From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

From Adults to Teens and Everything In Between

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Journal Entries

Pick up most How-to books about writing and somewhere within that book you will find this helpful tip: Keep a Journal. The author will recommend writing in it every day or writing for a specified number of minutes, but the underlying message is - writing in a journal will help your writing. Goodness knows, I can use all the help I can get with my writing, so this is a no-brainer, right?

Although I admit to 'mostly' agreeing with the advice, I cannot seem to force myself to do it with regularity. At least part of the reason is that every time I sit down to journal I have flashbacks to writing in my diary around the age of 10. You know the kind I'm talking about - it has a red cover with gold edged pages and - most important - a lock! I got the diary for my birthday and in the beginning I wrote in it every day. I cataloged the events of my (somewhat boring) days as well as my joys and tribulations, with satisfaction. Here, I thought, is where I can put down my most secret thoughts and desires and no one else will know.

Ha! It took about 6 months for me to realize that the so-called lock on my diary was definitely not pick-proof. In fact, it didn't even require a paper clip to jimmy open without a key.  My older sister made this fact known to me by commenting on one of my entries - in writing. Seeing her words on the page - MY PAGE - felt like such a violation. Ok, so I HAD written about her - and NO, it wasn't very flattering. But still, the magic was gone. Knowing that anyone could read what I had written took away that secret place just for me. This is, I'm sure, where my journal-phobia began.

Over the years, I have tried journaling several times, with some success. My most recent attempt has involved using a Word document. I figure that at least on my computer I can password protect the file. I guess I'm still trying to find a place that's just for me.

If you, like me, struggle with keeping a journal, there are some ways to make journaling a habit, rather than a miracle. For example, pick a word and write about it. Choose a place you want to travel to and write about that. Or write about a hobby / dream / problem you have. In my case, I find myself journaling about some of the issues I have about my writing - which I guess is a subject also.

Do you keep a journal? What are some of the things you journal about?


  1. Loved this entry, Michele : ) My diary was green, with gold around the edge. Now I keep a notebook type journal. Don't get to it as often as I'd like, but hopefully that'll change.

  2. Michele, I really enjoyed this post! Yup, I had one, too, red with a brass lock :) I graduated from that to lined notebooks all through High School and then journaled somewhat sporadically through college. I still have them, too! What a trip it is to re-read them...good times! Even more importantly, I really do find myself going back to that well. There are memories, stories, poems, just a real mishmash of great ideas there - like a treasure trove! It's never too late to start journaling, and you'd be truly surprised by all the wonderful jewels you wil uncover!

  3. I one of those people that wants to keep a journal, but can never seem to stick with it.

    I also love buying journals (and stationary in general) so I have lots of mostly empty (but pretty) journals around.

    This post has made me want to get into it.

  4. I know what you mean, Nomes, I LOVE stationary. I have several journals I bought (with good intentions) but that sit neglected. They are beautiful, though.

    Start simple, one day - one entry. Good Luck!!

  5. My 11 year old daughter is a journaling junkie, which I think is great. My mom had a thing for buying shoes, I have a thing for books, and my daughter always buys journals...and she fills them up, too!


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