Most writers - myself among them - did a lot of writing way before we called ourselves writers. In high school I wrote poetry (But everyone in high school writes poetry, don’t they?) Then I went on after high school and studied journalism. For a long time I wrote features and hard news as a reporter for a daily newspaper.
Then came the novels. And short stories. And still more articles and memoirs when the mood strikes.
But, there is one kind of writing that I have always done, and that’s journaling. In my young-girl-days the word was ‘diary’. I can still see my red ‘five year diary’ with the lock. When I was older I put away childish things and changed the word ‘diary’ to ‘journal.’ Still the same thing, however. If I were even more grown up I might call it ‘memoir,’ or ‘personal writing.’
I have piles of completed journals in a back closet, but in the last year or so, I’ve been journaling online. I don’t mean blogging, I mean password protected private journaling. At first I just used a password protected Word document hidden away in an obscure file in my hard drive. (As if anyone really gets into my lap top looking for those sorts of things!) Then I shifted to the ‘Notes’ feature in my Yahoo Mail, (very nice, because yahoo mail is automatically password protected.
Most recently I’ve switched to an online site; http://penzu.com. That website also has a number of resources on how journaling is so cathartic, and gives tips to get started. It’s also completely private. And I’ve added a password that even my closest friend could decipher.
There are many online journalling places like Penzu. Google online journalling if you’re interested.
My journal is a place where I- like David - can cry out to God. It’s a place where I can rail against him - like David did - and say “have you completely forgotten about me?’ And then I can go into the specifics. But - and this is cool - usually by the end of my journal entry - like David did - I’m praising God for his goodness and greatness and wanting to draw closer to him.