Monday, September 08, 2008

Privilege, Pleasure,and Purpose - Mann

Journaling is sharing one’s soul, what Luci Shaw often called journeying. Finding a way to bare our will, intellect and emotions is no easy feat. I suppose I scribed my life, beginning in my little red diary with the lock on the cover, that, as a child, I hid under my mattress. Why? Because at that time, I wouldn’t want anybody to know how I felt. Yet, those remarks would have been a treasure to me, had I kept them. How else could I see into the mind of that little child? Lucy Maud Montgomery writes, “ . . . I would have thought it a kind of crime not to write daily in it—nearly as bad as not saying my prayers or washing my face”(Sept 21, 1889).

Is it accountability that confirms who we are? I’ve often wondered, yet I’m so consumed when I find something that I’ve written in a particular time of stress or victory. How else would I ever capture those moments and those feelings?

If “journal writing is a voyage to the interior” as Christina Baldwin says in Life’s Companion then it can hardly be self-centered and egotistical as I’ve heard some people discuss. And yet, sometimes when I’m writing, I tell myself, “Oh, don’t whine.” But, I’ve come to realize that if that’s the way I feel, then so be it. It’s who I am at that particular time and place and if I write it down, I’ll not miss a snapshot of putting it into words.

As a writer, other people’s entries have blessed me. Edna Staebler writes in her journal, “A writer must have many, many hours of solitude and silence when ideas can be incubated”(July 15, 1984). I find reading this eases my guilt, just a little, as I hear the dishes rattle in the sink as hubby Doug prepares supper.

Friend Angie tells me she hopes what she enters into her journal everyday will someday be gathered into a devotional. Friend Glynis writes herself through the difficult days of appointments and treatments into her blog – great potential for a book. Some manuscripts develop from humble beginnings. I know these kinds of things happen.

When I wrote my first book, Take Time to Make Memories, I dug deep from my old journals. It simply could not have been written without them. And don’t forget all those emails where you pour out your heart. This is real. So, there is privilege, pleasure and purpose in journaling. Happy writing!

Donna j mann
Keep in touch through:
Take Time to Make Memories (1996)
WinterGrief (2003)
Aggie's Storms (2007)

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