Monday, September 20, 2010

Journaling or Dear Diary...

I've been advised by many folks over the past few months that I should start a journal.

"Writing is good for the soul," they say. "It'll help you get over your anger and frustration." Yada yada yada.

"I'm already writing," I answer. "I don't need more writing responsibilities."

The truth of the matter is, I wasn't ready. Now, I am. Journaling reminds me of the diaries I wrote when I was in grade school and middle school:

Dear Catherine,
(I always named my diaries "Catherine
"),
Today was
n't a great day. Had a math test and got in a fight with Kathleen. Had another cigarette and nearly choked my lungs out. I'll NEVER do that again!** Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day. Oh, and I got a new pair of bitchin' jeans!

**Of course, the next day I tried another cigarette and HATED IT!!! And the next day, and the day after that. Ten years later I finally quit smoking.

I had a few journals as an adult, but this one is different. I'm doing it for a cause, a purpose - to help me get past a difficult time in my life - and I'm writing on the computer rather than by hand in a pretty book with kittens or flowers on the cover. And, trust me, my current entries aren't nearly so benign as they were in grade school. I'm using my words as swords to tear into the hearts and souls of the people who have turned my life upside down. Writing is a powerful and legal tool. Someday I hope to act more grown up, but until then... #*$#*#$&#%*^#$ RULES!!!

We'll see if this additional form of "written therapy" reaps any bananas or preferably a big-ass hot fudge sundae with extra fudge and whipped cream, or if it will be a colossal waste of time. Since writing has always been my salvation, I'm banking on the sundae. It seems like a just reward for putting down on paper the pain and anguish of ending a LTR. Plus, lyrics, songs, stories, letters, articles, cards, etc have always been the way I best express myself. So, what the heck - why not give it a go? Who knows, maybe I'll create a blockbuster non-fiction best-seller from it? (The perfect way to get even!) Then I could eat a sundae every night for dinner if I wanted to, so there!

What about you? Do you journal? Have you in the past? Has it helped? What are your overall thoughts on journal writing?

22 comments:

Kaige said...

I find journaling in the mornings helps me dump all the negative crap that tends to build up and intrudes on my writing time/brain. It also allows me to think out loud and sift through the stuff my subconscious was chewing on overnight. Sometimes I write snippets, but usually I talk to myself.

I hope you find it useful in the long run and not just as place to vent in the short term. Having a place to do that is always helpful too! ;)

BookGeek said...

I used to use a diary a lot in grade school. Now I keep more of a note journal for my writing, my thoughts, specific moments and any other things I deem relevant enough to put on paper.

Lately, I've been blogging more. I like it a lot better because it forces me to be more reflective. It also helps me to be more creative and unafraid.

Sharla said...

I used to in grade school/junior high/high school. And I saved them all and they crack me up to read now. So much teenaged angst and drama!!! Granted there were no cell phones with texting or email then...so writing was more of a big deal.

I did it again several years ago, but kept forgetting to get back to it...that whole mom thing gets in the way of that. And I did it for a little while at one point a few years ago when things were really dark and serious, and it was helpful I think.

Now life is good, so it's like I don't need it. Isn't that weird? You'd think happy things would be cool, too. But now I look at blogging as kind of a diary. Not every day, but whenever I have something to babble about, I blog. It just isn't private. ;)

Good luck to you and your venting system! Burn it up, girl!

Sybir St. John said...

I still have mine from all those years ago. It's a great idea since blogging is more public and while you can vent, we tend to NOT vent because some things, we need to work out in our own heads first before we put it out there for others to comment on.

Go you!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I never had a diary. I always wanted to but I think my laziness held me back. LOL

Julie said...

I say write it all down and then delete it. I used to journal, mostly in the unhappy times, and I saved those journals like they were a treasure, when in truth they were an anchor tying me to the Ghost of Unhappy Times Past.

Finally, I went through all of them, took out all the fiction ideas, and shredded the lot of them. One of the best things ever. :)

Robin said...

