Friday, October 05, 2007

Do you? If so, HOW?

The very creative Jane posted this quote in the comments section yesterday: "One of the most common causes for not getting to an important activity is that you haven't set aside a specific time in which to do it."

I laughed when I read this, because I'd logged on to ask you guys a question about a common activity that I pretty much NEVER set aside a specific time to do anymore, which is keeping a journal.

When I was in law school, lonely and miserable and wondering "Oh, what have I done?" I kept a journal. Journals, actually, because my misery couldn't be condensed into one or two daily paragraphs. When I look over those lined books now (each one covered with some deceptively cheery looking fabric) I see that in hindsight, the theme for those years can be summed up thusly:

It has to get better. It simply has to.

I'm happy to report that it has. But life is still interesting. There have been incredible highs, along with wild free-falls that I haven't scrawled out on to journals or notebooks to look back upon in a decade or so. (I'm not sure my collection of half-thoughts jotted down on post-its counts.)

But yesterday, my friend Nashville Girl sent me a book by an author she adores. I ripped open the package right there on my porch and started reading. The first lines had the author looking back over her journals. She saw patterns there, patterns that gave her hope and inspiration about how far she's come and where it seems like God is taking her. "I want that!" I thought. I mean, who wouldn't? But to get there, I think it will take a tad more structure than just me thinking, "Hmmm...that might be a fun idea...."

So here are my questions: Do you guys journal? How often? Do you write about everything that happens, or just the big stuff? Do you worry that your journals will be found one day? And (most importantly) what do you do when your hand cramps up and you still have more you need to say???


sarakastic said...

I used to journal a lot because I have some friends & family members who journal everyday. I just felt that it made me whiny so blogging is a better fit for me because I can't really hide it from anyone so I'm more likely to write what I'm feeling instead of what I'm worrying about.

Plus I can change colors on my blog which keeps me interested. the more personal big stuff that happens I just email to myself & will someday put in a journal.

LEstes65 said...

In college, I journaled all the time. Over the years, I have looked back on it and have written 2 of my best songs from some of the nonsense contained in those pages.

My common theme was rather typical for girls that age: "I am constantly picking the wrong guys through which to validate my self worth. Oh and here I go again but this one will be different!"

And yes, I have come far. Especially since 2005. But I also still see certain weaknesses that are still present, just kept at bay more often these days.

I haven't journaled much in the last 2 decades. Mostly my blog and myriad emails do that purging for me.

Beck said...

A journal? Not since high school, and that was enough to scare me away! But I do schedule writing time, if by "writing" you mean blogging.

angelawd said...

I journalled from the time I was a kid until about age 30. So many people violated my privacy by reading them. But I haven't made time for journalling in a while - for no particular reason other than I have so much else to do!

I don't know if I'd want to go back and read some of my old journals. There's so much pain and angst there that I'd rather forget.

kristen said...

I've journaled off and on much of my life. It centers me in a different way than blogging--because it's only for me. I think it has eased my way through some difficult times and serves as a reminder to how far I've come and how much I've grown.

Hand cramps? No such thing since the advent of the laptop!!! But the fallout: my handwriting has become truly unreadable.

JenKneeBee said...

I go through spurts of journal writing. Usually, my most productive spurts are when things are going really well and there's a lot of exciting stuff happening. I also usually write with the thought that someday someone will be reading what I write, so I don't write anything I wouldn't want anyone else to know.

My favorite past journal is the one I had while living in Hawaii. I would "collect" things to stick in my journal like an I Voted sticker, notes from my roommates, a few flowers and leaves, to do lists, etc. When I look back at that journal, it's almost as fun to look at the stuff stuck between the pages as what's written on the pages.

Also, if I'm busy and want to keep track of what I'm up to, I'll make copies of my emails & letters and stick them in my journal. That way I don't have to write the same things twice.

ORION said...

I had to laugh. When I was 13 I kept a diary but I was too lazy to write all the time so I have several pages that just say "Went to school" and then pages and pages of ditto marks after!!!

Periodic blogging makes me happy!

Swishy said...

I did when I was in college and in one of THOSE relationships, but not since. I kind of think of blogging as my journal now, in some ways, because even if I don't talk about everything, I remember what I was thinking when I wrote it.

Angela said...

I kept a journal only when I was fairly young. I guess now you could consider writing a blog the equivalent for that.

When my grandmother died, I found all of the journals she used to keep. They are completely fascinating to me since she had Alzheimer's and I never felt like I really got to know her. She wrote every single day, without fail, for so many years. I found the day where my parents told her they were pregnant with me and read about how happy she was. I learned so much about her through those journals and am so glad she left them for someone (me) to find someday.

Appletini said...

I usually journal as a means of getting my sad feelings out. When I am going through tough times....that's what I do. But it has been very inconsistent.

I have a friend who has been journaling since elementary school. I thought, "WOW, what do you do with so many books?" I wouldn't know what to do with them.

ellesappelle said...

I used to write in my journal all the time from ages 10 to about fourteen. But I would read back and suddenly realise how sad and pathetic and whingy my life was and it completely put me off writing more. Blogging is my journal now.

Lindsey said...

I used to keep a journal as a kid, but even then, I was never good about consistency. My blog is pretty much the closest thing I have to a journal. Now, if I could get myself to write some poetry...that is my real problem.

L Sass said...

I am terrible about keeping a journal when I'm NOT in the depths of despair. That's part of the reason that I started a personal blog--as an incentive to keep a record of the happy times, too!

Jenny said...

I WISH I had kept a journal in law school. I do now, but I'm kicking myself for not back then.

Sarah said...

each one covered with some deceptively cheery looking fabric LOL!

I haven't journaled in a few months. I'm so afraid of the boyfriend finding out that I do it, or even worse finding them, that it's not worth the risk right now. But I fully intend to dig my journal out from under my car seat and get back into it soon.