The Book of Me – Prompt 6 : Journals and Diaries

(Yes, Prompts 4 & 5 are missing. If I catch up I’ll post them, but I decided to pick up where I was for now. If you’re new here, see this post for more about The Book of Me prompts.)

This week’s prompt is :Journals and Diaries :
Do you keep a journal or diary?
How far back do they go? What do you record?
Where do you keep them?
Do you always buy the same one or vary them?
Have you inherited any?
Do you intend to pass along your journals or destroy them?
Do you have a favourite?
What do you use to write with – biro, pencil, ink or fountain pen?

This prompt was right up my alley as I’ve officially become in love with journaling. I tried on and off to journal for years, but have nothing more than a few pages to show for it. Last year is the first time I’ve actually journaled for any significant amount of time and kept with it. I really believe giving myself freedom to journal as little or as much as I wanted to is the key. I don’t have to journal daily. It helped banish any guilt associated with not journaling enough, so I’ve kept it up and enjoy journaling now.

My journal entries vary. Sometimes I write about the day-to-day stuff like what I fixed for supper or planted in the garden or did that day. Sometimes I write random thoughts, including questions I ponder or quotes I like. Occasionally I’ll even let loose a rant, venting about all the things I’m tired of in life. Randomness would sum up my journal entries and a few journal entries are vague on purpose. On the back page of my current journal, I’ve started a “Bliss List”…things that make me absolutely happy!

Finished Journal (on top)

Finished Journal (on top)

I completely finished filling a journal front to back last month. It took a little over a year. In a way I was sad to see the brilliantly fabric covered journal with beaded ribbon marker have to be put away, but I’ve moved on. I’m now journaling in a bright pink journal with an embossed design on the right edge and an elastic strap to hold it shut. The initial to my first name is on the front as well. It’s a journal my mother gave me last year. She gave me several blank lined journals as a gift, when she found out I was writing a lot.

Current Journal

Current Journal

As you can tell, I don’t always use the same type journal. I do prefer something nice(“pretty”) to write in and never plan to use regular old spiral notebooks for journaling. I want something sturdy that will hold up with time. I write in my journals with pen, because I want it to be permanent. I’ve tried several, but have not come upon the “perfect” pen yet. I don’t want too thick of a line and I don’t want a pen that skips or globs up. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and don’t like to have to scribble through things.

There are several things I learned from my first filled journal. As much as I like the thought of art journaling, for now, it’s not for me. I did do a few doodles and drawings, but that’s it. It’s simpler for me just to write my thoughts. My entries ranged from 1/3 of a page to 4 pages a few times. I did tape in random things occasionally like fortunes from fortune cookies from my favorite Chinese restaurant and sayings off of Yogi tea bag tags. Things that spoke to my heart :

Some Favorites –
*Fortunes : “Forget those things that aren’t worth remembering”, “In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.”

*Tea Bag Tag : “You must know that you can swim through every tide and change of time.”

I’ll never destroy my journals, though I do hide them, sometimes from myself by accident. I vary the location I hide them or it wouldn’t be such a problem. They are a part of me, part of the inner true me. One day, but only when I’m dead or dying, I’ll hope they wind up in my daughter’s hands. I wrote something in the front of the journal I just finished, in case someone finds and reads my journal without permission. It’s kind of a disclaimer :

“Should any prying eyes ever read this journal other than someone I’ve given permission. If you find something disagreeable, I’ll make no apologies. Right or wrong, these are my thoughts. I feel like I’ve spent so much of my life being quiet and putting aside how I feel about things. I’ve learned to speak up and in this place I give myself the freedom, the permission, and the right to speak freely.”

A few final things. I don’t include pictures in my journals, photo albums are enough I think. I’ve never inherited a journal either, but would love to read writings of the female ancestors in my family. One day whoever reads mine will know I’m very human, imperfect, yet hopefully I lived and loved fully. 🙂

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kristin
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 23:00:45

    Makes me want to finally fill up one of those journals I’ve started.


  2. sherriepalmer
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 23:40:23

    I have written in journals for years. I love your disclaimer! I think I will borrow that idea and put one of my own in the front of mine. You have some very creative ideas here. Thank you for sharing.


  3. cassmob (Pauleen)
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 03:16:53

    Wonderful that you’ve got hooked on journalling by giving yourself permission to write as and when. The idea of a bliss list is great! It’s such a good way to remind ourselves what’s special in our lives.


  4. GeniAus
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 04:12:04

    Thanks for sharing your journalling story. Congratulations on persevering and getting into your second book. Now that you have the habit I hope you keep going – the record you leave will be such a treasure for your descendants.


  5. Alex Daw
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 20:54:53

    This post was great. It reminded me how much I enjoyed keeping a journal. I seem to have dropped the habit. Maybe because of blogging I think.


  6. ladywhispers
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 19:16:25

    Wow. This is something interesting happening at your blog. And I love your journals. I used to keep a diary as a child even though irregular entries…kept many till college but then internet spoiled it all…you have such beautiful journals…off late I wanna buy one and start keeping again…

    Sorry for missing reading you…october been hectic and the daily poetry thing having a toll…but will try be more regular to read you…and this prompt is so interesting 🙂

    Keep writing 🙂


    • creativityorcrazy
      Oct 13, 2013 @ 22:32:30

      Thanks and hope you’ll pick up journaling again. I will definitely keep up writing….I’ve fallen in love with being able to freely speak up I think…writing gives me a voice. 🙂


  7. Trackback: The Book Of Me, Written By You – Prompt 6 | Tales Of Happy
  8. Vikki Thompson
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 16:38:42

    You have quotes on your tea bags? Im so jealous! 😉

    Lovely post honey xx


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