Day 10 – “J” Journaling
One of the first writing endeavors I partook in as a child was keeping a diary. Since that original diary with a cute heart-shaped lock and key, I have been a terrible journal-keeper. I always start out with the very best of intentions. Typically as part of a moment in which resolutions are set (at the start of a new year or a birthday or anniversary), I excitedly purchase a new journal and the very first entry is always something to the extent of “This go around I WILL fill this journal up and will write on a regular basis.”
Ha. Haha. HAHAHAHA.
I am the epitome of a journaling failure. I set unrealistic expectations for myself such as “I will write every day, at least one page” and after a few weeks of a good stint, I get burned out and quit the routine. I’ll make a few other entries over the following few weeks or so, and then the journal is dead. A number of months, a year later when I get the itch to start keeping a diary again, my mood has changed and the journal that I once had just doesn’t “feel” right in some way. Whether that be the style, the cover, the spacing of the lines, the thickness of the paper, etc., I always find something wrong with the journal and am compelled to spend unnecessary money on a new one. *shakes head*
I have countless half-filled journals lining a shelf in my closet. When I was younger, I always viewed unfinished journals as a gross failure and threw them away. I kick myself on a regular basis for doing that. I would love to get inside my 7, 10, 12, 15, or 20 year old head and read how I perceived and observed certain things.
I try… I really do try, now as a grown ass woman, to fill journals. I’ve had my current one since the beginning of the year and it’s almost half full. When I got it, I set no expectations with regards to writing routines; rather I simply told myself that this would be the first one I would fill completely. So far, so good!
Journaling has always been a different kind of writing catharsis for me. Where writing fiction or poetry gives me a creative release, keeping a journal allows me to be disgustingly raw and honest, vulgar and emotionally disturbed, all in the privacy of my own little book. I have been able to use so much of what I’ve written over the years in my creative writing, altering scenes (naturally) and tailoring them to fit that piece.
Do you keep a journal? If so, why do you keep one and what keeps you motivated to stick to the routine? If not, why have you never developed the habit?