I know I blog about journaling a lot, so please bear with me. In my Dear Diary post, I wrote “Do any of you journal daily? How do you get yourself to do it? The main thing that causes me to stop journaling is because I find myself to be so overwhelmed with school work. I really wanted to document all of my college years, but my freshman year of college journal died on me. Hopefully I can get myself to keep one my sophomore year. My fingers are crossed!”
I realized the main reason I quit on a journal is because I “just don’t have time” to write meaningful, long entries about my day, which got me thinking that maybe I should just approach journaling in a different way. I think I’m just too hung up on the process. When you think about it, journals aren’t supposed to be that perfect.
I’ve decided that I’m going to actually pick up journaling again. Sometimes I’ll write my innermost thoughts and dreams, and other days I’ll just write a list of what I need to do that day. I’ll carry my journal around with me and add things to it all day long. A phone number of a new friend or a homework assignment I need to remember for later. I’ll basically just write everything down in my journal. If I’m required to handwrite something, it will go in my journal. It sounds like it’s just a hodgepodge of stuff — no real rhyme or organization. Other than the date, that’s just what it is, but the cool thing will be that I can always find that phone number or figure out when I need to pick something up because I just have to flip through the pages to the right date.
I love this idea. I think the reason journaling hasn’t worked for me in the past has to do with structure, but if I just look at my journal as a place to record my life — my messy, disorganized life, with its half-thoughts, and to-do lists and scrawled messages and the occasional fortune-cookie fortune or found photograph — the end result pretty much accomplishes the recording, chronicling purpose, doesn’t it?
I always felt a little guilty about my journal because I was never constant at it, like its a friend I only call when I’m having a crisis or a triumph. I like the idea of treating it more like a real friend, someone who’s there with you everyday, not just for the moments of drama. My Arabic professor once told me, “You are waiting until you can speak Arabic perfectly before you will open you mouth.” Writing is the same isn’t it? You can’t wait until you have something “worthy” or publishable to write, you have to just do it.
When my journal is full, I’ll have a tangible collection of all my thoughts, dreams, fears, friends, doodles, poems, stories, lists, times, and duties of a year in my life. And I think that’s pretty sweet.
What do you think about this idea? How do you keep yourself journaling?