The Journey

Anne Frank

I have kept a diary from the age of about eight. I used to start each day with: Dear Kizzy, and write as if to a friend. Sadly most of my teenage diaries were destroyed because my older self didn’t like that previous expression of angst. And even later diaries were destroyed, but those ones in a ceremonial fire – I realised how much bitterness and anger from my divorce they contained, and wanted to let that go.

Five years ago I started referring to my diary as a journal, I don’t know if that word is a little more serious, or if I just needed a change of term for a change in the style of entry. In the past re-reading diaries was painful because the pages were filled with all the bad things that happened so this made my life seem incredibly unbalanced, although it wasn’t at all – I just never wrote about the day to day good things, only those once in a year amazing times. Now I write far less, but I’ve noticed that my words are more interesting and revealing to read back since my enquiries into Buddhism.

My journal (written on average 4 days out of 7), is a place to reflect on the important things in my life:

It’s where I look at my fears (I learnt how to present a confident face at boarding school, even when I wasn’t coping).

How my anger manifests (in dreams).

It’s a place to record appreciation for simple things (the beauty of an autumn walk, how my bones love the sun’s heat after a long winter, how delicious scrambled eggs taste with chives from the garden).

I acknowledge struggles (when to let go and allow my teenagers to demonstrate that I have actually taught them well).

It’s where I examine my reactions and attitudes with a sense of deeper wisdom.

I also keep a dream book for writing the fantastical craziness of my dream world. This book predominantly feeds my creative writing for novels and short stories, but sometimes I glean some personal insight which I explore in my journal (like why I find it so hard to express justified anger in my non-dream life). And in turn the journal also feeds my creative life because it’s easier sometimes to give characters my problems to turn over, and I can discover reasons and answers for my issues in a detached way, whilst following my long-term desire to be an author.

I would love to hear all your experiences with keeping a journal.

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About josieblueowl

I live a life as healthy and well balanced as I can. I believe that is the best way to support my creativity, I'm definitely not a person who thinks you should suffer to produce good work. I walk, meditate, read, garden, cook and try to write with honesty, and to the best of my ability.
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11 Responses to The Journey

  1. Jenny Alexander says:

    Reblogged this on Jenny Alexander's blog: Writing in the House of Dreams and commented:
    Here’s a beautiful, thoughtful post on keeping a diary/journal, which I think you will enjoy.

    Like

  2. Jenny Alexander says:

    Love it! Have reblogged. I always enjoy your blog 🙂

    Like

  3. 4Hands says:

    That is a great parctice; do you no longer write to Kizzy? Do you recall where that name came from?

    I was a diary writer in elementary through junior high. I suppose I wrote about the same things you mention you do now as an adult. The topics were just narrowly focused on biys, acne and what my parents wouldn’t let me do. It makes me laugh to read a post or two, occasionally.

    Like

    • josieblueowl says:

      I only wrote specifically to Kizzy for a few years, I think it was the name of a character on a kids TV programme. Yes I’m sure my teenage diaries were about the same narrow topics and would probably make me laugh now if I’d kept them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Emma says:

    I also kept a diary through my childhood and adolescent years. I also looked back in trepidation and destroyed the evidence of my teenage fetishes, embarrasing crush’s, and verbal tantrums! I now regret this. This was me, it reflected my development and growth. I have pondered with the idea of rekindling with a diary. I get so much out of my blog but yet it is public and as we all know, we need to keep a small part private. Enjoyable and thought provoking post 🙂

    Like

    • josieblueowl says:

      Thanks Emma, When I was younger my diaries were always pre-dated for that year. Now I buy lovely lined books that I can date and write when I feel like it, so there’s no pressure to write if you’re busy with other things. I enjoy blogging too, but in a diary there’s more room to ramble – as you say, in private. But I often find that those musings eventually lead to a future post, once I’ve considered all the aspects of a certain situation 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Emma says:

    Reblogged this on Crystal Clarity and commented:
    I also kept a diary ‘Dear diary’….
    Through my childhood days and turbulent teenage years, my diary became my best friend and confident. I shared my embarrassing ‘first loves’, my fears, my anxieties, and my verbal tantrums.
    My diary became my counsellor and my personal therapist.

    As an adult, I looked back and felt my cheeks flush in embarrassment;
    ‘Did I really write that?’
    ‘Omg how could I have thought that?’

    I did the unthinkable. I destroyed the evidence. I destroyed the little girl’s dreams and worries.

    I regret that.

    I have pondered about rekindling with my friend. I have thought about creating that personal bond again. Nothing beats a crisp and fresh page, new ink, and the smell of a book. Especially a personal book. A diary.

    Not simply just a book. An emotional interface. A written exploration and a reflective paradox.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. briangspare says:

    Reblogged this on Brian G Spare PhD and commented:
    I have never kept a diary even though I said many times I should or date the notes I write but I have yet to do so. There are many things I wrote and pictures from my youth that I saw no use for at the time and discarded them. Now I wish I kept them. I think most of us can say that. This post reminds me of this.

    Like

    • josieblueowl says:

      I have an old trunk where I keep a variety of different memories – theatre programmes, a baby-grow that all my children once wore, letters etc. But you can’t keep everything, or know what keepsake your future self might treasure. So I limit myself to the space in my trunk.

      Like

  7. Pingback: The Journey « Brian G Spare PhD

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