Journaling?

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kherezae

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Journaling?
« on: July 09, 2016, 09:50:06 PM »
So who all uses a journal and/or diary and/or personal blog-type-thing here? I'm curious about the different ways in which we go about it and the uses we have for our journals. :D

This was inspired by the fact that I recently typed up the paper journal I've been keeping since November. It took quite a while, even though I didn't write in it super consistently for large portions of that time.

I've brainstormed on paper for as long as I can remember wanting to be an author, so probably since middle school. I kept a livejournal (well, various ones, really) for a few years before finally moving to dreamwidth because I wanted a place to store my journaling online, not necessarily the community aspect of livejournal, and dreamwidth gave me the ability to import all the entries from all of my livejournals into one place.

So I use journals for reflection, for thoughts about my life, and also for brainstorming writing things. It's a way to organize my thoughts and keep track of ideas and changes in my life.

I'm thinking about setting up a local wordpress server on my computer eventually and moving all my entries there... but then other days I consider going back to LJ... I'm inconsistent.

And I love the flexibility of a paper journal, but I never use it to its full potential, so I think I'll stick to electronic for the foreseeable future. I originally moved to paper in November because of a Humans of New York post that showed a girl's journal, attached below. I wanted to do something like that, but I ended up doing almost nothing in my journal that couldn't be transcribed to electronic format easily.

You all?

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2016, 09:56:12 AM »
I think I remember trying to keep diaries and journals (I think I had a Pocahontas diary, haha) when I was younger, but it never stuck. I used to write my stories and scripts in notebooks, but these days it's just SO much faster to type (I can type roughly 90 WPM. :P ). I've been keeping online journals for...God, probably ~15 years? I remember there used to be (I don't know if it exists any more) a site called Deadjournal, and I actually vaguely remember when you needed an invite code to get a Livejournal. I had one Livejournal account and then, before they let you buy rename tokens, I made a new one and have used that one ever since. At first I only randomly wrote in it for the most part, but then when I was a freshman in college (2004), I started joining the communities and adding people as friends and I started posting entries pretty much every day. These days, I can go several days/maybe even a week before I'll write an entry, just because if I posted every day, it would probably just be filler entries (and actually that's what a lot of my entries in the past have been, 'cause I post memes and stuff sometimes).

One year for Christmas, my aunt bought me this neat little trunk and it was FILLED with journals. That was...I don't even know how long ago at this point. I know my parents were together, but beyond that I have no idea how many years ago it was...but I STILL haven't filled them all. Maybe five or six years ago, my mom went to Cape Cod and she came home and gave me a journal that she bought for me, and I filled that up with story ideas. I have another one that I'm currently working on filling up, which is technically the third one (the binding of the second one basically fell apart and I had to pull the pages out), and over time I'm typing the ideas up into a Scrivener file. But that's mainly what I'm using the journals for now, is to write ideas down in, because I don't have the patience to try and write my stories by hand any more.  :-\ Which saddens me, because one of the biggest things I remember from childhood is filling up notebooks with stories, and now I don't do that any more.

Storms of Magic - Draft 1



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Sheepy-Pie

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2016, 10:02:56 AM »
I find it really difficult to use journals. We HAD to use one for one of the uni degrees I did and it was awful. I've never got on with it. I prefer to reflect in my head. I think it's partially cause I wrote a diary as a child and my mum used to break into it and read it. I never trusted one since. I did try writing it down on the computer and I found it not too long ago, but reading it was painful. It reminded me of things I wanted to forget, and brought back memories I envy.

I've started a notebook for my writing ideas but I think that's as far as I will go with it. Things I don't mind people seeing.

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kherezae

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2016, 01:04:55 PM »
Oh goodness, Sheepy, that's awful! I can certainly understand why you wouldn't want to journal after that. But a notebook for writing ideas is a good writers' staple!

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Jedi Knight Muse

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2016, 05:40:01 PM »
I really wish I had thought about writing all of my ideas down in journals waaaaay sooner than I started doing it. I mean, I guess I used to type ideas out into Word documents, and I still do that (in Scrivener) to an extent, but I think if I had started doing it a lot sooner, it might have been different.

Then again, a lot of my childhood was spent writing Star Wars scripts/stories and movie crossover stories, sooooo...

