Keeping a journal

I first kept a journal regularly for a writing class I took in high school. Then I had a journal that I wrote in occasionally, when I felt like it. Months would go by, then I would write every day for a week.

I kept a journal on my writing residencies—except for the last one. I used the journal as a warmup to writing, a simpler way to start writing. This most recent residency, I just wrote in my blog.

If you think you are going to write a memoir, you should probably keep a journal. Looking for something else entirely I found a short journal about the weeks when my mother was dying. I’m pretty sure I wrote it because I knew I was writing the Fucker.

I have a bad memory, which does not bode well for memoir writing. But I’ve faked it thus far, asking other people, speculating wildly, telling old stories, doing a bit of research. And if I remember it, I can recreate the scene pretty well. Half the fun of memoir writing is recreating dialogue with people you love and no longer talk to.

Turns out, though, that if major things aren’t happening in my life, my journals are pretty boring. My blog, I hope, less so. (According to WordPress, this is my 601st post. Gah! What have I been doing with my life?)

Is your blog your journal?

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6 responses to “Keeping a journal

  1. I’m with Downith. Having a blog that’s not anonymous requires a lot of filtering, so there’s no way my blog can fill the journal void.

    That said, I do not keep a journal, and I haven’t kept one since I was about 15 and my mother read it. The sudden realization that nothing I wrote could be private turned me off for life.

    Yet. I’m writing this memoir and I feel pretty good about the accuracy of the stories I’m telling. Can’t explain it.

  2. Is my blog a journal? This answer sure as hell is a journal. The question should be…are my blogs a journal?
    I have three. The answer is yes and no.

    A few years back I explored and started my first blog, Wry Wryter. For the most part it was a journal and very personal, so personal in fact that at times it was more like a memoir of frustration and finding my way. I had not written for years so Wry Wryter was a “breaking-back-in” kind of thing. Then last December on a very tragic day here in CT I decided to take it down. Considering events, my daughter’s grief and my lashing out at someone I respected, who had nothing to do with anything, it just seemed so pointless to continue a blog that was all about me. Wry Wryter pops up now and then but I feel more comfortable with it figuratively hidden under the socks in my underwear drawer.

    It took a few months for me to jump back in but because I have always been Carolynn with 2Ns, the name and content seemed appropriate.

    My third blog, enoughsaid.blogspot.com really isn’t a blog but more a listing of my current columns. Enough Said is an open-eyed journal of glancing over my shoulder at my past, and how my family and I, in spits and spurts, attempt to move forward. I love that I am paid to write about me…who would-a thought?

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