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I recently bought myself a journal. I’d never written before. Instead, I often typed out on a Word document. But sitting on my desk, staring at the blank page, I remained clueless. What I was supposed to write? I thought.

My mind often distracted me while I was driving, watching television or waiting in line at the supermarket. Now, all of a sudden, they had disappeared. They were silent. Hiding behind nothingness and peeking through, waiting for my next move.

I wrote my name. Then, the date. Then, the time. I loved the smell of ink on the page, the sound of the pen scribbling. When I pressed too hard, a splodge of black ink leaked on to the page and smudged my fingers as I carelessly wiped away.

A few minutes later, I began.

My fingers couldn’t keep up with the thoughts in my head. I kept writing and writing until words became foreign language that only I could read. The stains you can’t wipe away as one would from a computer screen portrayed mistakes.

On a page, you aren’t allowed to backtrack. A screen protecting the pristine white canvas of a Word document would conceal your imperfections. But on a page, these are, in fact, a writer’s heart, soul and mind. They are thoughts you may hesitate to voice out loud.  

It’s beautiful how every combination of the alphabet fills a page and gives it life. You realise how raw the human language is. It’s value and authenticity. How vulnerable does one have to be to express raw emotion? It is a safe space where you can escape from reality and un-censor your thoughts and emotions.

To write is to accept yourself in its’ most natural state. I appreciate the crossing out and incomplete sentences that come with letting yourself go on the page. It was a process. A flawed one, but nonetheless, a valid one.

Often, the computer or laptop screen acts a barrier between you and your words. It prevents you from feeling. As I type out this article, the feeling of accomplishment of writing on a page cannot be compared.

With writing, you’re entering the unknown. A universe with no limitations. Sometimes, we may struggle to speak of our issues due to fear of response. You’re letting go of negativity. Troubled thoughts. Self-hatred.

You’re confronted with the biggest problems in life that you have not faced. Maybe you never had the time to. The chance to or the ability to. Or, even the want to. A journal offers its hands to ease your aches.

Thirty minutes later, as I rose up from my desk, I realised I had written three pages. I was astonished that I had words to say, when moments ago, I was struggling to. To write about nothing, or the mere struggle of not knowing what to write, is also a beginning. It left me with the feeling of being complete.

Your feelings are art. They’re real. One does not have to be writer to have a beautiful array of words.

So, buy that journal and let out those thoughts.

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