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View Full Version : Some strange questions for those who keep a journal...



scarletpeaches
11-04-2007, 01:56 AM
...not a diary, which I think of as an "I did this today," and "I did that today," affair, but a journal in the sense of recording thoughts and opinions on whatever strikes you, not necessarily a report of your daily activities, although if these prompt interesting thought processes, then so be it...

Anyway. While pootling around a shopping mall during my lunch break today, I spotted a shop that sold Pretty Notebooks. So pretty were they, that they deserve capitalisation. Suedebound, sewn, not glued or stapled to the spine, embossed with NOTEBOOK on the cover...for five pounds. Expensive for an A5 unlined notebook of course, but...I'm tempted. I'm a sucker for not mere office supplies, but PRETTY office supplies.

But what to use it for? I thought I could buy one and used it for poetry, but I already have a moleskine for that.

So I decided, next time I pass that shop when it's open (not tomorrow unfortunately; even though my shop is open and I'm working, this other one won't be open 'til Monday, my day off, so I'll have to wait 'til Tuesday...blah blah...boring, huh?) I'll buy one, and use it as a journal.

Simply my thoughts and musings. Never to be shown to anyone. Just 100% for me. And if no-one else will ever see it, then I can afford to be 100% honest with myself.

Then I remembered my 'unsent letters' thread which I started the other day, asking if anyone else wrote letters and emails they never sent, and I thought perhaps I could make my journal epistolary.

So I wondered if anyone else did this. Similar to my last thread, but it's an idea to throw out there. Rather than writing letters and binning them, or burning them - do you keep them to yourself, perhaps collected in one place or notebook? Does anyone address their journal to someone in particular? Different people as the mood or need strikes you? Do you keep poems as part of your journal?

If you keep one, in what sort of style do you write it?

I've already made up my mind what I'm going to do, but I thought it was an interesting question to throw out there to see if journalling is popular, how often people write in theirs, why they do it, what benefits they see and so on.

Forgive the rambling, I'm a bit tired but I wanted to start this thread before I went to bed and forgot all about it!

scarletpeaches
11-04-2007, 01:57 AM
And I don't know what the f*** is going on with the thread title. I must be seriously off my chump if I typed like that. Could a mod change it? It's supposed to say 'some' but I had an attack of spaz-finger. Or something. Oh, the shame!

Voyager
11-04-2007, 02:14 AM
I just thought that the sp,e was some kind of strange journal code. :D

scarletpeaches
11-04-2007, 02:16 AM
It came as a result of doing a longer-than-usual day at work on 5 hours' sleep. :(

Voyager
11-04-2007, 02:18 AM
Aww. Poor Scarlet. Have you some fun and go get yourself that journal. :Hug2:

scarletpeaches
11-04-2007, 02:20 AM
Oh god. I derailed my own thread in the effing title. How sad. :(

Voyager
11-04-2007, 02:23 AM
It's a duh zeez. Anyyyyway. I'm partial to pretty pens and mechanical pencils. The fancier the better. But I have to have lined paper, I'm not very structured and need guidelines or all I have are four words listing tragically to the lower left margin on each page.

DamaNegra
11-04-2007, 02:23 AM
Hahaha I once put my fingers wrong on the keyboard and typed two whole pages of iyyrtu omvp,trjmdonr yrcy before I realized what I was doing.

seven41
11-04-2007, 06:11 AM
I keep a journal, but it isn't like most journals. It is a dream journal. The reason I keep it is that I had a dream in 1983 telling me that I had a book to write. Then my mystical sister called and told me she had been told to tell me that the book would come from my dream journal. I have been recording my dreams in the intervening 24 years and this year I had a dream in which I was told it was my job to write a procedure. Therefore, I am now in the midst of writing a book on how to do dream interpretations based on my dream journals.

I am currently on Journal #9 and have 1547 pages of dreams collected for use in writing the book.

Whatever type journal you decide to write, you will find it full of ideas for articles, stories, books, or editorials. By all means, if the Pretty Notebook appeals, buy it and hang the cost.

Azure Skye
11-04-2007, 05:56 PM
I've been keeping a journal since 1983 and use it to rant, rave, bitch, moan, cry, philosophize, pontificate, prophecy, draw, and feel sorry for myself. I share it with no one and when I die I'll leave it in my will to burn those puppies. I don't write in it as much as I used to because all of my writing energy now goes into creating stories for young readers.

