In the first few posts about submissive journals you've read about the kind of tool a journal is in a relationship, whether that be a new one or a long-standing one, as well as how Dominants use your journal as a tool for communication and relationship building but what about when you are single, or brand new to submission? Can a journal help you too? And what would you put in it? Well, a journal isn't just a diary. It's many things and everything all in one. Let me share with you a few ways that a journal can help you grow in learning and submission as a single submissive and as a new person to BDSM.
A journal is a repository of all sorts of information. You can store lists of favorite websites, contacts, your questions you want to research and so much more. When I first started out I had a 3-ring binder that I stored things in. Only just recently tossing it after going through and looking at all the things I found to be important to me at the time. Essays and blog posts specifically were nice because so many of the sites that I used to go to are no longer there. Even going to The Wayback Machine on Archive.org sometimes produced zero results. It's sad when a valuable resource disappears, but if you have a journal you can save these things! I took a lot of notes from things I read and chats I had with others. I was concerned that my mind would be more of a sieve than I wanted it to be so everything needed to be recorded. You may feel that way too. Here are a few ideas for things to put in your single/novice journal:
- Notes from articles and blog posts
- Favorite links
- Quotes you've encountered
- Questions to ask someone or topics to research
- Reading notes from books and other print media
- Munch discussion notes
- Your wants and needs for a relationship
- Your BDSM checklist
Writing it down help slow your mind down and you retain more of the information. This is also a more permanent way to find your notes later. I don't know about you, but far too often I'm finding that the notes I took in Evernote or a document in a folder get forgotten and lost. But my physical notebook that I use as a journal stays with me on my desk or in my bag everywhere I go and it's easy to reference and add to when I need to.
You'll also begin figuring out what exactly draws you to submission and how you want your relationship to look like. You'll learn what you want to look for in a partner and what would be considered red flags for you. After all, this journal is to help you through your exploration of yourself so if you aren't learning more about you in the process then it's not working for you.
If you can collect a lot of information and opinions about topics you begin to see the good advice from the bad and the information that doesn't suit your desired situation. Not everything you read is the truth or something you should follow for yourself. You are a novice and need and crave all the information you can get, but once you lay it all out in a journal spread you might realize what is good advice and what is a load of crap. Trust me, there is a lot of crap out there to weed through.
So once you don't consider yourself a novice anymore you can just put aside your journal, right? Well, don't do that just yet. I've had my journal (well a number of journals) for over 10 years. They are still very helpful, and while I didn't hang on to the 3-ring binder full of old articles and documents, much of everything else that I've developed and learned over the years is still with me and still vital to knowing my needs and making sure I'm reaching my goals.
Not only that but hanging on to a lot of the older information has been able to be shared with others, including you! My Simply Service archive of the newsletter that was produced for about 2 years starting in 2005 is maintained with the editor's permission. But if you weren't around to get it when it was being produced you'd not have it and that valuable resource would be gone. Old content does not always mean useless.
If you choose to start a journal as a single/novice submissive, realize that it will be a constant resource for as long as you maintain it and return to it. Months and years into the future it can still work for you and keep you headed on the right path with the right people and information available to you.