Dear diary

A lot of people say that blogging is their new journal. I don’t buy that for one second. Who writes their innermost thoughts and then posts them for the entire world to see? Nobody, that’s who. Bloggers universally give a sanitized, edited version of their lives. Some are way more edited than others, but we all show more of the good side of our lives than the bad.

I used to be very good about keeping a journal until a few months after I got married. My first year of marriage was a tumultuous one and I aired all my concerns and grievances in my journal. I needed a safe place to sort through my feelings and emotions and decide what needed to be discussed with my husband and what was just hormones and me freaking out about nothing. One day when I was out of town visiting my sister, my husband stumbled across my journal. To this day he swears he didn’t know what it was. Naturally, once he started reading he didn’t stop.

Let’s just say the situation got very ugly and there were a lot of tears and drama.

And that was the end of me keeping a journal. What’s the point if you can’t write what you really, really think? If somebody might come across all those messy, menacing thoughts? It might as well be a blog.

I’ve tried to start a journal several times, but I always start with “The History of Jennie”. After three pages I’m fed up and I don’t write again. But I feel guilty. And I seriously need to vent. So last week I broke out yet another sparkling clean journal and started once more. This time there is no back history. No “this is what I’ve been doing since I wrote six years ago.”

It felt great.

I’d forgotten how wonderful, how freeing, it is to write whatever comes into my head. No worries about punctuation or uploading photos. Just me and a pen. I haven’t written so much by hand since I addressed Christmas cards (if that even counts).

If you’ve been meaning to start a journal, don’t put it off another day. Just jump in where you are. Oh, and find a really good hiding place.

| Filed under Good Things, IMO

13 thoughts on “Dear diary

  1. I carry a notebook around in my purse. I don't write in it everyday but you're right. It's nice to use pen and paper instead of a keyboard every once in a while.

  2. Given your (husband's) history, I would reccommend buying one with the little brass lock and key on front. Then write in a big sharpie, "Jennie's Journal- Keep Out!". Just to be safe.
    I know what you mean though. A few years ago I came across a journal from an unhappy period in my life and tore out several pages. There is NO WAY anybody needs to read that. So, I guess I have self-edited even the "private" journal entries, just in case!
    I also agree on the blog thing. Part of the reason I don't post very often is I don't think I have "anything" to say…i.e, nothing scintillating or flattering. Not conciously of course, because it would be unfashionable to be that vain, right?

  3. GAG! who wants to write by hand!? I don't even know HOW to write any more. If I have to fill out a form it's unreadable.

    So I DO keep a private journal, but you bet your boots it's typed!

  4. P.S. Then I copy my blog, complete with photos, INTO my journal. That way I get the good, the bad and the beautiful (my kids are NOT ugly!)

  5. I had the same problem—-but my first marriage was living hell—so you can imagine my journal….

    But my ex-husband also found it and couldn't understand why I didn't have ONE nice thing to say about him.

    Huh? He was an abuser, by the by.

    Glad you are trying again…

  6. Thanks for the lightbulb moment!! I've been staring at my kids lately feeling like time was flying too fast & that I wasn't going to be able to remember these sweet (and sometimes crazy & frustrating) moments. Here's my answer! Something so simple yet so far from my mind. thanks! xo

  7. I resisted a non-handwritten journal for several years, but I finally broke down and started one on my computer a few years ago. I don't write in very frequently, but I always feel like I want to do it more. I feel like both my blog and my journal are records of my life, but crafted for different audiences and with different purposes. I'm still trying to figure out what to do with some of my journal entries from a few years ago when we were going through a very difficult time. I think at some point I'd like to compile a more official personal history that would be OK for others to read, but haven't gotten to that point yet.

  8. My problem is that I don't like to use a pen and paper.

    And I really don't have an inner most thoughts to share.

    I am pretty superficial.

  9. I write all the stuff I don't want other people finding out about in German in my journal. Or at least I did when I was in high school and college. Maybe I should do a blog post in German one of these days so I can really rant.

    ER IST EINE LAME ENTE!!!!! and so forth.

  10. How funny that you started this. Today I picked up my dusty old journal and started writing again.

    I agree, a blog is not a journal!

  11. I wish I had written down EVERY funny thing my boys ever did or said. It makes me sad that I have forgotten all of those precious simple moments. And…my boys are still talking about how great those brownies were! =)

    Hey…come to my newest blog and follow me to a giveaway and tell all of your friends!

  12. I'm writing my Master's thesis on journals and blogs of stay-at-home mothers and stumbled across your blog. Oh man! Even more good material! I've got to stop, seeing as how I should have my first draft done today. That's why I chose this subject, I find it just fascinating.

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