There are dozens of books on different types of journaling habits, procedures, etc.
I have a confession: I have not read a single one of them. That’s right, not one!
Just to be a rebel without a cause… I’m never going to read one either!
It isn’t that I do not read – I do – and voraciously. From fiction to non-fiction, self-help to business, crafting, education, history, science, and more. In my library, there are many writers from a variety of backgrounds, because I respect their various perspectives.
The whole idea of having someone tell me how to use a journal though, it’s just not for me. It’s okay if you love reading them – many of you have suggested various how-to-journal books to me, and I just can’t bring myself to read them.
I just don’t think it should be complicated enough to read a book on it. Maybe I’m wrong – and that’s okay too. I’m probably taking a risk just telling you all that I just don’t care to read them!
So how do I journal? I keep it really simple –
I document my life.
What my nearly daily writing in a journal does for me and, unless I miss my guess, many of you, is sort my feelings and keep track of daily occurrences. I suppose it’s my reason for having a journal that’s different, and why I have never bothered to read any how-to-journal books.
I don’t document my life because because it’s all that exciting or interesting – although I have certainly had some great moments! I document my life because memory shifts and changes over the years. What I once saw as a huge tragedy turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime; or I forget little details, like whether we were standing here or there when I first kissed my soul mate.
A journal keeps those memories pure for me. It reminds me why I chose to do a thing, or why not – and what were the consequences of that choice!
What do I write?
I write about what happened, what I thought/felt about it, etc. I write down all the details I can remember about the event or the day. Even this isn’t perfect, because memory is a fickle thing, but it helps me remember more than I would without it.
Here’s the funny thing – a journal need not be complicated, 500 pages long, or anything like that.
See that blog image? That is my current journal, and yes, I write in it with a fountain pen. I love the tactile sensation of physically writing. For me, it’s as much about the process as the content.
Here’s my advice on a journal: Keep it simple, make it yours, and above all – enjoy the process.
Learning Tangent is Gail’s brainchild. When it all goes down, she has to get the magazine out the door and on its way to subscribers. She has four kids, of whom she and her husband David homeschool two. She enjoys a wide range of activities including weaving, photography, writing, is a musician (both a teacher & performer), calligrapher, and is an avid sci-fi- & fantasy reader. You’ll generally find her busy doing whatever it is she wants to on a given day.