Journaling - The Write Stuff For You?

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Jun 19 7:06pm

Long ago –okay, for me, it was long ago!- it was common for a young person to keep a diary, a place to write down the heartaches and giggles of growing up, the trials and tribulations of school, friendships, sports and activities. Sometimes it was a locked book, so that we felt secure knowing our secret thought remained a secret.

How times have changed! While I no longer keep a classic diary, it is no less important for me to write down thoughts, ideas, and heaven-knows-what, on a regular basis. Nowadays, the common name is a “journal”, and seems to appeal to every segment of society. There are an abundance of ways to do this, and so many reasons why. Although I prefer longhand, many people use a computer, and there are any number of prompts/styles/methods.

Let’s explore this together!

Do you journal? What prompted you to start? What would you tell someone who wants to start?

@gingerw

I have had mental health issues surrounding depression and anxiety, and poisonous/codependent relationships in my life. In an attempt to try to figure it out, I turned to self-help books [often!] and professional therapy [when deemed needed], all the meanwhile continuing to journal. While there are people who might shudder to think of someone raising their hand to say "Yep, I've been there", for me it is a matter of honesty with myself. I can review some writings and really see how the journey has been, and grateful to be here today.

So, what are some of those books on my shelf? "Grapho-Therapeutics, Pen and Paper Therapy" by Paul de Sainte Colombe. "The Power of Your other Hand" and "The Well-Being Journal" both by Lucia Capacchione. Books by Julia Cameron including "The Artist's Way", "The Right to Write", and "The Writing Diet". "The Invitation", "The Dance", and "What We Ache For" all by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Oh, there are more! Ones that give me a reading for each day of the year, and a chance to write. Everything has underlines, notes in the margins, comments inside the covers.

Do you have a book or prompt or quote that you have referred to often, to help you get through a rough spot?
Ginger

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@gingerw I've been contemplating your question about if I have a book or quote to help me get out of a rough patch, but I don't. At times I refer to Psalms 139 which helps me to think someone is watching over me.
Pardon the delay in responding.

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@fiesty76 I agree The words just come and I put the down in my book I have several different books to use on subjects

Liked by fiesty76

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When I tried "The Artist's Way" before, I joined an in-person weekly group that was working through the book. It wasn't a good fit for me, the group nor book, at that point in my recovery. That didn't mean I stopped putting books on my shelf that I thought might give me support and help in writing and rediscovering myself. It's not easy, it's often pretty painful emotionally, ripping the bandage off an old wound. But fresh air and examination often leads [eventually] to healing.

I'd love to hear from those who would like to share, have you used journaling or writing while in recovery, be it from physical or emotional addictions? While in recovery from a major medical event? While dealing with a life-altering situation?"
Ginger

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Have any of you read the magazine "True Story"? When I was in my teens, I subscribed to "True Story". I really loved reading about people's lives. I do remember one story where a woman (I suppose a very young married woman) was invited to a "pot party". She was talking about how there were two different kinds of "pot parties". One of them consisted a person cooking in some kind of very nice cookware–the other kind consisted of smoking pot. I had no idea what she was referring to when she said smoking pot. Later, much later in life, I was more informed. I just know there were so many stories of heartache, I always thought I would write my story. I know I don't have a lot of time left–I have bits and pieces of a journal–here and there. My story wouldn't fit in a magazine–it would be more like a huge book. I am a people person; however, sometimes I think I am a loner. So, what does hat make me? Beats me.

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@woogie

Have any of you read the magazine "True Story"? When I was in my teens, I subscribed to "True Story". I really loved reading about people's lives. I do remember one story where a woman (I suppose a very young married woman) was invited to a "pot party". She was talking about how there were two different kinds of "pot parties". One of them consisted a person cooking in some kind of very nice cookware–the other kind consisted of smoking pot. I had no idea what she was referring to when she said smoking pot. Later, much later in life, I was more informed. I just know there were so many stories of heartache, I always thought I would write my story. I know I don't have a lot of time left–I have bits and pieces of a journal–here and there. My story wouldn't fit in a magazine–it would be more like a huge book. I am a people person; however, sometimes I think I am a loner. So, what does hat make me? Beats me.

