Since today’s question on my Twitter Game #TheMerryWriter asked “Do you keep a diary or journal?” I thought I’d discuss that in my blog.
By the way, if you’re on Twitter and looking to meet other writers, and haven’t already, do check out my game.
Myself and my co-host, Rachel Poli post daily questions and the participants are wonderfully supportive and encouraging of each other and the game can help you build your network 🙂
The current “Game Board” is pinned to the top of my feed if you’d like to check it out.
Childish Scribbles & Teenage Angst
I think most girls have a diary or journal at some point in their life. I was given a “secret book” when I was about 13 years old.
It was a small, hard-backed notepad with two metal loops and a padlock keeping it closed.
You know the kind, the tiny ones they put on luggage that can basically be snapped off (or easily picked).
I used it throughout my teens, mostly to bitch about my siblings when they annoyed me or rant about my parents when they upset me. I also doodled in it.
I didn’t write consistently, nor did I fill it with deep secrets, insightful wisdom and life-long goals. So by the time I was 16 I had stopped bothering with it all together.
By 18 I was online and took to using Open Diary, which is less a diary and more a place I used to connect with people and share weird poetry, dark thoughts and random ravings.
Again, I barely posted regularly and used it more to keep updated with friends I made on there. Same with Live Journal.
In my early to mid-20s, I made another attempt at keeping a journal. I actually kept it up for a while, though again it was mostly for venting. I was a pretty angry child-teenager-20-something.
By my late 20s, I’d moved to digital copies again, this time no apps or websites, just a Word document that I opened… to bitch about my job.
Don’t get me wrong, I was going through some rough times and I needed a way to release the pressure without venting to family and friends, so it did help.
But if anything, it had me focusing on all the negative stuff I was going through. Never a good thing for one’s mental and emotional health.
By the end of my 20s, I had thoroughly given up with journaling. Maybe I would have had great wisdom to write if I poured out my writing thoughts, my ideas, my inspirations or advice… but I didn’t.
Throughout my 30s I didn’t bother with journaling at all and well, it saved a lot of time. However, I did have a diary (the calendar/planner type) and use it to jot down my tasks and appointments.
At the start of each year, I’d take the old one and flip through allowing me to transfer birthdays, anniversaries, annual appointments (eg MOT) into my new diary.
It was then I would see my landmark moments and events I’d had throughout the yer. I would be reminded of hthese fun times and great memories.
Now I love capturing moments. I often carry my camera with me and am always the one snapping pictures.
So I decided to do something a bit different
The Archival Journal
Instead of writing long-handed notes about my day or anything else equally boring, I would capture just the key moments throughout the month. The good, the bad and the funny.
I would snap a photo or two as a visual reference for the journal, then note the date and one or two lines about what happened.
For example, in January this year I rode in an ambulance and tried Morphine… never did that before, so I jotted it down. :p
I wanted a brief history of my random life with snapshot moments. So that is what I’m creating, a timeline of simple events, achievements and situations.
So far I’ve managed to keep it going with more gusto than any journal previously.
Are you an avid journal writer or diarist?