Last February I stumbled across the journaling site 750words.com and started journaling there.
The website is based on Julia Cameron's morning pages as described in The Artist's Way.
I read the book years ago and have done morning pages on and off over the years, writing in long hand on notebook paper. I would keep the pages in manila envelopes and hide them in my office and then toss them every couple of years.
The webiste gives badges as you hit milestones they've set up. In November I received the 100,000 words badge.
Isn't that crazy? I'm not going to call it writing because it's not. It's journaling. I write just about 750 words a day (the website pings you when you hit 750) and it's pretty much stream of conscious nonstop writing until I'm done. It usually takes me 10 - 15 minutes.
Much of it is just gibberish and self-indulgent whining. It's stuff that's floating around in my head or stuck deep deep down inside me and it needs to come out and for me that happens when I write. I think of it as taking out the trash. Quite often it's stuff I didn't even realize was bothering me and I end up going on and on about it.
Other times I think I have this big issue to write about and I write two sentences and I'm done. This thing I've been carrying around with me and holding onto and thinking was overwhelming and gargantuan is just done. Put in it's place. Put in perspective. Put away.
My bout of depression and severe anxiety earlier this year as accompanied by a total lack of journaling. I know I need to do it during those times and when I'm in that dark place and completely stuck I feel like I'm up against the wall and I can't get to anything I need to do to take care of myself.
I didn't even realize the website tracked the total number of words written until I got the 100,000 word badge. Now I check my total every few days. It's just a little incentive and a reminder that I am taking care of myself and that I can take the time to take care of myself and that by doing so I am able to care for others.
Which is why we are here. Which is what I forget when I get all freaked out and down and focused on myself. Which just spirals and starts a horrible cycle.
Taking care of myself allows me to take care of others. Being my true self gives me the space, freedom, peace and confidence to reach out to others. To connect and to serve.