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?