Journalin’ Janna



I’ve always adored a good journal. I’m drawn to displays of them, plain and colorful, hard-bound and paperback, whatever. I’m prone to buying them. There’s something about the feel of the things in my hands, and the promise of all those empty pages.

You’d think that, since I’m a writer, I’d be more successful and consistent with my journaling efforts. That of all the dozens I’ve started over the years, I’d have kept up with entries in a timely fashion, seen the topics therein through, come to some phase of completion, but I’m so sporadic about writing in them. My follow-through is piddly.

Anyway, a few nights ago I pulled out a violet-toned, butterfly-embossed journal I’d begun soon after my divorce. It was bittersweet to read through the passages. Bitter because they were full of my then-struggles. It’s not my favorite thing to relive some of that stuff. But sweet because what was just as clear on those pages was my optimism, and faith in better days. It made me proud of that gal, looking back on those steadfast times… and realizing, when compared with today, just how far I’ve come. It was fortifying.

And so it makes me think, that’s what journaling is about. It doesn’t have to be a regular commitment, and it’s certainly not the kind of thing that requires order or theme, like so many kinds of writing. It’s about recording passing moments, emotion, the process of living. It’s about revisiting those same records sometime later to gain perspective, and assurance of a path gone down.

Maybe my methods aren’t too shabby after all. And maybe that means I can keep buying journals.

Do you keep a diary of some sort?


About Janna

writer, editor, marketing assistant, resume consultant, mom, wannabe philosopher, advocate, and possibilitarian / you can call me Janna

Posted on March 20, 2013, in Blog Posts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Yes! I’ve been journaling consistently since 1997. Before that, I was a journal addict from 1986 until 1992 (all of those journals are gone and that makes me so sad). I wish I hadn’t stopped journaling for five years because it feels like those were some of my most interesting years (did a lot of traveling and moving across the country), but everything happens for a reason. I have an urge to write ALL the time, so journaling helps relieve that when I need to quiet my mind. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I knew you were big into notebooks, Jenn. But not just for work, huh, also for peace of mind.

  2. I used to write in a diary when I was a teenager and I believe I have several up in the attic. I always had the feeling one was supposed to write in a journal every day which is what kept me from journaling. But the way you describe it sounds more interesting. I could write in one of those beautifully made journals I’ve seen in stores and they always intrigue me with their empty pages. I could write when I have something emotional I want to remember. That is a cool idea. Thank you, Janna.

    • Sometimes I don’t write in the nicest ones because I don’t want to ruin their beauty with my messy print (especially the longer my entries gets). But you know, we should enjoy them fully by using them for their intended purpose. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I started a journal for each of my kids when they were born. I got farther with my first born and petered out with the second. I’ll have to add some stuff to hers so she doesn’t feel left out, although by the time she reads them, she’ll know me well enough to understand why I lost steam!

    • Me too, Christy! I have one for both of my girls, but same thing, theyโ€™ve been left by the wayside. Iโ€™ll have to pull them out again.

  4. I love journaling! (Okay, really? Buying them, yes.) I agree it’s really enlightening to see where you’ve come from and how much has changed. Sometimes better, sometimes worse! It’s also great for future generations. I have a little journal from my great-great grandmother and love reading it. Mostly it’s just daily notes, but every now and then she included something about the war or whatever and it’s fascinating.

  5. I kept a diary as a teen, but now I journal in scribblers. Yeah, those three ring, coil-bound things. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been journaling forever, not every day though. As a matter of fact, months can pass before I feel the urge. It’s where I dump all the garbage from every day living and where I record all the big events that happen. I’ll probably keep doing it till the day I die, although I’ll need some sort of warning so I can burn it all before my kids get hold of it and start wondering if their mother was a complete nut-job. LOL!

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