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True Story…..Brings back memories of my teen years. Modern Romance was another one. Then I discovered I didn't have to read these magazines-that I was LIVING many of the stories (This was in the 1950s and I was married young). They were good magazines for a teenager to read and helped make me a lifelong reader. I started reading comic books as soon as I could read, graduated to True Story and Modern Romance and then to real books. Being a reader helped me in school and college and now books take me to many places that I may never visit in person. I have found an article on line that I believe most older people would love. Do a search for "and then it is winter". It is very moving. I have been writing answers to some questions I wish I had asked my mother and grandmothers-so my descendants can learn a little about me and my life. It isn't a book but I wish I had something like that from people who came before me but they are all gone now.

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@nene22

True Story…..Brings back memories of my teen years. Modern Romance was another one. Then I discovered I didn't have to read these magazines-that I was LIVING many of the stories (This was in the 1950s and I was married young). They were good magazines for a teenager to read and helped make me a lifelong reader. I started reading comic books as soon as I could read, graduated to True Story and Modern Romance and then to real books. Being a reader helped me in school and college and now books take me to many places that I may never visit in person. I have found an article on line that I believe most older people would love. Do a search for "and then it is winter". It is very moving. I have been writing answers to some questions I wish I had asked my mother and grandmothers-so my descendants can learn a little about me and my life. It isn't a book but I wish I had something like that from people who came before me but they are all gone now.

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@nene22, I just read the poem: "and then it is winter". Thank you so much for sharing this touching piece.

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I love to write but as for delibert journaling I never got into it. I write a lot on anything I have laying around, envelopes, scrap paper, back of magazines etc. Thoughts and doodling can be found on just about everything. I suppose if I would organize it, it would make more sense. Think I'll hang around this site for while and get some encouragement and common know how. I'll be around. Jeanie

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@nene22

True Story…..Brings back memories of my teen years. Modern Romance was another one. Then I discovered I didn't have to read these magazines-that I was LIVING many of the stories (This was in the 1950s and I was married young). They were good magazines for a teenager to read and helped make me a lifelong reader. I started reading comic books as soon as I could read, graduated to True Story and Modern Romance and then to real books. Being a reader helped me in school and college and now books take me to many places that I may never visit in person. I have found an article on line that I believe most older people would love. Do a search for "and then it is winter". It is very moving. I have been writing answers to some questions I wish I had asked my mother and grandmothers-so my descendants can learn a little about me and my life. It isn't a book but I wish I had something like that from people who came before me but they are all gone now.

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Hello @nene22
For those who may not have read, "And Then it is Winter," here is the link that will take you to this very thought-provoking writing. I appreciate you sharing this!
http://www.wardtanneberg.com/2019/02/25/and-then-it-is-winter/

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@jeanie26

I love to write but as for delibert journaling I never got into it. I write a lot on anything I have laying around, envelopes, scrap paper, back of magazines etc. Thoughts and doodling can be found on just about everything. I suppose if I would organize it, it would make more sense. Think I'll hang around this site for while and get some encouragement and common know how. I'll be around. Jeanie

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@jeanie26 Writing can be fun, can be therapeutic, can be very enlightening. You may be journaling without realising it; it seems the two are interchangeable. You record daily events, personal thoughts, ideas, feelings, reminders, notes, etc. Who's to say what to call it!? If you were to delve into my belongings, you would find writings scattered all over. Like you, I will write on anything!
Ginger

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@jeanie26

I love to write but as for delibert journaling I never got into it. I write a lot on anything I have laying around, envelopes, scrap paper, back of magazines etc. Thoughts and doodling can be found on just about everything. I suppose if I would organize it, it would make more sense. Think I'll hang around this site for while and get some encouragement and common know how. I'll be around. Jeanie

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@jeanie26, You may be "journaling" without realizing it. Whenever I put thoughts to paper, I am just recording whatever is going on at the moment. I found using a lined spiral notebook helpful because it kept all of my scribblings in one place. Have done this for years but didn't always date the entries. Another advantage of the school spiral is that I can remove pages later if I wish.

