Pandemic diaries: Why journaling now is the best time to start or restart

David G. Allan is the editorial director for CNN Travel, Style, Science and Wellness. This essay is part of a column called The Wisdom Project, to which you can subscribe here.

(CNN)You are living in an extraordinary time. So much is happening in the world, in your country, in your life. Making sense of it, processing, coping and even harnessing it to your benefit is important work. And writing in a personal journal is one of the most enjoyable, creative, simple and productive ways to accomplish those things.

Before we delve into the wellness benefits and creative options for your new or renewed journaling, here are my own bona fides: Encouraged by a middle school reading teacher (thank you, Ms. Gearhart, wherever you are), I started a journal in 1986 that I've kept up with ever since.
It's the most consistent, contiguous activity of my life besides eating, reading and watching television and movies. It's the closest I get to Malcom Gladwell's 10,000 practice hours toward skill mastery, as explained in his book "Outliers." By my interpretation of Gladwell's formula, I'm a journaling expert.