I first started a journal when I was in elementary school. I wrote in it sporadically and when I found it years later, I had to laugh at what I found inside. My childish observations about what was important to me had me in stitches. :)
I also kept a journal through most of my middle school and high school years. The entries are more random, and I usually only wrote when something "big" happened.
My journal writing really picked up when I was in college. For the first time I was on my own, and I thought it was important to record everything I experienced as a college student. While I didn't write every day, I did write at least 3 times a week. I really like going back and reading those entries-there are a lot of great conversations and moments with Matt that are recorded there.
I was more strict with my journal writing when I was student teaching. We had to keep "focus binders," complete with typed daily lesson plans, any handouts we gave our students, feedback from our field instructors, and student work examples. I also kept a daily journal on what happened in school and put a new entry in every afternoon. I would come home from school and immediately write for 10-15 minutes about my experiences in the classroom. Not only did it help me understand my students, but it gave my field instructor and I a chance to discuss some deeper issues than he discussed with his other men-tees. I even turned my journal into a final project for my grad class that year-I combined my observations and insights with my students' entries. It was fabulous and I still have two bound copies here in storage.
Since then, I haven't journaled-unless you count the blog. I really miss the process of writing, and I think I was a stronger writer when I journaled on a regular basis. It gave me a chance to explore different aspects of my personality, as well as giving me time to reflect on things that have happened.
Earlier today I was wandering in Barnes and Noble. I had some money left on a gift card I was given for Christmas, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to pick up. I found myself by the journals when the one at right stood out to me. What if one of my personal goals this year could be keeping a journal? I won't write everyday-I never have with the exception of my school journal-but I could make myself write often enough so I can look back years from now and see what I was doing and thinking.
I grabbed the journal and bought it with the remaining money on the card (Are you shocked I didn't pick up a book? Me too). The goal is a simple one-to write at least three times a week for 15 minutes about whatever strikes my fancy. I think it'll be a great compliment to everything else I am trying to accomplish this year-the weight loss, the progress on my reading project, and boosting my self-esteem.
So here are my questions for you, dear readers...
Do you write in a journal? If so, how often? Does journaling help you?
I will let you know in small updates how my process is going. I have a feeling it is going to help me more than I know!
I've always been a very sporatic journaler. Sometimes I wrote only occasionally, and sometimes I'll go for six months writing 15 pages a day. The last time I was writing in my journal like crazy was for about 18 months in 2006-2007. I filled up four or five whole journals in that time. Since then, I've barely made it through one, and mostly just taping in mementoes. I think once I started blogging, I gave up journaling, because my blog became a kind of journal. That's probably why I missed my personal blog so much when I abandoned it for The Zen Leaf, and also why I sort of go off and on with how often I blog...ReplyDelete
I have about six or seven journals (most of which are not full) that I used for quite a large chunk of my life. They are so random, one journal may have one entry from one year and 20 from another. It's sad. :)ReplyDelete
I journaled more in the traditional sense when I was in middle school and jr. high than I do now. I do browse the journal sections in bookstores and from time to time pick up one with a cover that really strikes my fancy :) I make notes about books, lists, have written out a review or two first, or copy quotes into them. But, I don't write in them on a daily basis; I consider my blog to be somewhat of a journal too :)ReplyDelete
I am a sporadic journaler if left to my own devices. I haven't written since I wrote that Zach and I got together. If I make a point of journaling regularly, I write better. The entries become less of a "this is what happened today/recently" and are more introspective and analytical (and more interesting). For myself, I take a view of the historian (job hazard). I look at it like I'm writing my history for my kids to stumble across someday. I'm keeping a record of what I'm like when I'm in grad school, before I marry Zach, before I have children etc. One of my resolutions was to journal more as well. I'd like to journal on the days I don't write a blog post so that I'll be writing every day of the week. I miss writing. Good luck!ReplyDelete
I love the idea of having a journal, but I fail to maintain it on regular basis. I've had my current journal since 2009, where I've been writing on and off. Last year I went overseas for three months, but documented only about three days. Now I regret not having these wonderful memories written down.ReplyDelete
This year I am trying my best to write every day, even if it's just a few sentences. I find that when I do not restrict myself in topics or the length of a daily entry, I actually tend to write more. Sometimes I wonder if I should copy parts of my blog into my journal to keep a complete record of my life... Do you think it's a good idea, or a waste of time?
Have fun with your journaling and enjoy every minute of it!
I tried to keep a journal all the way through elementary school and well into high school, but it didn't work for me then. My self-esteem was very low and I didn't know myself at all, certainly not enough to pour my thoughts on paper. I started journaling again when I hit college and ended up with depression. Keeping a journal really helped me get through that time.ReplyDelete
I now journal a lot more. I find it helps me know myself better and keep track of all those thoughts that strike and disappear quickly. Not every day, but two or three times a week I sit down and just write whatever comes to mind. It's not a big moments record, more like a way to process my thoughts.
