Monday, January 31, 2011

Journaling

Do you journal? When I first started writing, everyone told me to keep a journal. So I bought a fancy journal with blank pages. Then I wondered what to put in this fancy journal. So I sat down one day with this journal in front of me for an hour. What did I write in it? NOTHING. NATA. ZERO STUFF went in that little book that day. After a while I figured out why. Writers had told me I had to write in it every day. So I felt like I was being forced to use it and when I failed to write in it, I felt like I would never be a writer. I had failed myself.

It wasn't until sometime later that I pulled that wondrous book out again. This time I filled the pages. What with? Extra words. Flowery words. Phrases that I overheard people speak. Kid language. This and that. That and this.
I do not keep a journal, though. There are no rules where I MUST write in it every day. I carry it with me when we take Christopher to the hospital.You'd be surprised how many conversations you can listen to while waiting on appointments. Not to be nosy. But for ideas. And those extra words and phrases.

Beth got me a beautiful journal for my birthday. It's the color of my website and blog. Exactly. The pages are filling up quickly. But only when I feel the need to. They are messy, unkempt. But they are filled with beautiful stuff. Stuff I KNOW I will use later. The color of a particular woman's skin. The kid at the hospital. He looks drawn and tense. Drawings of things for picture books. (No I cannot draw, I just think I can.) Writing exercises, ideas, things I want to look up, books I see I want to buy later. I write in my journal when I'm grouchy. You'd be surprised how many times you will refer back to that one. :) 

Do you journal? Why? Because you feel you have to or because you really want to?

23 comments:

  1. I used to journal ALL the time, but then I took to novel-writing and used up all my words. I journal occasionally. Mostly my journey as a writer and my most private thoughts regarding publication. I also journal my prayers each morning, if that counts. :)

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  2. I am a sporatic journaler. But I do keep a little notebook on hand for those moments when I see/hear something of interest.

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  3. I don't journal as much as I would like. I find that when I go on vacation, I always bring a notebook with me. It seems when I feel more relaxed with not much to do the thoughts come more easily. On a day to day basis, I have to just make myself sit down and write.

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  4. I have a notebook that I call my blog log and it's always handy for reference.

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  5. I don't journal but think it may be a good way to vent and express myself. :O)

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  6. Before I got married I was a faithful journal writer, now not so much. I go in spurts, but I'm kind of looking at my blog as a kind of journal.

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  7. I WANT to be a journaler--have good intentions of it regularly--but never seem to pull it off.

    Two more rejections this morning. *sob*

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  8. It's so funny that you would post about this today because I'm currently writing two long stories, and both of them have characters that journal. I obviously understand the importance of it, even if it only comes through in my fiction! I do journal, but very very occasionally. It does always help me to do more of it, but like meditation, I've gotten about the practice. I should get back to that.

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  9. I just started journaling again. My journal sounds a lot like yours. It's a mess, but I love it.

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  10. Hey girl!

    I have a daily planner with odd bits and pieces, quotes, phrases, shortie poems, etc....then I have another journal with much of the same, just more room. The journal may have things I've clipped from magazine, pictures, recipes, photos, it is a catch all of treasures from year to year.

    I collect the same types of things online. Although I do not journal on line, I collect words and phrases that "move" me.

    When it comes to my writing, the muse must be afoot before I can move words across the page and make it flow. If the muse isn't there I can tell, and so can anyone else.

    Very good subject and questions.

    Blessings, magnolia

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  11. It sounds like your journal is really special. I used to journal in high school every day. Less so in the past ten years. In the last three of those years, I haven't written a peep in my journal. I see my blog as a form of journaling and I prefer to spend my writing time writing my fiction. That's just how I feel right now. I guess that could change.

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  12. Ha! I have started and abandoned so many journals for precisely the reason you gave. It felt forced. But when I have insights to stories or observations about nature or people I can pick up a journal and write away. So that's how I use them now. No pressure, just when I want to jot something down.

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  13. Enjoy the journal writing :) I like the no rules thing too. I have one and I write in it whenever I want! Very freeing.

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  14. I have a notebook where I jot things down about life, my WIPs, anything. It's pretty disorganized. When I go on wilderness trips I sometimes keep a daily journal.

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  15. Personally, I journal when my heart is hurting and I can't put an audible voice to my thoughts. As I go back through the years, thankfully there hasn't been an overabundance of those times! But it's a wonderful tool to help me through the present. As a family, we kept a "provision" journal for one year and to go back and read that one is an AWESOME display of how God works daily in our lives through each other, neighbors, and even strangers! We call that one our treasure book :) Wonderful memories!!! You caused me to ponder...once again.

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  16. I haven't written in my journal much since I started writing. I do miss capturing all my emotions! A journal is like a playground for writers- no rules and say it how you want to:)

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  17. There have been times in my life when I've gotten on a journaling kick, but I never seem to maintain the activity for a continued stretch. In some ways my blog has become my journal.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out and the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2011

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  18. Hey, Girl!!! I've missed you!!!
    I journal to-do lists, emotions, novel ideas, praises.
    It's part of my time with God. He doesn't seem to mind that i'm kind of a stenographer:)

    Blessings, dear one. It's good to be here!!!
    P

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  19. I used to keep a journal, but now I blog and write manuscripts. Thanks for commenting on my query over at Matt's blog the other day. :)

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  20. I have journals coming out of my you-know-what. I have them in every size, color and price-range (one is a fifty dollar leather bound that I refuse to touch because it was so pricey, I don't feel worthy! LoL).

    I never end up actually journaling, so I refer to them more as notebooks. I jot down anything from websites to blog ideas and notes on things I see or ideas for my books and all sort of other things. It’s really random, but they fill up rather quickly and I’m always referring to them.

    I used to keep a journal when I was younger, and I’ve kept them but I don’t think I’ll ever actually write about my hum-drum days when there is too much fun fictional stuff going though it! :-)

    Happy journaling Robyn!

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  21. Lately, I have been taking out an old notebook of my son's and writing impact or energy words that will give power to my poems. One word, here and there. The list is growing. I'm hoping that it will keep my mind charged for when the next poem hits me. Great post Robyn! Love ya.

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  22. I don't. But I'm thinking it might be therapeutic for me to give it a try. :)

    Happy Thursday, fellow amigo. The coolest.
    Hugs,
    Karen

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