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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Journals



Do you keep a journal, or do you feel guilty about not keeping one? I recently read that writers fall into one of those two camps. Really? I had to stop and think about it for a moment. I'm not sure keeping a journal means the same thing to all of us, and I'm not sure about feeling guilty about not keeping one either.

Personally, I do keep a journal, but I don't write in it daily. When I started it four years ago, I wrote regularly every day, as a warm up session to 'proper' writing. I'd pen news about what had been happening in my life, about my family and and about the way I felt about things. I'd occasionally write about my writing too. How long I wrote for varied, but was anything between ten minutes and half an hour. Location was almost always from my bed upon waking.

Rarely have I read anything back, perhaps one or two pages. In my mind, I'm saving reading it for another day, sometime in the future. And do I feel guilty because I'm no longer adding entries to it? Not really, because I know I'll pick it up again. I've missed around eight months, and I don't really know why - but it doesn't bother me.

Journalling has many forms, there are writers who log and record everything they do on their novels. Recording their own feelings and anxieties at every step of the way.  Apparently, there is a journal you can buy that asks you a question on each page, and therefore sparks ideas for continuing the entry. I imagine this one would be quite fun to look back on in ten years time. With questions like, who has irritated you today?

There is also the poem style journal. Each day you write one sentence about your day. At the end of the week you rearrange all the sentences to sum up your week and create a poem. At the end of the year you will have a collection of poems about your life.

I'm sure there are many more quirky ones out there. Journalling is definitely a good way to express yourself, and it will help you to find your voice. How and when you do it, is entirely up to you.

Do you keep a journal?

24 comments:

  1. I've kept a journal here and there over the years, sometimes going for months without writing in it, but other times writing pages every day. At the moment I'm keeping a 'positive thoughts only' journal - no grumps allowed - but I'm not writing in it very often! I think you have the right idea to just do it when the mood takes you, otherwise it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. I absolutely love the poem idea!

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    1. I'm not a poet, but it might be a good way to get into it - perhaps one or two of our friends who write poetry would care to comment?

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  2. I don't keep a journal, but my mum does and has done for many years. I haven't read them, but she says I can have them after she has gone. I'm sure they will be a fascinating record of what our family has been up to.

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    1. I think she is right! I would have loved something like that from my mother, but whenever i mention it she says she can't think of anything to write about, and I say, things that are mundane to you will be fascinating to your great great grand children.
      Maybe this is why I'm keeping one, in the hope someone down the line will read it and smile. :-)

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  3. I don't keep a journal as such, Maria, but try to enter what ever I can about writing, how much I've written, events, deadlines etc. in my Writer's Diary. In my WiP, a young woman is bequeathed her mother's journal after her death. It contains diary entries together with pencil and water-colour sketches. Good luck in keeping yours! :-)

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    1. Hi Jan, I have a half written novel where my main character kept journals over the years.

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  4. I don't keep a journal - how boring to write 'felt tired but had to go to work and ended up feeling even tireder' most days. But I do sometimes makes notes when something interesting has happened.

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    1. Seems like a lot of writers don't keep a journal, or if they do, they don't write in it regularly.

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  5. My mother wrote about when we were children - although she did this in retrospect - which I now have and have written up to share with my siblings and our children. It has stimulated many memories and discussions.

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    1. What a lovely thing to do... :-)

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  6. No journal here, except the blog and occasionally a few morning pages. I'm not sure if they helped me or not. I do love the idea of a journal though. And I really love the beautiful ones people do with drawings as well. CJ xx

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    1. Yes, if you can draw or sketch, I agree they look beautiful.

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  7. I try to keep my journal going but it's not daily. I write whatever date at the top and keep the whole journal going until it fills up then start a new one!

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  8. I used to keep a diary, and I have one of those books - 642 little things to write about. I have seen those journals that ask questions, and don't think I would like to use one of those! You have got me thinking about starting it up again. My Father-in-Law journals every day. I asked him what he wrote about and he said that it was just the stuff that happened that day. I would love to read it one day and read what he really thinks of me! Might have to start again. Thanks for that Maria!

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    1. I wish my grandmother had kept a journal, she was such an interesting person with many secrets. How I would of loved to have known about her early life, and what the world was like in the early 1900's

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  9. I tried writing a journal a long time ago, and tried it a second time about seven years ago, but I didn't continue. Maybe I'll try it again sometime. :-)

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    1. Maybe the timing wasn't right Carol, but who says it isn't now?

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  10. I used to write a diary every day from the age of about 12-20. They are hilarious to read back. My mum has kept a diary all her life.

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    1. Oh you must give us an excerpt Wendy? :-)

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  11. What a lovely blog! I'll have to follow you too :) I don't write a journal and never have, but I like the 'line a day' or week one! I might try that!

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    1. I might give it a go myself just to see what I write!
      Thank you for visiting... :-)

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  12. I've been keeping a journal since about 1998 or so. There are times when I don't write in it for days, but other times, it's a daily thing. It depends on what's going on in my life, I suppose. I love going back through them and remembering what was happening at a certain time in my life. I write about my daily life, writing problems, world problems, or whatever catches my fancy. One of my very favorite things to do is shop for a new journal. :)

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    1. I'm feeling inspired to start writing in mine again.

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