Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Writers and their Journals - Hall

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.


Peter Black said...

Linda, your candid and personal reflection regarding your lifetime practice of journalling provides an insight into you, the writer. What a great resource for jogging memories of your life experiences, which I'm sure influence your creative writing today.

fudge4ever said...

First, I loved "Thin Ice" and was sad to see it end.
Secondly, I know i should journal. I keep hearing this little voice telling me to get with it. How did you get into a routine? Mornings, evenings? Just wondering how you discipline yourself.
Pam Mytroen

Glynis said...

I think the best part about journaling is picking it (them)up months or years later and reading what life was like and how I coped and what my attitude was like. I, like Peter, suspect that your journaling, Linda, was a groundwork for your incredible books! Now I need to go pick up my copy of "Thin Ice."

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