everything into one journal. Your adventures log book or trip journal can be separate and only journal. It is a personal action. Just do it is the recommendation. A year from now will be a year lost. Looking back on your fishing adventures is a great way to enjoy a cold winter’s eve. Dreams of new adventures start with old memories. Create your own journal, name it what every you like, write in it whenever, but just get into the habit of doing it.
Shared or Private?
Your journals are completely private and secure, unless you’d like to share your entries with others. Shared journal section is a special area where you can read what others have written and share your own journal entries with them. It is a question you should keep in mind when writing in your journal; share or not, with others? Sharing is a wonderful way to inspire and encourage others along the journey to self-discovery.
Writing consistently in a journal can give you a deeper connection with your own ability and inner self. It can provide confidence; a good trip will inspire you to succeed at the next adventure. Knowing what you want to do with your adventures, fishing, hunting, vacations, is the first step in making it happen. Journaling can bring up many unresolved issues, such as poor casting, poor waders, poor selections of water, etc. Writing about them helps take you to a place of improvement and resolve. Get to know what really brings joy and peace in your life. An added extra about journaling is that you can always go back and read over your journal entries. This can help you learn how you deal with problems, and possibly how to deal with future problems. It also can help you learn a great deal about yourself.
Form of Meditation
Journaling is a form of meditation and like meditation is best practiced on a regular basis. Discipline is one of the most salient virtues associated with journaling. I approach my own journaling with a lackadaisical, yet still devoted method. In my own life I have found some of my best "me times" have been when I have set out on what I have called "a gestalt meander" taking a walk with no particular objective or goal in mind, and just taking in with all of my senses the world around me. I have always thought of it as a "date with myself."
Enjoy it and not turn it into a chore. This means you may not actually sit and write every day, but still manage to keep that date with yourself. It is an excellent guide for feeling one's way and recording your own story.
The Benefits of Keeping A Journal
By Doreene Clement
Keeping a journal has many advantages and benefits. Whether you write a few lines or pages, through journaling, you can record and track a lot of information that can be easily retained for future reference. You can actually see what you were thinking because your thoughts and experiences are in a journal. When you commit to writing them down, you have put your thoughts and experiences into a solid form. Below are some examples of the benefits of keeping a journal.
Reduces stress - Journaling has a proven benefit of reducing stress. Once you've journaled, you don't carry as much of what you have written about within you. It is on the paper or in the computer. By journaling, you give yourself a powerful form of self-expression, and through that expression you can gain clarity, release, and relief.
Setting goals and resolutions - You can actually see and better understand what you want, what is important to you, and how you feel, through journaling. Then you can create goals and resolutions to support what you are thinking and writing about.
Organizes - Journaling your goals and what you want to accomplish for the day, the month, the year, or a lifetime, is an excellent tool to help you get those things done. You can create a personal checklist of "things to do."
Helps focus - Writing in a journal creates more personal awareness, and therefore more focus on the issues that are important to you.
The routine and habit of journaling means making time for you - When you set aside time for yourself, you can feel the benefit and gain from doing something specifically for yourself. It can show up in other areas of your life as you carry that time you have spent on yourself within you, and everywhere you go.
Start your journal on any day of the year - Journaling is something you can start today, stop tomorrow, and pick up again next year. You can start and stop as you want. You can skip a day. It is your journal.
Journal entries record the day, tracking your life - When keeping a journal, you record your experiences, dreams, ideas, desires, thoughts and more, for reflecting on now, and in the future. You are telling your story to yourself.
Can better understand and accept yourself and others - Whether you re-read your journal or not, you can gain benefits from writing down your story, and your thoughts. You are writing about how you see and experience life.
You can compare and explore the times of your life - Awareness of the past can teach and support your future.
Creates a good personal reminder - As you journal the times of your life, if you are still writing about the same things over and over, it can help support your idea of what is working in your life and what is not. You are creating a record, and with that record in hand it is easier to see patterns, changes, and shifts. You can always ask yourself, "What do I want to carry with me?"
Provides personal growth and freedom - Journaling can be a wonderful tool to help better understand yourself and the world that surrounds you.
Becomes a treasured keepsake, a written scrapbook - A journal is a catalog of your memories. Over time, your memories become an irreplaceable treasure that can be looked at years from now, by you, or, if you wish, by others.
Remember - write it down, get it out. There is power in the expression of writing.
See FlyBlog: [Entry 3-18-05]