Write on!: The Very Personal Journey of Keeping a Journal

You can travel any day at any time, circle back and revisit the past in the present or venture far into the future. Moments are remembered, ideas may be realized or not, a memory cherished, a day best left forgotten is there on the page and, now, you realize something you could not have understood, then. One thing, for sure, is that keeping a journal is a journey unlike any other.

Your singular view of life is captured in a journal. You are Writing Your Authentic Self and how you respond to events, people and the world can make for the most interesting reading. Your initial observations are immediate then comes the day when you observe yourself from afar. Time provides perspective and distance for the diarist to measure their hopes and dreams, complaints and arguments against their past and their present.

Some people harbor the idea that keeping a journal is akin to completing a school assignment with a paper due everyday. “I can’t……” they say, while relaying how they’d given up on an incomplete journal. Why do we, long after our school days, still measure our progress by invisible grades? This isn’t about school. There is no teacher but the one inside you to guide the way. That teacher would tell you that a journal can be a refuge, a place of contemplation where you send messages to yourself. It is a practice and only you determine when, how long and for what purpose it is necessary to record your thoughts.

There are all kinds of journals created for all kinds of purposes, from creating A Painted Art Journal or beginning a Prayer Journal. Keeping a journal is, singularly, different from reading a book someone else has written. The process, also, differs from that of a person who is writing with the goal of publishing. Some private journals, unintentionally, end up in the public realm, but most do not. Of course, a writer must be mindful of the consequences of writing sensitive material not intended for anyone’s eyes but their own. In that case, there is a type of journal that might be referred to as the “eliminator.” This “journal”  is unbound, undated and consists of entries that are written, read, contemplated and destroyed.

The writer determines the subject matter and the content of their work. They decide when it is time to record certain information and how long the journal will “live.” The writer goes to the journal because a relationship has been formed with the self. They are Leaving a Trace of their presence on this earth in a specific time and place. Some, intentionally, leave a journal for their family. For others, a journal is an essential tool for working through ideas, quandries and aspirations.

Maybe you’re the kind of person who puts their toe in the water to gauge the temperature before easing your body into a pool. In that case, why not begin with A Beginners Guide to Keeping a Journal? If you’ve, already, tried your hand at journaling and are looking for new ideas, consider Creative Journal Writing. You might, even, Draw Your Day instead of writing about it. The resource list, The Very Personal Journey of Keeping a Journal has more ideas and examples of types of journals to explore, contemplate and discover.  Travel well.

~ posted by Chris

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