Here are the results from a poll of friends and students on the subject of keeping a journal:
My problems with journal writing are the following:
- Lack of discipline
- It's not fun but rather seems so boring - it's not as if I have anything exciting or interesting to say.
- How do you start? Dear Diary? In other words, mental block.
- To what purpose do I keep a journal? I guess I should think about purpose.
Funny, I am always giving journals to others who declare "It's the perfect gift, thank you so much!" But I don't keep one of my own. I'm not sure what I have to say is profound enough. Not sure I am deep enough and not sure I want to see what is there if I do go deep.
I do not keep a journal. Several issues:
- lack of discipline
- lack of privacy
- lack of time, the right kind of undistracted quiet time
I WISH I had kept a journal all of my life -
I wish I had kept a journal, but didn't. My default is due to the fact that I kept a diary for awhile in grade school and my mother found it, read it and ridiculed me. A more likely reason is my hunch that this stuff I'm thinking about writing is pedestrian drivel.
If you type in the words "keeping a personal journal" on Google, 1,020,000 entries will come up. These entries cover every subject you could think of (and more) for a journal - relationships, diets, Pilates, cooking, finance, travel, spiritual, sugar consumption, dreams, goal setting, bee keeping - including a list of the "Top 10 Miraculous Benefits of Keeping a Personal Journal". For over a million entries and those miraculous benefits, you'd think there would be hordes of people keeping journals; that the whole planet would be full of people writing in notebooks day and night.
I think the bottom line is fear. Fear of writing boring, shallow stuff, of not doing it "right", of not having enough discipline (mentioned by two people in my poll), of wasting time because there's no practical purpose, and then always the possibility of having your thoughts and feelings ridiculed by someone who reads it.
It takes courage to write down what you think and feel.
But if you don't figure out a way to get past the fear and write the emotional truth of your life, what are you going to write about?