Saturday, October 15, 2016

Writing Journals

My friend asked me the following questions.  I will post my answers in a week or two.  In the meantime, anyone want to take a shot at answering any of the questions?

1. Do you have stacks and stacks and STACKS of journals?  

2.  Do you write in haphazard notebooks and stuff in napkins with jottings OR do you use the printed "Journal" sorts of books?  

3. Where do you keep them?  

4. Do you ever read back over them?  

5. Are they journals you plan to leave behind for your offspring?

6. Or were they personal venting or a bit of both?  



  1. 1. I do not have stacks and stacks and STACKS of journals. I don't even have one.
    2. I don't use a notebook nor a napkin for jotting thoughts.
    3. In a non-existing world, since I don't have any.
    4. n/a
    5. I don't have any journals so n/a.
    6. I don't do that kind of thing.

    1. Hi David,
      I know you just did an assignment at school where you told about your ancestors and where you were born. In someone else's world that might be called journalling. I wonder what you call it? And don't say homework.


  2. 1. I used to have stacks and stacks and STACKS of journals.

    2. I love to look at bound journals with blank pages when I am shopping. I like ones with special clasps, with built in elastics that wrap around, with a lock and key - even though I know they are more decorative than true security, with textured covers, small enough to fit in a back pocket, tiny enough to fit in a wallet, and my favourite to date - the Passion Planner - part journal, part day timer, part goal tracker.

    3. I used to keep them in my room in a box, and one by my bed. I had a friend who kept all of the notes she and I passed back and forth in school in a shoebox under her bed. We read them years later with a lot of laughter. I was shocked to see that in my school years I felt just as "busy" as I do now as a "mother". An observation that stayed with me.

    4. Yes, I re-read them all multiple times. Occasionally tearing out something I later felt was too private. Other times finding solutions to problems I was reliving.

    5. I thought I would leave my journals behind for my offspring.

    The day I found out I was having a baby, I was frantic to destroy them. I couldn't figure out how to shred them since they were all so interestingly bound.

    I filled my tub with hot water and put them in the bath. I left them there for hours, giving the brew a occasional stir with a wooden spoon. I had hoped the ink would run off or the paper would shred as it got water logged. All to no avail.

    So eventually, I drained the tub, stuffed them in a black garbage bag, took them to the dumpster, and hoped they would mold beyond recognition. They are hopefully in a landfill somewhere in Florida.

    6. They were a mix of personal venting, celebrating, poetry, drawings, goals accomplished, and plans dashed. Funny stories. Sad stories. Hilarious stories. Stories. They also included letters I wrote and received as well as some rather boring sections of me trying to write what I wanted people to remember of me -- honestly, never as interesting as the truth.

    I will add a 7th question for myself.

    Question 7. If you destroyed them, do you have any regret about that?

    Answer 7. Nah. I find it rather comical to think about my frantic act of attempting to erase my past. I wear my past on my face, my body, in my gait, and in the stories I share. No erasing it.

    Will my son wish I hadn't destroyed them? I don't think so. But it is hard to know what to leave behind when you have the option to not.

    I occasionally do wish I could pull out an excerpt here or there, but now we are in an electronic era where my bathtub measures will not put a dent in my digital footprint.

    I have had a long history of hating making mistakes, seeing those mistakes, someone pointing out those mistakes, trying to cover up those mistakes, etc.

    I breath much easier in those moments when I am able to accept those mistakes as something I learned from and can move on.

  3. You have given me a lot to think about, Bonnie. I do related to wanting to buy the beautifully bound journals, I have one that is leather bound. It is so precious that I only keep a few things in it. One is the list of films I have seen and directors of those films. I am behind on keeping that list up to date. And I can't figure out why that list is precious enough to get into the leather journal.

    At the front of my leather journal I kept a list of new words I was learning: slumgullion, cathexis, klaxion, oeillade, and ambulate. Now I see that those words aren't that important.

    I notice there is a section in the middle of my leather journal where I have a list of the musicals I have seen.

    There is another section called "Notes on the 40's and 50's, where I was collecting ideas to write about when I was young.

    I also have one section where I have pasted a list of all of the biopics I want to see.

    Now it becomes apparent that I have turned this beautiful leather journal into a book where I keep lists of things I want to remember, or things I want to do.

    And now to answer question #7, if you have destroyed your journals, do you have any regrets about that.

    There were times when I went back and read my writing and wanted to destroy it. I was embarrassed about something -- either my naive way of writing, or maybe I was embarrassed about ideas I had that have now changed. Some of the writing I felt was so trivial, I was going to throw it away so no one else could see it.

    Kelvin told me to keep the writing as a record of where I had been and where I was moving to, and he told me that if I could just think about those old words as belonging to someone else who was no longer me, I would be glad some day.

    That advice was good for me.

  4. Why did you drown the journals? I may have garaged them but all the work of drowning them?