Thursday, June 24, 2010

Going all Retro with a [gasp!] JOURNAL

Do you remember your first journal?

I'm not talking about a Dear Diary sort of thing, not one with dates and days of the week that required details of every day.  I'm thinking about the blank book - hundreds of empty pages waiting for anything that you're willing to commit to paper.

My first ever journal entry, dated June 12 1985, was 2 lists: Guys I Love and Movies I Love.  (Kevin Bacon & Footloose topped both. Sigh.  They're still up there.)

The very last entry in that same blank book was the night before I got married - in that one book I have documentation of the most intense, silly, and emotional years of my life.  (And no, now you mention it I'm not sure where it is.  Yikes!)

What, me? Write a lot? Um... maybe?

So I've been trying to unravel a bit of a knotty issue in my head in recent weeks. (Not naughty, sadly. Just...knotty.)  The sort of thing that's isn't front & center in your brain, but the kind of abstract thinking that pops right up if you have a quiet moment in the shower, or as you drive to the pool or wait for water to boil.

I find myself eyeing my current journal - the leather-bound thick-papered book that has laid on my bedside table since I was pregnant with Cecilie.  Haven't written a blessed thing in it since I was newly pregnant with Annika - almost exactly three years ago.  And yet my thoughts lead me to the creamy blank pages:  waiting for lines of slanting black ink in which I slowly untangle the mental morass.

Is there really a place for journaling when there's a blog?

Up to this point, I would've argued No.  I would've argued that blogging is quality-control - a necessary check on the maudlin, the whiny, the self-indulgent.  It forces a discipline on the writing that ultimately makes the content more interesting not only to a reader, but to me.

But awareness of your audience also forces the writer to leave certain content on the sidelines.  Believe it or not, even a blogger has limits about what she'll share.  Here is where a journal leaps up for its time in the sun:  a journal offers total, open acceptance.  It's just me, the page, and the pen.  Honesty - and ideally, a little clarity - is the only way forward.


Cheryl said...

I was just asking JCoop where you'd been I know. You've been noodling! Hope you cracked that journal open..

Moxie said...

Yes, yes and yes. My rule for blogging: If I can't say it out loud to a friend or family member, I cannot blog about it. That's what a journal is for.

And I hope you have a lovely fountain pen to use in that journal. Personally, I alternate between my Waterman Phineas (medium nib, Florida blue ink) and my Lamy (fine nib, black ink).

If you do not have a fountain pen, then I am going to friend your husband on Facebook and harass him until he buys you one.

Keda said...

I actually posted on this a while back in my own blog as well. I don't like duplicating my work, once it's done it's done, so of late, it has been either my journal or my blog and even more recently, only my blog. But it is true what you say: There are things that cannot go into my blog, only into my journal.

hezro said...

I still occasionally journal. There's a lot I won't blog. And sometimes I just like to hash things out with pen and paper. (Nothing beats a handwritten list in my very humble opinion.) Plus I'm totally addicted to pretty little notebooks. Last time I went to Target I got all wild and crazy in the stationery section and came home with not one but THREE pretty little lined books. And I didn't even have a clue how I would use them but I had to have them.

I always refer to my blog as my "online baby book" but there's even stuff about the kids I won't go into because either a) I don't want to REALLY embarrass them or b) I don't want to come off as bragging.

Rose West said...

I've been taking a break from journalling myself, but feel the need to start back up again. I think it really helps my other writing as well, if I keep journalling.

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