General · Writing

J is for Journaling

Through today’s random internet browsing, looking for inspiration for this post, I found an article on what some famous authors have to say about journaling:

(And, also, quite a few fruitless minutes on how to spell journaling, because WordPress keeps flagging the spelling I am using.)

I kept a journal once when I was younger, but I wasn’t good at it. I could go for weeks without a single entry. Or write other, non-life-journal type things in it (i .e. new interesting words, character names, the occasional doodle, like that.) Sometimes I would forget to date my rare entries.

I don’t keep one a personal journal at all these days. And all my attempts at keeping a proper writing journal, the kind where I intended to write down plot ideas, character descriptions, writing prompts, that kind haven’t really worked out really. I had one like that once.

I lost track of it. And the one after that. The third, one, too. The last version was a binder that is stuck in a drawer somewhere that I haven’t taken out in months and months. Years, maybe. (I can’t quite recall.)

I meant to fill it with:

1) short stories

2) notes and worldbuilding and character stuff for the WiP.

I didn’t do either.

If random ideas do come to me while out and about, I whip out my phone and type them into my Google Keep. (Incidentally, that is where I brainstormed ideas for A to Z challenge. I only got as far as the letter F.) I got recipes and assorted tidbits in there, too. Very little of it has to do with writing.

No, sometimes I use my Evernote on my computer for writing stuff. Sometimes. Like whole actual short stories and setting ideas and things like that. I guess Evernote is my writing notebook, except it doesn’t feel like that. It doesn’t feel like a real notebook, not the marble ones I used to have as child, not the spiral notebooks I got when I was a little older and definitely not like the binder I still have tucked away somewhere.

It’s just . . . I don’t know. I don’t use just one app, but even if I did, I don’t think it would have the same feel. And that sounds like what a lot people say about reading physical books instead of eBooks: it doesn’t feel the same, the pages, the smell, how it feels to hold a paperback. None of it is the same.

Maybe the Evernote/Google Keep combo does work like a writing journal for me and maybe I should call it that, but I cannot quite convince myself they work like one.

And none of it is similar to the personal kind of journaling those authors are talking about. In fact, this blog is as close as I get to that.


18 thoughts on “J is for Journaling

  1. Are we soul sisters? Are we? I have done pretty much everything you just said! Including the KEEP for A-Z 😉 But you’re right. No such thing as the good old diary. I have one, by the way. I try to write in it daily. Such a liberating exercise 🙂

  2. I can’t ever keep up with a journal. I used to try when i was young but I never filled any up. I do love notebooks though, and keep dozens with me for various projects.

  3. It’s funny that you blogged about journaling. I pretty much said the same thing. I couldn’t keep up with the fancy journals I got because I thought they were too precious for me to write my random scribblings. So, I got composition books instead. I still have issues with writing in them every day, but I don’t guilty when I do.

  4. I’ve never kept a journal – even my LiveJournal was just a place to post fiction :). I do keep story notes, but they are random formats, everything from a mediawiki that my sis and I keep for The Haward Mysteries, to notes of my phone that I then email myself 🙂 One thing I don’t do a lot of is write stuff down, as in, with a pen, because my handwriting is so atrocious I can’t read it afterwards 🙂
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles
    Wittegen Press

  5. The only time I am good about keeping a journal is on vacation (and I don’t always do it then). I only started because I was writing about vacations later on my blog, and it was the only way I could remember what I had done from day to day. Now, I love looking back on those journals, and I try to do it when I am away (which, like I said, doesn’t always happen).

      1. It’s about the only time when I feel I have the time, oddly enough! I think my work and home life is so busy, my vacations tend to involve a lot of relaxation and time where I’m not doing anything!

  6. I have diaried or journaled off and on throughout my life. Currently I’m not doing either. But the longest streak I ever went was a spiritual journal when Christ called me back to him. I started it in 1992 and kept at it through several spiral notebooks until 1999. Unfortunately, we moved and the books became lost or damaged. I do use my blog a little like a journal. As I write mostly for me first on most posts. But never anything too personal, as it is the world wide web.
    Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B of Tremps’ Troops
    with the A to Z Challenge

  7. I’m with you there. My blog is the longest running journaling type device I have ever used. And all those words that seemed SO important back in my tweenage? I have absolutely no clue as to where they could be today. *sigh* Following from the minion team of AJ’s wHooligans from the #AtoZChallenge.

  8. Before my blog, I used to have a lot of notepads and diaries for jotting down thoughts and capturing some moments of life. But now they are used for just noting random thoughts and ideas to be used on the blog later 🙂

  9. I still prefer writing down notes, thoughts, ideas or small scenes with pen on paper to making notes on the phone or laptop. So my journals are mostly used as note-books, and i have a whole shelf filled with them. Unfortunately i can’t go to a stationery shop without buying one. And it would be a shame not to use them 🙂

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