Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Journal Writing ~ My Story

Hi all,

Today's post is going to be a bit different because it is not about writing a novel, short story, or poetry. Instead, it is about the benefits of journal writing.

I'm sure everyone that keeps a journal does so for their own personal reasons and to be honest, I can't remember why I started keeping a journal. It may have been a tool to help me record the silly things my friends and I would do on a Friday or Saturday night; lest I forget. My reasons, whatever they were, I'm sure have evolved over time as I've been keeping one since my early twenties.

Every now and again I will sit down and pick up one of my old journals, flip it open and read a page and I'm always surprised to find at just how vivid a memory I hadn't even thought of in years becomes as if it happened yesterday. Sometimes these memories are good and other times they are not so good but they are part of me and part of my life.

I've noticed that my writing style, as well as the things I feel are "worth" recording have changed over the years. As I've grown and matured, so have my daily woes or successes. For example, when I come across the first entries that I made after I became a mother for the first time I'm moved by the memory of the newness and wonder of it all....whereas, when I became a a mother for the second time the things I recorded seemed different and more focused on the new life in the world instead of how will I do this, what is that about, etc., The same experience...yet, different.

My journal is like a silent best friend that holds my secrets. This best friend doesn't judge me, doesn't try and interrupt my flow, doesn't try to pursuade me or make up my mind for me (not that this is a bad thing in the best friends that I have and love dearly!). I do think that there are times in a persons life that they either don't feel like they can't turn to anyone to talk about something or they simply don't want to but they still need a "sounding board" - this is a journals job and it does it very well.

I use my journal to record my hopes and dreams; to vent when I'm feeling angry, frustrated, or hurt; to weigh options and make decisions; to try and solve a complicated problem; to record my successes and failures; to record big and small but important events in my life.

I also think a journal can be useful to loved ones after we are gone. This touches on a personal note for me because I lost my father when I was 11 years old and there have been times that I've wished I could remember him better or for that matter that I had gotten to know him better. Had he kept a journal,  I could read about him and maybe learn what he thought, how he thought, what issues he had in his life, how he worked through them, etc,. Every once in awhile I think maybe I should just throw all my journals away and then I think of my children and know that I won't because I want them to be able to have them and read them after I'm gone so they don't forget the type of mother / person that I was. I know this may sound a bit morbid/ sad but I do think there are things recorded in those pages that will bring them strength and comfort.

If you don't journal but have considered it, I encourage you to give it a try. If you don't journal and you've never considered it, maybe after reading this you will. I hope so. If you do journal, congratulations! You already know all the wonderful benefits :-)

Have a great day everyone!



Shirley said...

I admit it. I'm not a good journal keeper. I do love journals, but I use them for making notes and story ideas.

I've always been afraid of people reading my deepest, darkest thoughts.

Written Words said...

I don't keep a journal. The stuff I want other people to read, I write as stories, articles, columns or novels. Maybe poems, one day.

But don't let me discourage anyone-we all need to express ourselves in whatever way works for us.

Dawn Herring said...

I so loved your personal journal writing story. I especially appreciated how you describe your journal: as your silent best friend who holds your secrets. It truly is the perfect sounding board for all of our thoughts, joys, and angst.

I have chosen your post, Journal Writing~My Story, for the #JournalChat Pick of the Day on 10/31/11 for all things journaling on Twitter.

I will post a link on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, my blog and website Refresh with Dawn Herring, and in Refresh Journal: http://www.refreshwithdawnherring.blogspot.com/.

You're welcome to join us for #JournalChat Live, which I host, on Thursdays at 4 CST/2 PST on Twitter; this week we'll be discussing how to get our journals back by keeping it simple.

Thanks again for sharing an inside view of your journaling practice.

Be refreshed,
Dawn Herring
JournalWriter Freelance
Host of #JournalChat Live and Links Edition on Twitter