Good luck with your journal! :)
I have a journal. I use it almost daily (though often very briefly) as a place to record my fleeting philisophical thoughts. I also like to simply record what made me happy that day -- what I did, so I remember, when I'm older. I forgot to write in it a lot last year, so I've taken to leaving it on my bed so I write at least something, nightly. I often find I have a lot to say, once I start writing...ReplyDelete
What a lovely journal you found! I do write in one, but it is sporadic. Many of my entries are actually writing exercises rather than what most people probably think of as journaling. It's a mish mash.ReplyDelete
Interesting you posted this. I was just looking at my new journal and thinking that I should post a photo and say something about writing :)
I had written a journal, on and off, for most of my life. But once my son was born I just stopped writing. In a way, my blog is a journal, at least that's why I started it. But I miss a proper hardbound journal and my leaky fountain pen. hmmmnn... maybe its time to start again. thanks for reminding me of this.ReplyDelete
I had a journal in high school when I was all teenage and angsty but now I don't find the need to write anything down.ReplyDelete
I did try to keep a pregnancy journal so that if I have a second child I can look back and remember how it all went etc (and I thought if I had a daughter when her turn came I could give the journal to her), but even then I didn't have the motivation to keep going. i think it ends at about week 14.
I think they can be a great idea and sometimes I wish I had the motivation to keep one. I just don't have anything to day in one!
I have tried and tried--and tried again--to keep a journal, and it never lasts. I probably have five or six half-written journals in my bookcase right now. I never seem to be able to stick with it for some reason. I admire those who do.ReplyDelete
I've had an on-again, off-again relationship with journaling. A long time ago when I was going through a bad time I kept a journal only of things that I was grateful for to force me to find something good in my day to day life. But then a few years back I became dissatisfied with my journaling habit (which had morphed into mostly complaining) so I destroyed my journals and quit writing them altogether. Last year I decided to take a gentler approach and I started a "line a day" journal to get back in the habit. I want to get more detailed in my journaling now so a few weeks ago I asked folks for some suggestions on journal collections that might provide some inspiration. I'm starting with "Emerson in His Journals." But as for my own personal journaling, though it might sound silly I still find myself intimidated by the process.ReplyDelete
I'm so bad at keeping a journal because I only write in it when I'm completely miserable, so looking back on it gives me a really skewed perspective on my life! I'd definitely like to try to do it properly though, so maybe I should set myself some kind of journaling goal like you! Maybe...ReplyDelete
I have attempted it and find that I'm an inconsistent journaler. Much of that is due to the fact that the physical act of writing is a pain. I type 73 words per minute, so it's really much easier for me to keep a journal on my blog. That's what I consider it, especially since I've started doing more "personally" posts.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on journal, Allie! I'm including your link in my Linkapalooza post today. :)
I don't and never have kept a journal. I think as a boy, it can be something boys "don't do" so I never have. If it seems that your writing helps you, I think I may give it a go. I think it would be enjoyable and, as a you say, a good way to focus my ideas and all that!ReplyDelete
It's so weird you posted this today because I was cleaning out my closet at my parents' house and came across my travel journal from studying abroad in college. I read through the first few entries and then stopped. I used to journal a lot, particularly in junior high and high school. I had this weird idea that in some future century, my jottings would be useful to historians. But I don't think I ever considered how painful it could be for me to read journals of my earlier years, and face those emotions and issues all over again. They don't show up so much in my travel journal, at least, but I don't think I will ever open my junior high journal and read a lot at a time. I think I can understand now why some people burn their journals. Just so much of you in there, and so much raw emotion, you know?ReplyDelete
Without hesitation, I have to say journaling is my lifeline. I wrote almost daily when I was younger and into my teenage years angsting about everything. I slowed down in college, I think because it was such a busy time, but I've started up again the last few months and I feel like everything about my life is so much more organized from working through my thoughts.ReplyDelete
I've written in a journal since elementary school because I wanted to copy you :) haha but I started a new one from freshman year of college and have been writing in it since. Me and the mexican best friend (you know who that is) also share a journal together, in which we write in it back and forth and give it to each other everytime we see each other, so during the school yeaar basically everytime I come home. It's a good way for someone else to read my thoughts :)ReplyDelete
I've kept them off and on, but I never get past the first 25% of a book. I admire people who can and do so much. I'd love to start keeping one, because it's definitely nice to go back and look at what was happening at a certain point in my life.ReplyDelete
I noticed a friend on Twitter using the hashtag #morningpages and it's a project where you write three longhand pages every morning. I love the idea, but in practice, I'm about as far away from a morning person as you can get, so the project would either fall by the wayside or I'd just stop showing up for anything in the morning.
I wrote in a journal nearly every day from age 10 until age 25 or so. I stopped when I got married, or around then. I just found that talking to myself on paper was frustrating. I type much quicker so I started a typed journal. but that quickly fizzled out. Because there is just so much to do when you are on a computer....ReplyDelete
I do miss it sometimes. I like looking back and seeing how I've grown since such and such an event. But really, I rarely (maybe twice a year) revisit old journals. I wrote such drivel even in the more recent journals. It's rather embarrassing.