Storms of Magic - Draft 1



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Ahryantah

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2016, 11:27:22 PM »
I was never good at keeping a paper journal, though I tried for years (my closet is littered with partially-filled  journals dating back to third grade!). It wasn't until I got on LiveJournal in 2004 that I started actually "journaling" regularly, so I guess I prefer electronic media! I do have a paper journal that I use for story ideas (and like Jedi, I wish I'd started writing down ideas a lot sooner than I did; my old paper journals were just personal musings and daily life stuff). I started a second LJ just for writing-related things, but that hasn't been updated since like 2009. In 2012 I moved to Dreamwidth and mostly abandoned LJ (I crosspost from DW so entries still show up on my LJ, but I stopped adding people and communities years ago and I rarely read through my friends list over there). I talk about writing a lot more in my DW journal because most of the people I have added over there are original fic writers, as opposed to the fandom friends I had on LJ.

I also have a Wordpress that I got years ago and only posted to a couple times. I might dust it off in the future if I ever decide to try getting my web serial off the ground.


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Sailesing

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2016, 10:58:51 PM »
I think I started my first journal when I was 8 years old. I would write for days at a time and then forget about it for months or years. My first journal spanned 10 years altogether. I got a new one when I turned 18 and left for college. I've been journaling ever since. My family is full of INFJ personality types - very analytical, very dry humor, not accustomed to talking out their feelings. If I needed to get something off my chest, a journal was the best place for me to do it. It can be incredibly cathartic for me.

I also wrote on paper a ton as a kid, so I grew to love the tactile sensation of pressing a pen to paper and watching the ink flow out, the smooth scritching sound of a freshly sharpened pencil, the heft of a stack of blank paper waiting to be filled with words. I love holding heavy books, closing books, riffling papers, smelling old pages, listening to the sound a hearty tome makes when you close it. I've never been able to find the same kind of tactile enjoyment in typing on a computer, which I think is a huge part of why I don't write near as often as I used to. I can't write with a pen or pencil fast enough to keep up with my thoughts half the time, so I've struggled a lot. I'm hoping it's something I can get over. I have an old LiveJournal account that doesn't have a ton of content. Just a handful of stories and fanfiction. I've started almost a dozen personal blogs, but none of them have been kept up the same way my paper journals have.

I'd love to try making my own paper and fashioning my own journal some day.

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xexes

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2016, 02:19:33 PM »
I have a 'where are you going, where have you been' kind of journal I write in every now and then as the years go by. It helps keep track of the big life-changing events.

I like to look back and cringe, and look forward and smile.

What I wish I had done differently was to keep all my "last night I dreamed..." pictures in one place and together so I have them now.

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briari hallow

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2016, 05:21:34 PM »
Huh, I don't think I ever noticed this topic. I used to try and be a "journal" girl when I was little. You know, I really thought I could sit down and write every day like my life was a Disney movie. But, the older I became the less I wanted to write about my rather boring life, and I became increasingly embarrassed by any entries I did end up rereading. I recall thinking along the lines of, "Oh god, if someone saw this they would think I was the biggest simpleton in the world."

So, even though I still collect notebooks, I don't use them for "personal" journaling. They're mostly a collection of thoughts, lists of things (sometimes Christmas lists of things to buy for others, sometimes lists of flowers I enjoy), and brainstorming for creative endeavors.

I think the closest thing I do to journaling about my life is keeping a pretty meticulous planner. I only use the Moleskine Weekly Planners, because one side is the calendar for the week, and the other side is lined paper. So, usually I'll make a list of general plans (Dinner with Franco @ 5PM - Sushi?) since I don't keep "work" stuff in there, and then the other side I make notes about the days - it might be something good that I ate, something I wanted to check out, a conversation I had or a sporadic poem, a doodle, etc. It's cool to flip through and see where I drew happy doodles or wrote a poem - one week I memorialized the death of my grandmother, one week I just have a giant invitation for a Caramel Apple Party posted on it.

It might get a little more detailed soon because for 2017 I bought the Daily Moleskine because it was a beautiful one with my favorite le Petit Prince quote on it, so I think I'll end up putting even more down than I currently do, because I'll have that full space every-day.

But it's really just something that let's me keep track of plans, and sometimes feelings - appointments, progress with my therapist, when I need to re-order birth control, when my bills are due (and when they're paid), when I have a bad dream or my cats do something miraculous, etc.

