When I teach journal-writing courses, I often hear, “I’ve started a lot of journals, but I keep abandoning them.” There are many reasons we abandon our journals–because we are perfectionists, because we are guilty that we don’t write every day, because we don’t know what to write.
A solution I offer to my classes is simple: keep more than one journal. Write in whichever one you choose. “Oh, no!” I hear you yelling, “That will never work!”
“Ummmm, why not?” I ask.
Keeping more than one journal is fine. Just date each entry. I have one journal that is almost square, and has heavy paper, so I like it for watercolors. I have another one that is small and lies flat because of clever binding. I like to take it with me in airplanes because I can write in a cramped area. Another one is larger, and I like to use it for playing around with ideas.
Journals don’t have to be neat, tidy, all the same size, or from the same store. They can be messy, have pages torn out, have ideas that never happened in them.
You can sort them by topic–dreams in one, ideas in another, family stories in a third. You can sort them by paper type or where you will use them.
No matter which way you choose, keep a journal. Your life is worth examining, even occasionally. And when you read them, you will be amazed at what you remember.
–See my three different set of journal-prompt cards: perfectionists, one-sentence, and wabi sabi.
–Quinn McDonald teaches journal-keeping and runs seminars on personal and business communication. See her work at QuinnCreative.com (c) 2007 All rights reserved.