OctoberRain
11-05-2007, 12:10 AM
I've kept a journal since I was 11. I bought it myself - a cloth bound book, with lined pages inside, and it took me about 2 years to fill it. I've got about 6 books like this up till the age of 17.

But then I discovered my mother was reading it! I was going through a phase where I stopped telling her anything and she got mad and dug them out and read them all. Everything was in there... crushes, first kisses, recounts of the fights we had, stuff my friends and I were doing, and eventually my first "experience". I was livid. So I stopped writing.

When I was about 22, I realized I could still keep one, on the computer, with a password. So that's what I do now. But you know, it isn't the same.

CACTUSWENDY
11-05-2007, 12:52 AM
Just a thought. I am not sure I would want anyone to know my inner thoughts. I mean, what if I had to be put in hospital for a bit, or maybe even died........who would be going through my stuff and seeing what was really none of their business?

My mom kept a tiny one durning the depression days and it kind of was in her own type of shorthand. After she died and I found it I know she would not have been pleased to think that anyone had seen it. Know what I mean?

It might make a difference if I had great words of wisdom to save for all mankind, or insight into the meaning of life, but, I don't...so I won't make my thoughts open to those that come after me. IMHO
(Is bad enough I have to live with these thoughts, let alone someone else.)

scarletpeaches
11-05-2007, 12:59 AM
No-one I know would DARE go through my things. They know if they did, it would be instant cutting-off. Friendship OVER, no comebacks. End. Of. Story.

I have a handful of friends with the integrity and reputation to make me think my belongings would be safe with them.

However, the journal I've just started is not meant for anyone else's eyes so I have to keep that in mind to avoid unintentional self-censoring. I want something of mine to be 100% honest, in the sense of holding nothing back. Being honest with oneself is harder than being honest with other people, sometimes, I think.

It might seem morbid, too, but I've looked ahead and thought, would I want this person or that person to read it in the event of my untimely demise? And the answer is well, why not? I'll be brown bread; I won't care. And at least one person I left behind would know the real me.

The reason I'm talking like this is, I have a friend who recently went through a very bad period of depression and wrote a series of 'in the event of my death' letters. Luckily she's still with us and feeling better, but she still has the letters and I know I'll only get to see mine if the worst happens. I hope it doesn't for a very long time.

But my journal is written in the form of a letter - onto the second page so far. It'll be focussing on whatever strikes me as important on any given day and I'll leave it to someone in my will. I hope they never get to read it.

And I know that if I die intestate, my whore of a mother gets everything, so I'll have to make out a will sometime soon to keep her grasping little claws off my finances, let alone my personal effects which I want to go to people I care about.

Sorry for the rambling, but it makes sense to me at least! ;)

seun
11-05-2007, 01:54 PM
I kept a diary/journal for years and thought it was completely for me which was OK. After eleven or twelve years, it began to feel as if I was writing for an audience which made me very uncomfortable. The writing was the most honest I've ever been but I had to stop when it felt like someone was reading over my shoulder.

Mandy-Jane
11-05-2007, 02:08 PM
I have a freewriting journal which I try to work on every night. I just open up the document (yes, it's on the computer) and start typing. The other day I read over all the entries, and they were pretty interesting. Some of them I couldn't even remember writing. It's a bit like you get so entranced in what you're doing, you don't realise what you're writing. I have it password protected so no-one else gets to see it, therefore I don't have to think about what I'm writing and how it may affect other people. It's just for me.

KTC
11-05-2007, 03:19 PM
...not a diary, which I think of as an "I did this today," and "I did that today," affair, but a journal in the sense of recording thoughts and opinions on whatever strikes you, not necessarily a report of your daily activities, although if these prompt interesting thought processes, then so be it...

Anyway. While pootling around a shopping mall during my lunch break today, I spotted a shop that sold Pretty Notebooks. So pretty were they, that they deserve capitalisation. Suedebound, sewn, not glued or stapled to the spine, embossed with NOTEBOOK on the cover...for five pounds. Expensive for an A5 unlined notebook of course, but...I'm tempted. I'm a sucker for not mere office supplies, but PRETTY office supplies.

But what to use it for? I thought I could buy one and used it for poetry, but I already have a moleskine for that.

