Author: Hamza Ahmad

Publisher: Hamza Ahmad 2015


            On Keeping a Journal

This ebook has been written by one who loves keeping a journal. In this book, she displays this love in a discourse (that is both short and sweet) of how regular journal writing can help us keep a firm foot on the ground reality  of our psyche and deal with our earthly problems, from a better sense of knowing.

The author, Hamza Ahmad, starts off by relating how she got into journal writing in the first place. While waiting at the airport for a flight, she happened to have a close conversation with a girl whom she did not meet again. In seeking to recreate the intimacy of that interaction she resorted to journal writing. As she herself puts it,
“I realized that the only person who could give myself such joy every night was no other than myself; that’s when I started writing a Journal, and I have never slept more satisfied ever since, like a child”.

The author goes on to recall all the benefits of keeping a journal. These include, developing an authentic individual identity which, according to the author, has “tremendously positive effects on your health and potential”. She details the various reasons´for keeping a journal, some of them being, to keep a record of one’s private thoughts, of keeping memories safe or just to release stress and frustration. She also mentions how journal keeping helps in providing a stable connection with our emotions and goals. In this connection, she  talks of the mental clutter that journal writing removes, while at the same time providing clarity to the resolution of difficult situations. Finally, she shows how journal keeping helps, through to-do lists, to set clear goals and eventually achieve them, since one is more aware of one’s mistakes and can more easily avoid them.

After jotting down the various reasons for keeping a journal, the author  mentions the different kinds of journals one can keep. These include a time capsule of an event, a travel journal, a journal of a specific life event, a journal of being in nature, a project journal, a group or family journal, a planning journal, a dream journal and a personal or a lifestyle journal among others.

Next, the author presents her own tips on what to keep in mind while writing a journal. After mentioning the obvious considerations of the date entry and secrecy, she emphasizes the importance of a neglected factor, viz., the first page of the journal. Finally, she presents some requisite tips on writing a journal that she feels a beginner to journal writing would find helpful to keep in mind. These include

  1. Making it easy

  2. Being personal and honest

  3. Being discriminating about the material

  4. To not shy away from taking help from others

  5. Taking the journal everywhere

  6. Making the contents visually interesting and finally

  7. Re-reading the entries at intervals to gain clarity

In short, this is a coherent and well written guide to journal keeping for beginners and veterans alike, since it incorporates different aspects of the art. There are some grammatical flaws in the text, but they do not distract from the content of the same.

Warmly recommended.