Sep 15, 2009

Talk About Random!

This post about Journaling is for Jamie.

When I think of keeping a journal, the first thing that springs to mind is the novel the Secret Woman, by Victoria Holt. It’s one of my all time favorite books (even thought it’s historical) and in it there are two friends who live very different lives who keep journals and when they meet they exchange their journals to give each other a glimpse into their lives.

My two sisters and I have always kept journals. It started out (I think) because we live so far apart and wrote a lot of letters to stay in touch. Having a journal really helps jog the memory of what’s been going on in your life. I also had a friend I kept in touch with through letters, and she kept a journal as well.

My one sister keeps a very detailed journal of everything she does during the day. Very mundane stuff like how many loads of laundry she did, what she made for supper, that sort of thing. It’s pretty dry reading, she really has nothing of herself in there, just the commonplace occurrences in her life. I have no idea about my other sister’s writing style, but I expect it is the same, which is a shame because they both travel extensively.

Occasionally, when feeling nostalgic, I’ll pull out some of my old journals to read. Sometimes it’s like reading about another person, sometimes it’s surprising how little things have changed, which at times can be an incentive to start changing things, like taking my writing more seriously.

A few years ago a close Aunt died and it fell to me to go through her papers. Imagine my surprise when I found journals, written in tiny notebooks, of trips she and her husband took her parents on. Apparently my Aunt and Uncle went on a lot of road trips when they were first married, and took my grandparents with them. One of these days I’d like to transcribe these notebooks and then try to fit the journal entries with the dozens of unlabeled slides of theirs.

Right now I keep two journals. First is my somewhat neglected writing journal that holds snips and snatches of ideas, the occasional entry about my writing progress, and any really interesting dreams I’ve had. The reason it’s neglected is because a lot of my writing news goes in my blog now, and I have a separate notebook for poetry related thoughts and ideas (which I don’t consider a proper journal because I don’t date the entries). My other ideas tend to go either straight into development or get written down and stuck in my idea file. As for the dreams, did you know that if you don’t recall your dream within the first minute or so of waking up it’s lost forever? Maybe I need to keep this journal on my night stand so it’s handy when I wake up in the morning.

My main journal is in a hard covered notebook. I always have to use black ink in it - I don’t know why. Here’s where I record my thoughts and feelings about what’s going on in my life. It reads like a conversation, because that’s the way I feel when I’m writing in it. Like I’m having a conversation with a friend.

You can learn a lot about me from my journals, although I don’t record any blackmail worthy thoughts in there. Yes, I have mundane day to day stuff in there, but I’m also honest with my thoughts and feelings about things. And just to give you a glimpse, here’s an excerpt from my current journal about my first day of school:

School was rather commonplace compared to getting there.

I confess, I stayed up later than I should have reading. I blame J.R. Ward and her new book for that. I woke up early, but didn’t actually get up until 9.

First thing I had to do was get ahold of U.I. - because my school start was delayed by two weeks it screwed up my unemployment payment.

It was worse than getting ahold of my doctor. It took more than two hours to even get put on hold. Then I had to talk to my contact at the Ministry of Training who doesn’t answer the phone so I had to leave her a message. I still wasn’t dressed and I had planned on colouring my hair. While I was debating the should I/shouldn’t I, CN (friend) called. It took me half an hour to get rid of her and then C (daughter) called.

All I can say is, it’s a good thing class didn’t start until 1:30 or I would have been 20 minutes late. I not only made it on time, I even managed to get my hair coloured.

It’s a full class and for orientation it’s all mixed (business management, police services, PSW).

I had a bit of a headache and a lot of a sore shoulder, so when I got home I took an Advil. There was a message for me from D, inviting me to the poetry meeting at 7. Take-out for supper!

There were about 12 of us and most of them brought poems to read (actually, only one other person besides myself didn’t read). It was a nice, friendly group and I’ll definitely be going again. I might even read a poem.

Didn’t get much done after I got home again. Relaxed and watched the season finale of Dancing With the Stars. Disappointing!

So there you have it. :-)


Lost Wanderer said...

I am glad you posted it about journaling. I know of very few people who keep journals, so it's fascinating to learn about other people's methods etc.

I shall be doing my journaling post soon too. :) Give me an excuse and I will ramble.

Jamie D. said...

Just for me? LOL Thanks C. I really enjoyed learning more about your reasons for journaling, and the peek into your own journal.

It's really like recording our personal history, isn't it - which actually kind of ties in to LW's post about The Year Zero book today (what would those people have written down?). And who better than writers to record our own history...

C R Ward said...

Lost: strangely enough, I'm just the opposite, I seem to know a lot of people who do journal.

Jamie: I hope you're inspired to get back into journaling yourself. Just think, a hundred years from now someone could discover your "lost journals"! :-)

Benjamin Solah said...

I kept a journal for a bit during my final year of high school but it was boring because no one read it.

I have an ego looking for validation - as long as it's behind a computer screen.

Blogging is much more fun. Stick with that ;)

Jamie D. said...

I started my blog as a journal...uh...5 years ago now. Wow. Long time. In any case, I realized one thing about blogging after finally "converting" it into a writing journal of sorts - no one wants to read the stuff I'd write in a personal journal. Very humbling. :-)

C: You inspired me to go take a look back through my old journals...and I made an interesting discovery last night while doing so. I'll blog about it tomorrow. (How's that for a teaser?)