I have always heard that keeping a journal is a great way for writers to expand their writing and knowledge. I am so impressed when I hear of people with volumes of journals filling their bookcases. Thoughts, drawings, clippings, etc. It looks wonderful, it sounds inspiring, I covet them, I want them-I just don’t want to make them.
I tried keeping a diary when I was young. But having a brother who was sneaky meant that anything I wrote would be found. So I destroyed it and stopped. Later on, when I lived on my own, I tried again. I wrote about my dreams, my ambitions, etc. But it felt like a chore, not something that was helping me to grow. Of course, I don’t mind writing stories, essays, etc.-I look forward to it. But writing my own thoughts down in a book nobody will ever see and something I don’t want anyone to see seems like a waste of time. I guess you could say that this blog is a bit of a journal in some respects. But I’m not telling my deepest, darkest secrets to you all (and I know you wouldn’t want to hear them anyway.)
I’m not talking about a writing notebook where writers record story ideas, quotes, etc. That kind of “journal” makes sense. It’s something a writer will use, refer to, update, etc. I’m talking about adding your dreams, fears, thoughts, and more. I just don’t want to write them down (and no, it’s not my brother’s fault.)
What do you do? Do you write in a journal every day? Does it make you feel comforted? Do you go back and reread it later? How does it make you feel? I’m curious about the mind of a journal writer mainly because I don’t possess that kind of thought process.
My stories, my feelings, my thoughts are in my work. I don’t think you can write fiction and not have something of yourself in there. Unless you’re writing about mass murderers and let’s hope it’s not you in there. But as far as writing my thoughts and feelings in a personal notebook, it’s just not appealing. I wish it was.