1. TheSilverBeetle
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    TheSilverBeetle Member

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    Do you keep a journal?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheSilverBeetle, May 11, 2013.

    I am currently reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac and in the process have learned a lot about the author. The guy was always writing, he kept journals and notebooks and like I said was ALWAYS writing. I know of other people who have kept journals or diaries and of course you always read books in the form of them. So I have to ask you guys: do any of you keep a journal? If so, how detailed is it? What kind of stuff do you write in it? What kind of notebook or book is it in or is it digital? How often do you write in it? Do you feel it helps your writing and/or just yourself? I'm really interested to hear from you guys. Thank you!
     
  2. The Peanut Monster
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    The Peanut Monster Senior Member

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    I have kept a journal since 1999. Throughout that period I have written most days; though with some chunks missing where life got a bit too busy. My journal is really about my thought process rather than events that go on during the day as such. It is written clearly with the intent to be read (eve if only by future me), and indeed sometimes I refer to the reader explicitly, calling on them to think about things or engage with the ideas too. It's been interesting, to go back and read the thoughts of someone I consider the most unreliable narrator of them all!
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I have kept journals intermittently. I write in them whenever I have nothing else to do, but most of the time, I have lots of other things to do. I should prioritize journal-writing higher, I suppose, because I always find it interesting to read what I was thinking years ago. Most of the content of my journals is about ideas, philosophies, snatches of poetry or songs, and the occasional story idea. I don't keep a diary, in the sense of recording what I do day to day.
     
  4. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    I know this is gonna sound really corny, but my mind is usually my journal. I mean I take notes on different stories as their own document. Like I'll have one called The Story (actual story) and The Story Details or Template. Other than that the notes for all my characters and stories are in my head.
     
  5. B. anthracis
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    B. anthracis Member

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    Right now I have two. But what matters to this discussion is just one of them. I try to keep it with me in the car and by my side when I'm at home reading, watching TV, internet, etc.

    In that journal I write lines/phrases I hear that I think are good--funny, profound, whatever. I write those lines in the front half of the book. In the other half, I write nothing but single words. Every single time I sit down to write, which is every day, there will always be several points where I'm searching for the perfect word; something that will help paint the picture more clearly than any other. Just by keeping that long list of words, I've managed to cut down on my time at thesaurus.com quite a bit.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    For some reason, I have trouble doing a lot of writing that I _know_ will never be read by anyone. So the closest thing I have to a journal is my blog.
     
  7. TheDistantShip
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    TheDistantShip Member

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    Not in the conventional sense. Nothing in my "journal" is real life. It's just scenes I think of, random words, the way I feel, quotes, quotes and more quotes. :)
     
  8. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I don't keep a journal, in the sense of writing it regularly, but I do write down some thoughts or experiences from time to time, when I feel like it. Especially when there's noone else around at the moment to share it with. (I have some "online" friends and when writing to them, I don't feel the need to put the same thing down in the journal.)

    I can go for months without an entry, or write almost every day for a few weeks, or anything in between.
     
  9. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    I keep several. I started one about real life stuff when my kids were little in the 1980's, and I've kept this up ever since. I started it to record significant things that happened in their lives, thinking it would be great to look back on (and they are) I also included drawings they did, cinema tickets etc etc so it became a kind of journal-cum-scrapbook. But I've kept that kind of journalling up ever since. I do not fill it with angst, as a general rule, and nothing I'd not want enyone reading after I'm gone. I only write when there is something to write about as I do not want it to be full of inane ramblings.

    When I was diagnosed with cancer in 08 I started a 'journey book' full of thoughts, fears, angst. This is referred to as the Battle Book (I'm winning the battle but will definitely lose the war) and my husband knows to burn this when the war is finally over.

    Then I have several for various elements of my fiction writing. One goes everywhere with me and records all manner of snippets I think worth logging for future use. Another stays by my bed as I often have my best thoughts in the middle of the night when I cannot sleep. I have another for 'free writing' which I try to do as per Dorothea Brande's advice, every morning.

    Then, I have various notebooks filled with stuff pertaining to stories I am working on. Every time I begin a new novel, I choose two note books; one for the first draft (always hand written) and one for research and technical stuff pertaining to that particular novel.
     
  10. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    not normally, but i have just started a blog which im going to updated with my writing escapades
     
  11. Jon M
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    Jon M Member

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    Seems like that would be a terrible waste of what could be a touching, human story. Hopefully you reconsider.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I did keep a journal for a while. Much of it had to do with a woman I became very close to.

    She died suddenly.

    After that, I couldn't bear to even pick up the journal, much less add to it. Even now, more than a decade later, I can't bear to read more than a page or two from it.
     
  13. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    I keep a journal and I enjoy writing in it.
     
  14. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    a journal for the ideas for story titles that surface in my mind at the oddest times; a journal for travels, notes, personal thoughts and other fragments; and a journal for first drafts of essays and short stories.
     
  15. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    Thank you for your kind words but it really isn't publishable. Some of the medical details are incredibly personal and were written only as a cathartic exercise. My family and close friends all know what I am going through, and that is enough for me. I think for them to read this also would be far too sad. No. I want it to go with me when I go.
     
  16. inkyliddlefingers
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    inkyliddlefingers Member

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    This is why I want my Battle Book to be burned. I don't want anyone to feel saddened by what I've written in there. It is purely cathartic for me.
     
  17. Delise
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    Delise Member

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    We write so as not to forget.







    Writing ideas down helps me when I want to go back to a certain time and place.

    I use my journals to help me create poetry or stories.
    I piece together the scattered fragments in my journals to create a larger piece.
     
  18. PyrZern
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    PyrZern Member

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    Kinda of yes, and kind of no.
    I have my so called 'journal', but only to keep cool awesome nice ideas, names, keywords, from escaping.
    It's not a diary though. More like random thoughts.
     
  19. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    i tend to not write in journals that often which is why i like my blog, nights like tonight i can type up my posts and set them to publish when i want them too. which frees up time elsewhere for other things to be doing such as writing
     

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