JOURNAL KEEPING

“…many things have been omitted which should have been recorded. . . . It is not easy to write in a journal what interests us at any time, because to write it is not what interests us.”   –Henry David Thoreau

thoreauHenry David Thoreau

Through the writings of Thoreau–Walden and A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers–a person interested in journaling can begin to make connections between writing, self, and life. Thoreau is the teacher.

walden pondA journal can help its writer make such connections, make her or him feel alive, discern life; journal writing can bring insight, can shape human identity, and give life meaning.

The journal will become a place to make progress in prose style, a method of/a place for self-understanding and self-revelation.

The journal-keeper will be able to make connections with the past and the present–and have a special vision: to see and to realize the value in making those connections–and writing about them.

week on the concordNOTE: A diary is a fact book: I saw a rainbow. A journal is a fact book with feeling–or with feelings about the facts: I saw a magnificent rainbow and was overwhelmed by the beauty of the colors of a prism. Simple, no?

composition book 1The Speckled Notebook for Journal Entries

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10 comments
  1. I have often started journaling but then destroyed them, never wanting the inner thoughts discovered by anyone.

    • Thanks. That’s the risk-taking journaling is all about. More later.

      • I like how you phrased that! It is a risk I suppose isn’t it…

  2. I think journal writing is really good for the soul. Aiding introspection and hoping to make connections. Wasn’t it Socrates who said that the unexamined life isn’t worth living?

    • Thanks for the message. Unexamined, yes, but seeing it on paper is sometimes scary. It’s worth it.

  3. The problem with journal writing is that they are there. Yeah. When I moved to Colorado, I brought three big heavy boxes filled with journals and now I wonder what to do with them — I really don’t want anyone to read them ever. Still, I couldn’t part with them; THAT’S a conundrum…

    • Thanks for the response. Yes, boxes. One hundred volumes of speckled notebooks. There they are. Looking back at my blog posting about shreddings,I am such a procrastinator. Just cannot part with them.

      • I understand — I think I’m going to make it one summer project to deal with one of them a week.

  4. Having kept both a diary and a journal in the past, I preferred my journal entries as through them I relived the events I wrote about, though at the time I wasn’t really aware of the difference.

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