Do you use journals to record your thoughts, ideas, emotions, poems and stories?
When I first started journaling, I followed Julia Cameron’s ideas in The Artist’s Way. I wrote 3 pages of long-hand on any cheap notebook or paper that I could find. In some ways, I’ve come full circle and have been returning to that idea, and even moving to online forms of writing.
However, in the interim between then and now, I spent years writing in beautiful, whimsical, artistic and “professional-looking” journals. Unfortunately, much of what went into those lovely books was drivel.
Yet, interspersed between the mundane and the trivial were some interesting observations about my life and times that make memoir and creative writing easier. If I want to know how to write about life in Chicago in the 1990’s, I already have some starting material.
Even more fascinating to me is how journal entries sometimes foreshadow the story that I am now writing in my novel. Like this little admonishment to myself on March 2, 2001:
As long as you “control” your ship you cannot swim in the ocean and dive as the mystical whales do.
I read that now and get a shiver up my spine, because there are mystical whales in my novel now. I had a vague idea of the novels I wanted to create then, but no idea of writing about whales (consciously).
Today, I was even more delighted to find the journal with drawings from my son Nicholas 2 years ago when he was only 8 years old.
One of my projects this summer is to transfer the gems from my journals over the last twenty years into Evernote notebooks so that they can be searched more easily.
Too often we spend hours writing and don’t go back to look for the good stuff.
This weekend how about taking some time to look at your early writing, journals, art, premonitions or anything else that you might still be able to access?
If you don’t have any records of your life and times on earth, there’s no time like the present to start creating some!
- Do You Use Evernote to Organize Your Writing? (writingyourdestiny.com)
- Memoirs and the need to let it all out. (awritersplan.blogspot.com)
- Morning Pages Challenge (candidconcourse.wordpress.com)
- The Joy of Journalling! (patticlark.wordpress.com)
- Journaling my Journey number 2 (heavenhappens.wordpress.com)