Thursday, October 18, 2012

In defense of journaling


Do you journal? I have been journaling since I was twelve. But, this past year, I haven't been very faithful to it. I have written in that thick, leather-bound book maybe three times since Eric gave it to me for my birthday last year. I have plans of changing that.

If you google "benefits of journaling", you will find a lot of information on how wonderful it is for your mind. I have always thought that I would be a different person today if I had not been journaling most of my life, and I feel verified.

Things never seem as troublesome or overwhelming once they are on paper, in the form of mere letters. I have found that vague thoughts can be haunting, until they are slain with the power of the pen.

I find myself recycling my thoughts a lot. I used to be a little discouraged upon coming across a journal entry from a year ago, that bore an uncanny resemblance to the "original" one I wrote more recently. With this blog, I realize that I say very similar things quite often, but I have given up being paranoid about it.

As I work my thoughts out, and write them and rewrite them, I'd like to think they become a little bit better, a little bit clearer with every passing day. This life we have been given takes a while to figure out, I guess. And anyway, if I were not writing things down, I would be under the delusion that my thoughts really are original to me, every day. So, that's one benefit: I am fighting off delusions.

Some people have the talent to speak as they think. That is not me. I must write, or at least write, and then speak. Are you a speaker or a writer? Which refreshes you more?

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10 comments:

keishua said...

i love journaling, too. i find that writing things out is better for me than talking them out. i write to speak.

Kerri said...

I think I've said this in a comment to you before, but I have written in journals throughout my life but never, ever keep them. This must be some sort of psychological thing, but I'm also so embarrassed by what I've written before. Or else I've so wanted to move past a particular moment in my life that ridding myself of the journal from that time period helps the cleansing process along. I'm trying to better about both writing when I need to and keeping that writing whether it embarrasses me or not.

Jeneric Generation said...

Keishua,yes! We are the same. Sometimes, when my husband asks me an involved question, I ask, "can I just text you?" Of course, I don't really. But isn't it funny how our brains work?

Kerri,you do not know how tempted I have been to throw away past journals. I can definitely understand your desire to cleanse yourself of past thoughts. And honestly, if that really does help you, I don't see the harm in it. Either way, writing those words helped shape you, and that's the important part, right?

Bethany said...

I journal because I have this idea that when I'm old (and probably dead) my kids and maybe their own kids will want to read them. Is that kind of morbid?

I wished my grandmother had kept a journal solely for this purpose. She was a beautiful woman, full of wisdom and stories, and sometimes I wish I had more than just my memory of her.

I think I'm going to go journal right now!

Jeneric Generation said...

Bethany, I don't think that is morbid, I think that is a beautiful idea! And such an encouragement to keep writing. I would have loved to have the journals of the women in my family who came before me. Okay, it's official, let's keep this lost art form going strong.

Kym said...

I'm a writer, but i don't feel that my words on paper and my "voice" are any different than my speaking. So I guess i'm also a speaker. I don't notice a difference between the two- except that I enjoy writing more. Did that even make sense? Anyway, i also keep journals. I think it's healthy. and bethany: i have a journal that i've written to my son since i found out i was pregnant- for that very reason. i've always been curious about what my parents and grandparents were like when they were younger. i hope this journal will close that gap for him if he ever wonders...

Sarah said...

I journal, too! When I journal, I find myself definitely understanding the situation better and it's easier for me to come up with a solution that way.

When I read old journal entries from a difficult time I went though, it almost breaks my heart all over again. The pain that you can record with words is insane.

I love your blog, btw! :)

Mrs. K said...

Blogging often detracts from my journal, but I try not to let it too much.

I'm glad I found you! :)

Lesley said...

I agree with you that journalling is good for the soul! It's definitely a good way to work out problems. My issues is, though, that I don't want a book full of my problems. Looking through it later on would make me so sad to relive those bad memories. I usually make mind-maps on scrap paper if I'm really having a tough time with stress or working out an issue... then I crumple it up and toss it immediately!

Michael Z said...

I've also been journaling since I was 12. It's always been a very cathartic process for me. In my case I only write when I'm angry or there's a LOT going on. Yet at the same time, there are some thigns I just can't bring myself to put on paper because of the pain.