As a writer, I find journaling the ideal venue for this kind of spiritual work.
For me, daily journaling is essential to my soul, my craft and my coherence. When I go too long without a journal (e.g. on vacation/on the move) things pile up inside of me and by the end of a week bereft of journaling, I'm a mess. I talk faster, knee-jerk react to situations, interrupt people and growl at those who love me.
As a result, my colourful, oversized journal collection is really a hopeful investment in the quality of my inner life. Journaling clears my mental skies and refines and strengthens my emotional core. It orders my responses and informs my voice. In many ways, it informs who I am and what I'm about.
I journal daily. It's not a habit; it's a way to the good life.
I can't imagine who or what I'd be without my journals. I fill one a month, sometimes two.
What will become of these thoughts, prayers, rants and quotes? I have no idea. Sometimes I worry; so I journal about that too.
To be honest, publishing to connect with readers is easier than journaling. I know what happens to those words. I can track the response. My articles, poems and books represent thoughts coming full circle, taking on some form in the world, offering value. My journals sit in tall stacks and fill baskets in my study.
Private journaling and public writing (e.g. publishing) straddle two different hemispheres of my writing world.
On the one side, I need to journal. I need to process and attend to the significant signs of God at work in my life. I need to record the pain and celebrate the joys of life. I need to be honest and vulnerable and fierce and strong. I need to journal.
On the other side, I need to publish. I need to be heard; to not operate within a vacuum. To get outside of my head. To attune to the needs and voices of others. To pursue my vocation. To get paid and contribute to society. I need to publish.
In the end, journaling is an interior act. Publishing is exterior. Two halves of the whole that this writer, for one, appreciates, pursues and enjoys—albeit in rather un-equal measure.