Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

J is for Journal

The official literary definition is: "A form of autobiographical writing including a day-by-day account of events and a record of personal impressions. It is usually less intimate than a diary and more obviously chronological than an autobiography."

The word JOURNAL gives me a pleasurable thrill. I am a prolific journal-writer. When I was little, I began every entry as "Dear Diary," now I just start with the date. I use large three-ring binders with punched papers that are blank on one side "scratch paper" and I fill the pages quickly with large loopy handwriting, going through pens almost as fast as I go through paper. I will fill about 6 of these binders per year. Love the J word JOURNAL!!


(This post has been inspired by and in some instances, directly quoted from A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition, by William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman)

34 comments:

  1. I think of my blog as a journal to a degree. I've never been a consistent journal writer. I think I've only kept up a diary for short spurts three or four times. I'm impressed with people like you who stick with it.

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  2. So many times I've attempted to start a journal and fizzled out. My blog is the closest I've come. What a wonderful written history you have created.

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  3. I've tried to write journals at various times in my life, but I always wound up making stuff up. So I figured I must be better suited to writing fiction. ;)

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  4. I love journals. My family always buys them for me as gifts. I like the unique types, that have lovely covers and in different sizes. I carry them with me always, in case I just want to write. :D

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  5. Great post, have always kept a journal but never called it Dear Diary...Ha, I called it Mr. Notes...Strange I know.

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  6. I'm always fascinated by people who journal. I can't do it. LOL I spend so much time in my head that I feel like I'm simply repeating myself whenever I try! In all honesty, I think that it's really cool that people do it; for me it's like watching a cultural celebration and being amazed at the tradition and implications behind it. My My brain just isn't wired that way. :)

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  7. Hi
    I started a journal a few years ago, initially just to record the weather (yes, I'm British!), but it grew into something more, and now I find I really need those daily reflections on life to sort of straighten things out in my head ...
    Great J word - thanks !
    All best
    Karla

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  8. I am a start and stop journal type. I love the idea of it. I have often used my blog in the journally way! :)

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  9. I love journals. Sometimes I don't know what to do with them all when they are filled. I save them but sometimes I worry that I'll be buried in journals at some point in time.

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  10. The only time I kept a journal was when I was in my teens, and it served as a much-needed outlet. It's wonderful that you've continued to journal as an adult. I've thought about doing it ... does that count?

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  11. I used to write in a diary when I was much younger, but I haven't done so in years.

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  12. I've never had a Journal. I mean, I have journals (small books, pads I write on,) but I've never had the ability to sit and put things down on a daily basis. It's one of two reasons: either 1) my handwriting is so abysmal that it makes the scrawling of a drunk monkey look good by comparison, or 2) if I really had to sit and examine my life and recount the events of my days, I don't think I'd be able to get out of bed in the morning.
    But that's me. I'm okay with blogging on a daily basis, so maybe it is just the handwriting thing. That gives me some hope...right?

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  13. Never kept a journal, except during travels.

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  14. I've kept many a journal, and it's fun to go back and visit younger me. I have been doing morning pages as per Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way for several months. I think it's a little different than journaling, but I think it's helpful.

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  15. Yay for handwritten journals!!! I do envy y'all able to keep a personal journal - it's such a lovely thing to do and to go back on! Take care
    x

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  16. Wow 6 a year. I have my journal from 5 years ago and it's not full at all. I write in it when I need to. =)

    Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

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  17. I'm convinced I'd be dead if I hadn't started journalling in 1978.
    Karen

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  18. Journal writing helped me wade through a lot of troubled times.

    Catching up on your blog. Great posts, Karen.

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  19. Journals are wonderful. Like you, I've kept journals since I was a little kid, ever since I got one as a Christmas present in the first grade. Now I like writing in those Moleskine journals; that's something I'm willing to splurge on. I'm not really sure what to do with the journals once I fill them, though, because I have a stack of them and yet I don't want to throw them out.

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  20. Neurotic Workaholic, I am just dying to try a Moleskine journal ever since I heard about them online. I know they will be too small and/or expensive for my use but I want to try it just once!

    Glynis & Karen, And thus you both know from personal experience why I write like I do in journals! It's called desperation, necessity, psychotherapy, what have you.

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  21. I haven't formally journaled for years, except for when I completed the excercises in The Artists Way last year...which WAS wonderful and a great help. My blog, to some degree, is my journal now, I suppose.

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  22. I love journaling, but don't do it anywhere near often enough...so many other projects.

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  23. I love journaling. Though since I've been blogging my journaling has taken a back seat as well.

    Great post.

    Lisa
    InspiredbyLisa

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  24. I LOVE journals! I've been writing in them since I was ten. (Mom thought it'd improve my handwriting. It did not. LOL!) They're such a great stress reliever, aren't they?

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  25. Nothing like a nice leather journal to write in. One of the things I can't live without.

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  26. I stopped keeping a journal when I outgrew the need for a place to put all my teenage histrionics. However, now that my kids are getting older I find I want a record of all their milestones and fun and funny things they do and say. Maybe I need to break out a binder and pen of my own.

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  27. You sound so much like my mom. She was an avid journaler too. She tried to get me excited about it but it didn't work! LOL

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  28. I don't journal unless I'm travelling these days. Or I don't journal in a journal (mine are mostly black lined 8x10 books going back years and years and centuries.) I think my blogging is journalling though. Captain stardate...
    Jan Morrison

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  29. Great post. I've kept a diary a few times through the years but never stuck to it. The only journal I have is my daily log of work and what's in my head.
    I do wish I could keep a journal but I've tried it before and it slips after a few days of good intentions.

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  30. I've kept a journal in the traditional sense off and on throughout my teens, and I always kept mine in plain, spiraled-notebooks mixed in with my school and story notebooks. That way they weren't discernible from my huge collection notebooks!

    Hmmm, maybe it's time to pick journaling back up. Wonderful post!

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  31. I've been hit and miss with my journal, but I enjoy writing in it when I get a chance. Online is nice for sharing thoughts with others, but a journal is a great way to get something out without having to worry about repercussions of said words. (Yes I was upset the other day and wrote some 'mean' things in my journal the other night)

    Journals are also nice to write positive stuff to. My mom keeps an actual gratitude journal, and that inspired me to include things I'm grateful for in my own journal.

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  32. I'm useless at keeping a Journal, even worse than keeping a blogging Journal.
    But I do enjoy reading the online journals of others!

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  33. I used to fill journal after journal, but then I started using a Word file as my prayer journal and started blogging my everyday. I can type so much faster than I can write with pen or pencil now and all of my journaling is done on my laptop now.

    Reading this post made me want to run out and buy a real life journal and grab a pen and "fill the pages quickly with large loopy handwriting".

    Thanks for the inspiration. : )

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