Journals?

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  • #200584
    Weird Jim
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    Should you/do you keep a journal?

    What goes into it, and when?

    Is it of any value to your writing?

    Paper or electronic?

    Is it for posterity? — like — just in case you get famous. :ohmy: :woohoo:

    #221798
    jschara
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    • Topics - 115
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    Excellent questions. I started keeping a journal in high school (I didn’t like the term ‘diary,’ because I didn’t like “girlie” things, and I associated diary with girlie fluff. (Yes, I am a girl, but still…) I kept it until my mid-twenties when I was involved in a personal injury lawsuit involving my now ex-husband, and they got pulled into the deposition process (not a fun time, let me tell you). That cooled me on journal keeping for a while, but I’ve since resumed keeping one. I’ve tried paper and electronic, and for now, I’m mostly electronic. I returned to the process with a paper journal for “Morning Pages.” I continued the effort with the website 750words.com, and I modified the process by switching to MacJournal software at the beginning of this year.

    The posterity question is interesting. I’m thinking I should destroy the early journals and probably the electronic ones as well at some point, but when is the right point for that?

    I’m not sure if there’s value for my writing or not. I do venture into that realm periodically, but I rarely re-read entries in the journal. Thankfully, with the search capability in MacJournal, it has been easy to find a reference when I needed it, and that could be useful for writing.

    Some writers keep journals specifically for their WIP or other aspects of their writing. I guess, to a certain extent, I do, too, but it’s not in an organized manner.

    #221803
    Weird Jim
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    • Topics - 131
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    I’d never heard or thought of journalling software so I thought, there must be a free one somewhere that I can use as a try out. Yes there are lots of them will give a three day trial, but I didn’t want to get stuff stuck in a frozen trial version.

    So I downloaded a free program. Huh! Loaded with Google and Google associated garbage, system restore even seemed to be contaminated. Luckily it wasn’t. I refuse to have anything to do with Google unless I’m desperate. Of course, when stuff is booby-trapped like that, it’s probably in demand

    There’s a Windows version of MacJournal with a thirty day free trial. I should have gone for that and not been such a cheapskate.

    #221815
    jschara
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    You should know within 30 days if you like the software or not. I think it’s pretty versatile.

    I also created a “First Line” of the day journal with a goal of jotting down a first line every day. I figure somewhere in all those first lines, I might eventually find one worth keeping.

    #221799
    ConnieCockrell
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    • Topics - 90
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    I’ve tried keeping a journal off and on since I was 12 (Diary of Ann Frank, you know.) Anyway. I would keep at it for a while, then just drop it. It’s too bad too because I have some really nice journals. It’s been years since I kept one. I just don’t think my life is interesting enough to write down what happened to me each day.

    Now a writing journal, that’s a different idea. It might actually be helpful to document classes I’ve taken, interesting blogs I’ve read, tidbits of tips and tricks for my writing. Hmmm.

    #221800
    silvara
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    • Topics - 5
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    I journal, but just for me. I have an electronic journal called Life Journal (http://www.lifejournal.com/) downloaded onto my computer, and I also keep a paper journal in spiral bound notebooks. I periodically get rid of the old journals, because I don’t want to share them with others ever. Best to write my feelings down, get them out of my system, and then destroy the evidence. :whistle:

    #221801
    Gilroy
    Participant
    • Topics - 24
    • Replies - 146
    Weird Jim wrote:
    Should you/do you keep a journal?

    I do keep a journal, though I am horrible about keeping up with it.

    Quote:
    What goes into it, and when?

    When I am using it, it is usually because my usual sources of venting, best friends in three states, are unavailable or otherwise can’t help to clear my mind. So I spew what is throwing me into mental/emotional spirals into the thing.

    Quote:
    Is it of any value to your writing?

    Um, just to get me writing again.

    Quote:
    Paper or electronic?

    Mine is hosted on LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com) though at times, I’ll print out the whole things and shove it in a notebook for backup sake. Sometimes, I even get responses. :)

    Quote:
    Is it for posterity? — like — just in case you get famous. :ohmy: :woohoo:

    No, mine is more cathartic or theraputic than posterity. In some of the posts, if people knew what I wrote… I’d be dead about five hundred times over. Did I mention that LiveJournal has these great locks systems to say who can see what post? :)

    #221802
    Parrish
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    • Topics - 1
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    Journal writing is always soooo private to me because I generally “spew” emotions into words. So I will keep it for a week, a month, or maybe 3 months… then I tear out the pages and rip them into tiny shreds so no one can read them. It helps get stability when you are “emotional”, whether high or low.

    As a writer, sometimes, I will FREEWRITE to clear my writing mind and this does help immensely. I just again “spew” anything on my mind. It helps me clear my writer brain to make it more free to attend to the story. It works too. When I freewrite, I do reread it and then I chop and delete.

    I think if I lead a more interesting life, I could do a journal of what my days consisted of, but for now, I’m too boring to keep a journal.

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