The habit of thinking and writing

For those of us who need a gentle nudge of encouragement towards spending some time writing down our thoughts on even the most ordinary of days:

“Associate reverently and as much as you can with your loftiest thoughts. Each thought that is welcome and recorded is a nest egg, by the side of which more will be laid. Thoughts accidentally thrown together become a frame in which more may be developed and exhibited. Perhaps this is the main value of a habit of writing, of keeping a journal—that so we remember our best hours and stimulate ourselves. My thoughts are my company. They have a certain individuality and separate existence, aye, personality. Having by chance recorded a few disconnected thoughts and then brought them into juxtaposition they suggest a while new field in which it was possible to labor and to think. Thought begat thought.”
–Henry David Thoreau, The Heart of Thoreau’s Journal

On another note--but also about writing our thoughts--I recently revisited a handout of quotes on journaling that I received in a class on the topic of journaling given by Elizabeth J. Andrew (author of newly released, Writing the Sacred Journey: Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir. On the handout is this advice from Patricia Hampl:

"I believe there has to be a place where you can talk to yourself and know you are alone. It's beautiful...the start of the journey itself, each person's journey, each person's journal. I love that Russian custom in the old novels, where, before setting out on a long journey, the travelers sit down for few minutes to 'collect themselves.' During each day there should be this 'sitting,' our coats buttoned against the cold we must face, the journal open on the table before us."
–Patricia Hampl