Friday, July 26, 2013

Keeping a journal

I have mentioned on this blog before that I keep a personal journal. This is the paper kind of journal I actually write on with a pen. Usually, I don’t write in my journal until the end of the day – IF there is something to write in it, that is. But, today, I had some things on my mind, so I wanted to write them in there so that I could get on with the rest of the day. And not only did I write in my journal today earlier than normal, but I wrote a whole page! But considering that I was talking about writing (“writing about writing”), then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. And I may have a blog related to writing to put this stuff on, but I have a guest on my blog right now and that post stays up until Monday. So I put it into the personal journal, even though the stuff I wrote is not exactly “personal.”

But I got to thinking about all the stuff I DO write about in that journal. For the most part, it is personal stuff. I write about my thoughts, my dreams, stuff going on, conversations I have with hubby, strange things that happen, marriage stuff and personal family stuff. (I don’t believe in airing dirty laundry on the Internet, so I don’t put the drama and personal family stuff on my blog.) This journal was a HUGE help when I was coping with the loss of my mother, and it has also been a good way for me to work through things I have gone through when I didn’t have someone around to talk to about them. (I do talk with hubby about stuff, but not about everything. And I don’t have any family out here, so it’s not like I can get together with my sis and discuss stuff.) So, it’s been VERY helpful to me.

I write about writing in my journal, too. But mostly, thoughts and feelings I have with certain things I am writing. Also, about certain jobs I have had in writing, editing and publishing; the people I work with and stuff.

So, yes, writing is something I talk about in my journals. I also write about my ideas.

And it occurred to me that these topics can actually be journals, too. I have heard some people keep a prayer journal and even a travel journal. I used to keep a dream journal a long time ago, as well as an idea journal. I kept a journal when I was pregnant with my first child, and I also kept travel journals when my family made a cross-country move. For one class I took in college, the professor encouraged us to keep a journal about our experiences taking the class. I have also kept a food journal and a journal just for one particular thing I was trying to learn how to do.

So, yes, journals can be kept for a variety of reasons. I know one of my friends, writer Jenn Greenleaf, also keeps journals, so I was curious if she kept journals for different purposes. “I used to keep a separate dream journal, but now I just keep it all together in one journal,” she said.

These days, I put everything into one journal, too. I guess having separate journals for different reasons is helpful, but I could not keep track of them all anymore. It’s enough to keep track of the different notebooks I use for different purposes.

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