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Elena

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2016, 01:54:29 AM »
I had journals in my teens (many people did then) and... well, it happened that my mother read them and started to interrogate me about everything I wrote and she didn't like/ she wanted more details. Then I started to write them in foreign languages just to make sure she doesn;t understand :P It was a good way to practice my English and sometimes my Greek (when I was afraid that the English words were close enough that she might still figure up the gist of it).

I also got 2 other ideas from there, which I wrote in several times:

1) a sort of a... literary style of some kind (not sure it has a generic name) of a sublimated journal. I used to call them "quotations" because they started and ended with quotes of relevant poetry or songs (and sometimes had quotes inside too). They were my feelings and facts of my life, but sublimated literarily, so not a narrative of happened things, and the characters received various pseudonymes which were based on metaphors and anagrams only I could know.

For example, Kherrem (another latinized spelling, used in Medieval European chronicles, of Hurrem or Khorram) was used for a girl named Roxana (which, at that time, I thought it was the same name with Roxelana - of course it isn't). A friend who had lived a part of his childhood in Peru and was into Inca culture, was Sun's Son (The Inca emperor was Sun's Son). Since he wasn't even blonde, nobody else would make the association. And so on...

2) Later, after getting married and not living with my mother anymore, I got into scrapbooking. For the first 7 years of our marriage (until I discovered RPGs, on one side, and on the other side, until our life turned into routine and there wasn't much to tell about), I used to write about our relationship, our time together, our sweet memories or certain hardships we faced, since the beginning of our relationship until then (and I had many years to write about, since we got married after eight years and a half and a Romeo and Juliet telenovela, including a secret religious betrothal and so on...) Writing, posting stickers, photos of us, tickets from shows we attended, dried flowers, poems and cards... I think it is called scrapbooking, and it is also a sort of journalling.



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Becca

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2016, 03:14:36 AM »
One of the reasons I never really got into it was because I was afraid others would end up reading it :P Sometimes I would start a file on the computer for one, but even though it was my personal computer no one else ever uses, I still named them something obscure so it wouldn't be obvious if anyone tried to look... My mom would always judge the stuff I watched and read so I got privacy issues :P
The other reason was that I just didn't have enough to talk about to keep up with one, so anytime I did try I'd forget about it after like two days lol.

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Silver

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2016, 03:28:38 PM »
I tend to journal a lot - because I have mental health issues, I find that it helps me to clear my head if I can just offload everything. There isn't really any pattern to it, I will just randomly sit down and write whatever comes into my head.

I also use Livejournal. Not quite as often as I used to, admittedly, but it is good to have a safe place to write down what is on my mind. I sometimes am 'non-verbal' when experiencing strong emotions, so being able to put what I am feeling into words is absolutely invaluable. 

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xexes

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2016, 05:13:32 PM »
Like @Elena I had over-curious parents and a tattle younger sibling who constantly got into my stuff. I did what @Becca did and used obscure names and abbreviations for things, on top of padlocks and electronic passwords.

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briari hallow

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2016, 09:52:48 AM »
Hahaha, @Becca  - GREATEST FEAR. I've done the same as you and @xexes before, using fake names. Now I simply don't keep things that detailed.

@Silver - I do something similar for when my stuff acts up - when I can tell I'm spiraling, I write it all out. I usually end up throwing these out when I'm better, though, unless it was a poem I like enough. When I'm in a particularly good mood, I write a letter of encouragement to myself, and hide it around my apartment - in books, under objects, etc - these are always a lot of fun to find because when my depression takes hold it's like I'm reading it from someone else entirely. Bizarre, but awesome.

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xexes

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Re: Journaling?
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2016, 12:01:08 PM »
I find myself in a conundrum with journaling -

A while back I was pretty  miserable, but there was always tons of horrible, dramatic things happening that I could tell as awesome stories (with horrible behavior in them). I had stories to tell!

Now that my life is great, none of that horrible stuff happens, and I find I don't really have anything to write except that life is happy and beautiful, so I end up not writing anything. I still have bad days and deadlines and bosses and traffic but I just can't bring myself to complain because it's so minescule that it doesn't even register on my radar of things interesting enough or impactful enough to write.