When I went into 2018, one of the New Year's resolutions I set for myself was to write more often. Up to that point, most of my writing was for either school assignments or essays, and seldom was it for recreation, not to mention recounting daily happenings.
There's always something from the present that I'm going to want to recall in the future. I've relied on my brain as a means of storage many times, and too often, it has failed me. I've lost a bountiful of ideas for businesses that could potentially be worth millions, newly-minted quotes, and aha! solutions to bugs simply because I didn't have a perpetual system to store all of them in. There's also many events from the past that I've wanted to relive in with vivid detail, but I didn't have a source to visualize from. I should have written what I remembered down when it was still fresh in my mind. After I've kicked myself over this too many times, I realized that I should have been keeping a journal in the first place.
In the past two months, I have not kicked myself once for forgetting something, because I have not had anything that I've forgotten. I write in my journals on a near-daily basis, jotting down every single idea or event I want to remember. You might also be wondering why I used the plural "journals" instead of the singular "journal". That's because I actually have two: one in a hand-sized notebook and another in a Git repository on my computer. About an half an hour before bedtime, I fire up vim and begin flushing out everything that has accumulated over the course of the day. I like working from the command line (and feeling like a hacker), so this is my preferred method of adding new entries.
I use my notebook less, but it is invaluable in the times when letters and words aren't enough to express ideas. If I ever lose it, I'd be willing to give up a hefty amount for it, because the amount of knowledge I've collected in it cannot be replaced.
Writing on a regular basis has also pushed me to expand my vocabulary. I don't want to sound repetitive or ignorant in my entries, even though I'll probably be the only person in the world who'll ever be able to read them. I guess I just want that feeling of sounding scholarly.
I've been at this for 35 days now, and the habit is already taking roots. 15 minutes a day isn't too much to ask for, and it's pretty sustainable long-term. I'll write about my journaling experience once more at the end of Q1 2018.