Monday Meanderings–On Keeping a Journal


This is a post from a long while back. I’ll give you an update at the end.

Photo:naturalscience.com

Photo:naturalscience.com

I’ve been keeping a journal for longer than many of you have been alive. Right now, my journals fill up the better part of a book-case. I don’t revisit them and have no idea what to do with them but some force compels me to hold on.

Perhaps the day will come when I’ll peel out the earliest tome and peruse the state of my soul way back when. I know the journey will lead me through angst, joy, guilt and growth. That’s it. I hope the growth will be the theme I take away.

For the most part my journals consist of the insights and roadblocks I’ve met on my spiritual journey. My dreams are there, too–along with my understanding (at the time) of the messages they’ve imparted. There are periods of time when I journal every day, and then there’s a drought where there’s nothing at all.

I have a smaller stack of writing journals, too. Notebooks overflowing with ideas, descriptions, outlines, writing how-to’s–you name it. Those I have revisited and culled a line here or a description there that makes its way into a poem or short story.

In a way, I guess, posting on a blog is a form of journaling–but doesn’t allow the freedom you have when what you’re writing is a part of your “secret diary.” I don’t think a journal should be shared or written with anyone else in mind except yourself.

If you haven’t tried this practice, I suggest taking a look at “The Artist’s Way.” Journaling is an asset, not only to the spiritual journeyer, but also to the writer, poet, artist–the creative spirit within you.

Journaling remains an important part of my life. I try to maintain a practice of three 8.5 X 11 pages daily, as recommended in “The Artist’s Way. In the meantime, I have begun those re-visits with an eye toward the growth that’s happened and that which still awaits me. I have notice, perhaps as a function of easing toward the end of life, there is more gratitude, less striving and more self-acceptance.

Have a happy week with pen and pencil whether you’re writing for yourself, or penning under the influence of your muse for the delight of all. Creativity rules!

Photo: creativesomething.com

Photo: creativesomething.com

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17 thoughts on “Monday Meanderings–On Keeping a Journal

  1. Jamie Dedes says:

    Wow! I thought I’d missed a lot of your posts. I guess not. A delightful visit, Victoria. Be well …

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  2. I’ve just started up my gratitude journal. I kept it for three years when my marriage was disintegrating and for a year after. Then life got great. The journal kept me focused on something positive about life when everything felt so bleak. But I figured that, even though life is good now, I still have room in my life to reflect on observations and thoughts to keep me in the present moment–something for which I am always grateful!

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  3. Jamie Dedes says:

    It doesn’t seem to work for me. I have rarely kept a journal, though I do keep writing notes. I’ve always just written a poem or a story. I can see the value of it though. Appreciated reading your thoughts on this, Victoria.

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  4. howanxious says:

    I tried to keep a journal, but soon tore away those pages because they made me see how concrete and apparent this life and its problems are. And moreover, they were full of rebellious thoughts. It was when I was 14 and since after then, I didn’t try it again. But now when you have mentioned it, I guess I must give it another try… 🙂

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  5. Writer in Progress says:

    Isn’t the truth about making mistakes.

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  6. claudia says:

    oh i like that quote in the close… we learn so much from our mistakes…true… i wrote journals for years…they line up on my shelf and were my way to channel my emotions until i started to write poetry..smiles

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  7. Rajlakshmi says:

    I still write journal… reading whatever I wrote long time back is an experience in itself.

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  8. I’ve been journaling for ever so long, I am convinced that it’s helped me pray my bitter moments and praise my blessings ! Wonderful habit to create! Blessings dear~ Debbie

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  9. Theresa says:

    So therapeutic… In reading your ‘About,’ I believe you and I have much in common. Blessings.

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  10. scillagrace says:

    Journal-writing is like looking in the mirror. It’s hard to know yourself really well if you never do it. I suppose you can do it far too much, though.

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  11. janehewey says:

    You may have just inspired me to rekindle my daily journaling. Thank you, Victoria.

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  12. I have a trunk full of them. At one point I went through and created a radically edited version, complete with chapter headings and an index. That version has been a valuable tool for me.

    I like what you say of your current journal writing, that there is “more gratitude, less striving and more self-acceptance.” The stuff I edited out of mine were the unbearable repetitions, doubts and pointless striving. Since I began blogging a few years ago my journaling has almost completely stopped, yet I think about doing it all the time…

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  13. I wish I’d written more when I was younger and kept them . . . I journal now and it’s interesting revisiting some pages. I love that my blog is a public form of journal, a map of my creative journey.

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  14. ManicDdaily says:

    You know I sometimes think I make mistakes when editing–I take too much out or the wrong things – a big problem, though I’m a big believer in editing. Very inspiring. k.

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  15. brian miller says:

    i have kept journals for years….and pull from them for inspiration quite often…the artist way is a great book as well…

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  16. kaykuala says:

    How nice Victoria! Lots of tips here all for the asking. Whew, never knew it went through such a process. Time is an equalizer. Thanks for sharing Ma’am!

    Hank

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  17. He/she who never made a mistake never made anything.
    I don’t have the persistence for journaling: the blog’ll have to do. I do have a huge stack labelled “writers’ notebooks” though which I use much as you do.
    Vx

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