So I decided, next time I pass that shop when it's open (not tomorrow unfortunately; even though my shop is open and I'm working, this other one won't be open 'til Monday, my day off, so I'll have to wait 'til Tuesday...blah blah...boring, huh?) I'll buy one, and use it as a journal.

Simply my thoughts and musings. Never to be shown to anyone. Just 100% for me. And if no-one else will ever see it, then I can afford to be 100% honest with myself.

Then I remembered my 'unsent letters' thread which I started the other day, asking if anyone else wrote letters and emails they never sent, and I thought perhaps I could make my journal epistolary.

So I wondered if anyone else did this. Similar to my last thread, but it's an idea to throw out there. Rather than writing letters and binning them, or burning them - do you keep them to yourself, perhaps collected in one place or notebook? Does anyone address their journal to someone in particular? Different people as the mood or need strikes you? Do you keep poems as part of your journal?

If you keep one, in what sort of style do you write it?

I've already made up my mind what I'm going to do, but I thought it was an interesting question to throw out there to see if journalling is popular, how often people write in theirs, why they do it, what benefits they see and so on.

Forgive the rambling, I'm a bit tired but I wanted to start this thread before I went to bed and forgot all about it!

First of all, hun...there are no strange questions. Only strange people. Secondly, I think journals are handy tools to have. I see them as things you can steal from. If you are writing your musings down in a journal, you can steal them for your fictional world and they are already legitimate and authentic. You don't have to ponder...'would this really happen', 'would this character really feel this way? Say that?' I say go for it...and be prepared to plagiarize yourself.

I would say first person and extremely conversational is the best way to go...but any way would work, right. Whatever way you feel most comfortable talking to yourself. You may want to refer to yourself in the third person? hmmm? Anyway...have fun. My one rule of thumb for buying things to write in...never buy too pretty...you may just intimidate yourself into not dirtying the pages.

KTC
11-05-2007, 03:20 PM
No-one I know would DARE go through my things. They know if they did, it would be instant cutting-off.

I would so go through your things. (without punishment.)

steveg144
11-05-2007, 03:41 PM
Scarlet, I've recently taken up personal journaling in the sense you describe it (not a "Dear Diary," but various random short bursts of opinionating), mainly because my friends have gotten well and truly sick of my daily (sometimes hourly) email rants, and I figure if I can spew my random bile onto the pages of a journal, then maybe I can hang on to my few remaining friends. :tongue The funny thing is, when I first started I noticed this strange pain, an ache if you will, and I thought "Oh dear, is this just old-fart arthritis or something more ominous??? I better call the Doc for an appointment!" Then I remembered the feeling, and recognized it for what it was. Writer's cramp. Hadn't felt it in decades.

scarletpeaches
11-05-2007, 03:44 PM
Good point on 'not buying too pretty'. This suedette-bound thing cost a fiver and it's not the most expensive notebook I've ever bought but it was quite initimidating putting my own handwriting on the first page. But I've filled eight already. New-notebook-excitement, probably. I'll slow down in future, no doubt. Still, the spine's broken so that imperfection in itself will encourage me not to censor or edit myself. The notebook's not perfect so why should my writing be?

And it's weird being 100% honest with myself. I've read it back and it's not bad at all...shocking in places. Like, REALLY open. I just hope no-one ever sees it; particularly the person/people it's addressed to - or the other people mentioned in it.

And if you raked through my things, Kevin, I'd set your face on fire.

KTC
11-05-2007, 03:49 PM
And if you raked through my things, Kevin, I'd set your face on fire.

Hunny, that is in no way punishment. I am forever writing like my face is on fire. I would enjoy the glow.

KTC
11-05-2007, 03:51 PM
Still, the spine's broken so that imperfection in itself will encourage me not to censor or edit myself. The notebook's not perfect so why should my writing be?

Those are great comments. Once you're free to write imperfect...you will write closer to perfect. Your guard is down and the writing just flows.

scarletpeaches
11-05-2007, 03:51 PM
Ugh. You just paid me a compliment. Stop it at once, Spaz.

KTC
11-05-2007, 03:52 PM
Christ! You're right. Sorry. Move along.

scarletpeaches
11-05-2007, 03:53 PM
Now you're apologising! Set your face on fire forthwith! :Jaw: