The Power of Writing It Down

When you’ve got too much on your lap and you don’t know what else to do, I suggest you bring your emotions to a rest using the power of writing your feelings down. I tell you, it works wonders (at least, for me).

People like me who gets easily bombarded with thoughts gets distracted easily. Since I usually accommodate requests from work, from ministry and from people, I accommodate emotional toil and relational stress as well. So I need to unload from time to time.

This is where writing comes in.

It has the power to focus your thoughts

Social media feed has a lot to offer, but we can only take much. And with the information overload and screen fatigue we are experiencing on a daily basis, we desperately need to learn and re-learn focus. Think of a subject you want to write about. Jot down your ideas. Process your thoughts. As you enter the realm of whatever you’re writing about, for a moment you will forget of the stressful social media trend that’s bugging you for quite some time. Take time to narrow down your thoughts. It doesn’t matter what will you write about. Just write, and focus.

It has the power to free your mind

Writing is freedom. Sometimes we are too ashamed to unload our emotions to people for fear of judgment. However, your pen and paper won’t mind. Write about your fears and worries. Write about how you feel about the people around you. Write about your plans and desires. Write just about anything – even your rants and complaints! Free your mind from the burden of keeping it all by yourself. Write truthfully, without inhibitions. You may even cry! It’s your space. However, where you write – public post or private journal – is another topic.

It has the power to fill your drained energy

Our phone gets drained over continued use and so is our mind. Fact is, we all charge differently once we get drained Since writing helps in focusing your thoughts and releasing your unnecessary burdens, it lends us the power as well to fill us up. Writing is recharging! I get pumped up when I write reflectively. Some writers I know gets thrilled when they write poems or short stories. After long days of work or studies, doing what you love is a bliss. If writing energizes you, fill yourself up!

It has the power to freeze time

One benefit of writing is it brings back memories. Most of us tends to forget easily. But like photographs, when we read back our previous posts or journal entries, memories flash back and we recapture the joy, the pain, the lesson, and the people involved. Imagine if there are no chronicles in the past, if history transpired without any written and published trace, we will not have any idea how people managed to live in life pre-technology. Writing freezes and encapsulates our present time and makes it available for the future, so our future selves can go back to what transpired in the past. Am I making sense?

I know some people are more passionate in writing, blogging and journaling than me. They have a lot more to say about how writing empowers them. But in my humble stint in writing, I have personally experienced why famed writers claim that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Until next post!

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Benefits of Journaling

I admire people who are very creative when it comes to their journaling and note taking. I love how they mesh calligraphy and colorful highlights in their notes and mnemonics. It’s an eye candy for me! I wonder if the artistry is fueled by expensive coffee? Because most of the time, I see these wonderful people in coffee shops and instagrammable cafes.

But seriously, how to be you po?

I think it was January of this year when I attended a journaling workshop by OMF Literature. I realized journaling is a realm dominated by women! I beg to disagree that journaling is female-centric activity. Where are you, guys? Hahaha!

More than the colorful letterings and fancy highlights, journaling gives us awesome benefits.

First, it’s a safe space to relieve stress. I remember, the last time I was burdened with too much heartache and work-related issues, journaling helped me unload all the negative emotions stirring up within. It works the same as having a dear friend listening to your rants. Think of your paper as a friend. It will not judge you; it will not show any prejudice. Just write whatever you want to write.

A portion from my journal, random thoughts from my Bible readings. Sorry I can’t share some of my most personal musings. Hehe

Second, journaling may also serve as your growth monitoring tool. Use a devo and prayer journal to write all your prayer concerns. Write your personal love letters to God! Jot down your thanksgivings, requests, lessons learned from the Word or from sermons you’ve heard. Watch out, for as the pages add up, your appreciation with the Lord grows as well. At times, I laugh, cry or even cringe at my journal entries, but that’s how God led me through the years, and I’m thankful for that.

Some people I know devise their own monitoring tools in their journals. They monitor their water intake, their weight, their tardiness, money saved or spent, etc. Your journal is your personal companion. Use it creatively and purposely.

Third, journaling improves my writing abilities. Nuks. I am not confident with my English writing ability, but it was said that the key to be a good writer is simply to write regularly. Consistent journal writing makes me love writing more.

A portion from my preaching notes. I tried to add some illustrations, but that’s all my creativity can bring me hahaha!

Finally, journaling serves as a marker for me. Whenever I review past entries, it helps me recall what happened, what I learned and how I different I am (or should be) now. As George Santayana puts it, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.

I’m glad that journals are no longer limited to pen and paper and digital journaling is already a thing. I have a journal in my phone where I write my reflections on my daily bible readings. I also have a separate journal for pictures of my SO. Ayieee. My blogs, this one and Hearts and Halo, doubles as my digital journal for my various musings. I also have a physical journal for preaching notes.

If you’re not yet into journaling, I encourage you to start it now! Be it physical journal or digital, purely words or one infused with colorful illustrations and calligraphy, it doesn’t matter. Fall in love with writing, especially writing for yourself.

Starting Anew

I’m revamping this blog, and I’m starting anew.

I already lost count how many times I changed my blog. I alternately write in English, Tagalog, and Taglish. I often sound churchy and spiritual in my blogs, but sometimes I also write about love, politics and even random humorous stuff I picked somewhere. I can’t seem to find my niche. I don’t know how to focus. All I know is when I find the urge to write, I will write.

Now, I’m carried by my second wind.

Welcome to martsvalenzuela v.2.0 reloaded with a whiff of excitement and uncertainty.

Funny thing is, I’ve been in WordPress since 2008 (pre-WP, I’m a Multiply regular). It’s a tremendous effort to organize all my stuff here and migrate salvageable writings to my other blogs. While it’s easy to just delete all things and start from scratch, I feel like a parent about to lose more than a decade’s worth of musings. I started transferring stuff since June three months after, finally this space is ready to be loaded once again with my scrambled thoughts.

So, what am I planning to write in this blog?

Hmm, since I consider most of my writing as a personal ministry, I became too conscious of pleasing people with my crafted words. I became too obsessed writing to impress people of what I learned and how I fared with my personal battles. I unconsciously try to portray an image that only presents my best foot forward. While some people reach out to me and tell me how they benefit from what I am sharing, I get too comfortable writing for others and forget that I should write for myself as well, hence #NoteToSelf.

I’d like this blog to be my crucible where I write about how God purifies me to be who He wants me to be. If I feel defeated or heartbroken, feeling disgusted or angsty, then I’d be true to myself. No need to present a sanitized version where people can only read the good and not the bad.

Of course, I’ll still write some reflections and lessons I learn from time to time, with a more personal tone. Life hacks? Why not! As long as something stirred me from the inside, this blog will be the first to know. Besides, I’ve been away from WordPress for two years, and I really miss the warmth of the community here!

It is my desire that this tiny space in the blogosphere be an encouragement and a blessing. May this second wind carry me all throughout.