My yellow fivestar notebook will have to do until I can get my hands on something more permanent. Does anyone know of a good place to get a nice notebook, leather or moleskin, where the inner notebook is removable so I can use it more than once?
Over the years I have kept written journals to talk about what I was thinking at the time, what a trip was like, poems, to do lists, etc. As I have gotten older I have found that I have moved away from this, but I still have tried to start things up and dabble in the journal writing once again. I actually started blogging on the above website as a journal on parenting and as a glimpse for my girls as to what their father was thinking about while they were growing up.
The challenge I have found is time, time to write in it, just like time to write on my blog as you are reading today. I tend to write in this at 5:30 in the morning while the house is quiet and when I am not getting ready for work (at least not yet). I could be working out right now, I could even be sleeping, but instead I would rather share my thoughts with others and leave some lasting remembrance to my thoughts.
So I will again try and start something of a journal as a legacy for my kids. I love the memoir that Brett's Grandfather left his family...maybe I could someday have something like this. I think that this is a great thing that any grandparent can leave their family as it is a window to their soul and their lives.
I kept a journal during my senior year of high school and into the first year or two of university -- those words ended up forming some of my best cherished memories ... well, really, my best remembered memories -- like other guys, since I slacked off with the journal the next few years turn into a big blur, or get lost in the dry sameness of working, eating, sleeping, etc. I really wish i'd kept a journal from the years when I was courting my wife -- it would make for great writing, but there's lots that I simply can't remember now.
I did start journalling again with a private blog on wordpress about two months ago, to try and remedy this. I write in it every few days -- just a completely uncensored record of what's going on in my world and how I feel about stuff. In a few years (or decades) I might give somebody else the password and they can read it all, etc.
Found it scary going over my uni journal in recent times. The benefits of journalling that Brett talks about in the blog really come out when you read stuff that you wrote at least 5 years ago. It turns out that in uni I was a slacker with little concept of reality and a bad attitude towards just about everyone that mattered ... I seriously hope I've changed since then.
I've actually just started doing this. Because of my recent ankle injury, my doctor made a recommendation that I keep a journal in order to monitor my return to my old health and motivate me to stick out the physio. I'm hoping to extend this journal to being more than fitness, now.
I currently use iDailyDiary http://www.splinterware.com/products/idailydiary.htm to journal in. It is a free journaling tool.
I like it because you can password protect it and it saves automatically. I use it for keeping my journal and as a tangent log for better productivity. I simply type in tangents and then go back to them on the weekend.
I've been keeping a journal for around five years now. I go through one and a half to two a year. Since the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft a-gley, I sometimes miss a day. The important thing is to not beat yourself up for not writing. If you miss a day or two, put it behind you and catch the journal up.
I like to write mine by hand rather than on a computer - it gives me time to ponder what I'm writing. It's also nice to see the growing line of books on my bookshelf. With a computer journal, I'd miss that pleasure.
I don't make corrections if I reread an entry even a day after I have put it on paper. I figure that the way it came out is the way I was feeling, misspellings, ungrammatical phrases, and. even, when I write something mean. I'm not sure that I want my words to be left to my family because of some of the stories I tell. I'm thinking a Viking funeral with the journals the kindling might be the best way to go. I can see using the journals to help write an expurgated memoir. (I do correct when I see a mistake during the writing session.)
I put pictures of my travels, quotations that inspire me, and poems that I like in my journal. This makes me feel more motivated to keep it up. I also tape mementos like train and theater tickets or maps in the journal.
I really do recommend journaling. It's fun to read what I was thinking a year or two before and it helps me work out problems.