(A journal entry, dated August 14, 2010. Edited for clarity, but as less as I possibly could. I recently bought another notebook from Target and decided tentatively to start journalling again.)
I figured I should restart a journal in order to supplement my blogging. I have a habit of buying notebooks faster than I can possibly use them, and they accumulate in my desk drawer.
It feels weird keeping a journal, ever since I was put off it a while back — I kept a journal for all the wrong reasons if that is possible (believe me, it is). After that, journalling hadn’t felt right and ironically I was more comfortable with typing down my thoughts into WordPress, going through massive edits, and putting forth something that I know will inspire and encourage people, than to sit down with a little notebook and a pen and scribbling thoughts as they came to me, no editing necessary.
Keeping a journal for myself and only myself seems somehow selfish. In some ways I am more at liberty to ignore grammar rules and correct spelling and just let loose. Even now as I write I am so very conscious of what I’m saying — how people would react. Is it articulate? Is it understandable? Can people identify with it and bring something out of it and be touched by it?
At the same time, there is more room for heartfeltness and a rather brutal honesty that could be missing from blog entries, which I always worry is missing from what I write. I have permission to be freer if I so choose.
But even for my own journal which no one will read, I don’t feel like writing down personal stuff. Things like my love life, for instance. Even though I could. I’m afraid that my own idle speculation could feed my overactive imagination and ruin me… I don’t want that to happen. Or even bashing people I don’t like. I feel as if that could become dangerous. Over some point it steps over the venting line into something like bitterness and that’s what I’m afraid of. Complaining is one thing and bashing is another and there is quite the fine wall between the two. I used to use my journal for both reasons, and it didn’t make things any better, it made me feel worse.
So why do I want to journal?
In the end, I want to journal to help myself. To help me produce better writing: better ideas, better presentation, better clarity.
And in turn to help my words not just be words that speak of things that have happened, are happening, or will happen; but words that speak of living, breathing, moving, and what it really means to be human and alive.
(I originally wanted to post it unedited, but in the end decided not to for obvious reasons, like clarity and organization. Edits are always a good idea! I also realized that I had used “at the same time” to begin two paragraphs in a row, and I couldn’t let that get by. It rambled a lot more than I liked it to, as well.)
I have also realized that I have been lax in visiting blogs and even posting stuff on my own, and I apologize for that. School starts in a few days, and there is so much to do to get ready. Thank you for your lovely comments, everyone!
All photos are under a CC license and used with permission. Click photos for credits.