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8/10/10 11:51 A

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Every January, I buy myself a nice hardcover journal that "speaks" to me - one year it was Celtic designs on the cover, another the Japanese kanji for "happiness, health, peace, courage", another had a section of Monet's "Water Lilies" on the cover. Sometimes, I completely fill them, sometimes I don't. I try very hard not to put "everyday" stuff in them like birthdays to remember or something. And there have been years where I've been too busy working on purely creative writing (or burned out from work related writing) that I didn't buy a journal, let alone write in one.

I mostly use journaling for "sorting myself out" - if something is bothering me and I haven't narrowed the issue enough to verbalize it, I'll write it all out first. My journals were/are often receptacles for grief, loss, anger, fear, frustration. Sometimes I would write prayers, quotes, or ideas I'd want to remember. Sometimes a kernel of an idea for a story or poem would germinate but then I'd switch to a spiral notebook or a composition book....and from there, to the computer.

I have an online journal at Beliefnet, but there are fewer than 20 entries. It's a cursory attempt at a blog, but I've gotten some helpful feedback and support.

I've never shared my journals with anyone and my 13 year old daughter and my husband have respected that. My 7 year old reads very well and I know that if SHE got a hold of my journals, she wouldn't be able to resist asking a question about something I I know she hasn't peeked at them yet! lol

Sometimes I do find myself censoring the content thinking "Okay, if I got hit by a bus tomorrow and they started reading these things...would I WANT them to know this stuff??" But 99% of it is really just human nature...and maybe something I wrote late one night under extreme stress might help someone later. With one journal from my 20s, though, I ripped out about 15 pages because I decided it was "need to know" info....and no one needed to know.

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TAMLKING's Photo TAMLKING Posts: 2,861
8/5/10 10:22 A

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I keep a journal, I have off and on throughout my life. I don't share them freely, maybe with my hubby now and then. I know my stepdaughter used to read them and then tell others what was written in them.

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BOOKLOVER60's Photo BOOKLOVER60 Posts: 171
7/26/10 12:36 P

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I keep a journal, too. I don't write every day, though. Sometimes it's a form of therapy, and sometimes I start creative projects in it. Occasionally I'll read a bit of the latter to my husband, but mostly it's my private workshop-place to work through issues and try out ideas. I have drawers of journals, dating back to childhood, and the older I get, the less I care about who might find and read them...but that was a big concern for many years.


Ring the bells that still can ring,
Forget your perfect offering.
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That's how the light gets in.
---L. Cohen, "Anthem"
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7/24/10 2:39 P

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I have dabbled in journals off and on, but growing up my privacy was never respected so I never felt I could truly express myself without someone else reading it and then getting me in trouble for my thoughts.

A few times as an adult, I have used a journal to get through difficult times, but again I always felt like the wrong person will find it and read it so I just keep it to myself.

I can see, however, how it would be very therapeutic.

Edited by: MONA_MONA at: 7/24/2010 (14:40)
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7/23/10 10:57 P

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Keeping a journal has been a huge part of my life since I was six. My mother always tells the story:

"Jenny came up to me one day in the kitchen with her little fists balled up on her hips and a frown on her face. She said, 'Mommy, I want a journal!' And I asked her 'What would you want with a journal?' to which she replied 'I got things to say!'"

It's still true! My goodness DO I HAVE THINGS TO SAY! I still keep a journal to this day!

For those of you who keep journals, or have kept them, what is journaling like for you? How often to you write? Do you ever share them with friends/family?


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