My Not So Secret Diary

My Notebook

My Notebook - out on our kayak in Rock - writing for my sobriety and recovery blog My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell
My notebook goes everywhere with me. It’s in my bag even when I know I won’t have time to get it out. It’s by my bed, even when I’m sleeping. I find it reassuring to know it’s there, that if I have an idea or a thought, I can right it down and ultimately let it go.

I was never one for journalling or writing a diary. I’ve always loved writing, but anything too personal scares me, because once it’s out there, everyone knows. That’s one of the reasons I am so grateful for all of you who read my blog - because you are all so kind.

For someone who has a lot of thoughts, it’s amazing the clarity that I get from writing. It helps me sort, uncover and work things out, even when I had no idea something was playing on my mind or hadn’t realised I was overthinking. It relieves the pressure and although I am clearly thinking, in a funny way it stops me from overthinking.

I like writing in my notebook more than typing at times. Typing feels a little like work. I spend a lot of time in front of a screen, so the softness of the paper and the feeling of actually creating something myself rather than generating it on a computer is nice. Research shows that we activate different areas of our brains when writing by hand or by typing and I find, on a computer or iPad, it is very easy to be distracted. My notebook has no distractions or notifications popping up! Also, we often cross out mistakes when we are writing, and are more likely to go along with them, sorting them out later, whilst on a computer, we can lose a lot of precious time writing, rewriting and editing our words, maybe aiming for perfection. At times typing may be better as it is more than likely quicker than writing longhand, but writing by hand works the brain in a different way. Forming letters with a pen is more taxing and you find yourself thinking more as you’re writing at a slower pace. Your brain focuses more on what you are doing, understanding and learning. Typing is different, as you’re only pressing the right key, it is more mechanical as the same movement generates whichever letter you use. The activation of different areas in our brain when handwriting can help create new ideas that we might not have otherwise had and due to it’s slower nature, so, not only is it soothing, but can help us think through our ideas more clearly as we write them down.

I’ve found writing very therapeutic, it’s not always nice bringing up the past, but it does seem to be the most effective way of sorting through and packing things away. It’s certainly helped me! Give it a go - you don’t have to show anyone!

Take care and thanks as always for reading.
Claire x