Monday, June 2, 2008

Journals And Journaling

Back in the day, we used to write in diaries. Later, we journaled. It sounds so much more sophisticated to write in a journal than in a diary. My dad was a devote journal writer. I don't know when he started, but he must have started somewhere in his teens. I can't even imagine my dad as a teenager. Anyway, he wrote daily about things like the weather and when he went to work then added only those events that were most remarkable like birthdays, somebody died or someone was born. He was very succinct, no frills or personal opinions allowed. My dad believed so deeply in the importance of journaling that it became a tradition for him to give my sister, Mary, and I a leather bound pocket journal every year at Christmas in preparation of New Year's.

In the beginning, I wrote about boyfriends and the tyranny of my parents. Later, I attempted to write in French to improve my language skills and to keep my sister from being able to sneak a peak and tell my parents of any transgressions from house rules. I gave that up when I discovered I couldn't express myself as deeply in a foreign language.

I saved all my journals in my trunk until I discovered a breech in security and an invasion of my privacy and burned every single journal except the one I wrote in about my father's death.

I started a writer's journal. I find it very beneficial for story ideas. If I see something strange, hear a snatch of conversation that's interesting (yes, I ease drop-LOL) or I observe an intriguing situation, in my writer's journal it goes.

My personal journal has changed tremendously. I only write a few words now and then because the majority of my journaling is done with drawings. I'm no artist. Sometimes I use stamps and stickers but I do draw pictures. I don't do it every day, only when deep feelings come into play and I do most of it in artist's notebooks because they're big enough to really draw feelings. I use colored pencils often. I find that I can relinquish feelings that would otherwise fester and I can do it in a very satisfying way by draw-journaling.

Do you journal? What is your favorite kind of journal--a notebook, a leather bound tomb, a pretty pink journal? Have you ever tried different means of journaling? What kind satisfied you most? I'd be glad to hear your thoughts on the subject.

All good things to your corner of the universe.

Sarah McNeal

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