For the last month or so I have been using my blog as my therapy. I know I call it blogtherapy, but I have gotten serious with it about a month ago. Is it painful? Oh yeah. Do I feel better after? Definitely. There is something about letting it out. Letting it out here (where no one knows the other people involved) is also good. They sometimes see things that I don't. I know that is odd, since I wrote it, but they make observations that I miss. That makes me go back and examine whatever it is more closely. It is like having multiple therapists. I am NOT saying that is what you should do. You should journal your thoughts in whatever manner you feel comfortable. Do I think it is worth your time? Absolutely. It is you working on you. You are always worth your time.

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

As a child and teenager I kept a diary but haven't since then. I'm always afraid someone will read it and maybe publish it! Yikes!

Now when I need therapy, I write letters/diary entries on the computer. I rant and rave, etc. When I'm done, I reread it, whine, cry, pitch a hissy fit against the injustices I feel have been done to me and then hit "delete". Hopefully it will not only delete the words but also the anger, hurt, frustration, etc.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" suggests you start every morning with "morning pages" where you write out all the gunk. She says your life and your writing will be more productive if you do this. I used it during a trying time in my life. It does work. Cheers~
(If you haven't read this book-get it. Seriously-good stuff.)

denicekimberly said...

I was once an avid journal keeper and once in a while I think I should start again but, to be honest, I don't get anything out of it anymore. I know myself well enough now that the time it takes to write or type out my thoughts isn't worth it because my mind has already moved on/

However, having said that, if something bad happens journalling definitely helps me deal with the feelings I am having and usually gets me to a happy conclusion faster. So it works as a once in while thing based on situation.

1questionaday said...

ENJOY! And here's to many literary big-ass hot fudge sundaes with extra fudge and whipped cream. I just LOVE that image. And...if you need a little inspiration about what to write about..you can check out 1questionaday. Lots of fodder there.

Lisa Gail Green said...

I used to on occasion and as fun as it is to go back and read, I hardly ever find the time. I think writing books is just as therapeutic. Maybe more so! Plus, hot fudge sundaes...

Jemi Fraser said...

I journalled all through high school. Then I worried someone would read them, so I built a bonfire and burned them all :) But I definitely think it's worth it!

Karen Walker said...

Journalling literally saved my sanity when I lost custody of my son. It is a safe place to really let go and say how I feel. Helps me sort things thru. Oftentimes, insights come. Hope it helps you thru your dark time, Deb. It did for me. I've been journalling since 1978. Not all the time, but when I need it, it's there.
Karen

Debra L. Schubert said...

I'm blown away by everyone's comments. Thanks so much. For now, I'm definitely going to give it a go. I hope it will be a short-term thing, but who knows?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

nsiyer said...

I keep a journal, Debrah. Great memories when you go back. My journal consists a lot of appreciations I have received. It so motivating to go thro' many years and furter get motivated.

I am back, Debrah after my jaundice and will be coming over very frequently.

Val said...

Journaling or being a diarist helps a writer develop their inner narrative as well as an opportunity to break that very dirty habit of over writing. After a while, the writing becomes concise and clean and it is reflected in a writer's fiction or poetry. More than anything Debbie, it's a release valve and I've been somewhere very difficult and it kept me together. hugs

Buffy Andrews said...

Oh I don't know, I think I'll take the hot fudge sundae with extra whipped cream. And cherries. Lot of cherries. And a bowl of pretzels with mustard to dip them in. And maybe a Bud light lime would be a good chaser. And then maybe some salty chips and salsa. And another Bud light lime and ..... Maybe I should just journal like you. After all, I didn't do Weight Watchers for nothing. (smiles and waves)

Vegas Linda Lou said...

I started a journal to help me get the crap out of my head after my last divorce. Your mind is like a computer--if it's loaded down with crap, it won't work efficiently. And so I used journaling to purge.

Now, a journal does not a make a memoir, but my journal writings became the basis for my book, Bastard Husband: A Love Story. A journal a wonderful documentation of a certain point of time, and is a great way to capture the emotions you're feeling right now. You may need to recollect them later for a character you're writing... or your own memoir. Who knows?

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Anonymous said...

Всем привет, Между нами говоря, по-моему, это очевидно. Советую Вам попробовать поискать в google.com

Anonymous said...

привет, Между нами говоря, я бы попытался сам решить эту проблему.

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