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@gingerw

I wrote my first poem when I was 5 years old. It was a fascinating discovery to see how 26 letters could be arranged into a seemingly endless variety of words, describing my world around me and what was going on.

It wasn't until I got out of high school that I discovered my father had been keeping a journal since his junior high school years. He even made a special wooden box to hold his paper and pens. He chronicled many moves, a mother's death at his young age, and his time serving in the US Navy during WW II on the USS Enterprise. He also kept detailed daily postings of weather on the header of each page of his books, and the goings-on of his marriage and growing family. He kept track of his kids as we ventured off and started our own lives, and told of the heartbreak of my mother's dementia and her long-tenured journey of Silence. I had always hoped to receive his journals after he passed, but it was not to be.

So, I guess my journaling came generationally to me. Over the years it was natural to pick up pen and paper, recording what was going on in my heart/head/world/life. My poetry and observations on life are in a separate book, or books as it may be. My journals where my soul gets poured out, are in their own. I have written about heartache and heartbreak, job insecurity, and the everyday things that everybody goes through. I have written my way through natural disasters, cross country trips and camping, illnesses and the discovery of who I think I might be. I write in longhand mostly or print. I choose not to use a computer because then it is so easy to hit the delete key and erase what you're truly saying! Besides that, I took some handwriting courses so I can look back at old entries and see what my thoughts really were and where my head really was at. Very enlightening!

I am looking forward to hearing from others.
Ginger

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Ginger: You're post made me smile. I never really thought about my rhymes as journaling? I got started at 65 to come up with something "no one knew I did". I'm such an open "mouth" book, I didn't have any secrets. ;o) In the 12 years that followed, I wrote about the neighbors garage sale, 2 small bears on a walk with their mom, how much I dislike traveling, road kill stew, and etc. etc.
The list would go on for about 300 silly rhymes. I published some, so when I'm gone, my kids will be rich. Many poets don't become famous until they pass. :o) I would tell anyone that journals or writes anything, put it somewhere safe. Your family may not show much interest right now but "some day" one of them will wonder: "What ever happened to that pile of (?) writings? oldbuck

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@1oldbuck

Ginger: You're post made me smile. I never really thought about my rhymes as journaling? I got started at 65 to come up with something "no one knew I did". I'm such an open "mouth" book, I didn't have any secrets. ;o) In the 12 years that followed, I wrote about the neighbors garage sale, 2 small bears on a walk with their mom, how much I dislike traveling, road kill stew, and etc. etc.
The list would go on for about 300 silly rhymes. I published some, so when I'm gone, my kids will be rich. Many poets don't become famous until they pass. :o) I would tell anyone that journals or writes anything, put it somewhere safe. Your family may not show much interest right now but "some day" one of them will wonder: "What ever happened to that pile of (?) writings? oldbuck

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@1oldbuck Indeed, your rhymes can be a form of journaling! I found the two blank books I filled with poetry over 50 years ago, all done long-hand. Yep, everyone is dated. It was an interesting afternoon, rediscovering them. A favorite teacher in high school, and my dad, both encouraged me in the written description of things. About10 or so years ago I came across an author named Ivan Doig whose turn of the word made me say, "When I grow up, I want to write like him."

Have you thought of sharing your rhymes with your children and family now, before you pass?
Ginger

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@gingerw

@1oldbuck Indeed, your rhymes can be a form of journaling! I found the two blank books I filled with poetry over 50 years ago, all done long-hand. Yep, everyone is dated. It was an interesting afternoon, rediscovering them. A favorite teacher in high school, and my dad, both encouraged me in the written description of things. About10 or so years ago I came across an author named Ivan Doig whose turn of the word made me say, "When I grow up, I want to write like him."

Have you thought of sharing your rhymes with your children and family now, before you pass?
Ginger

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Now you've really made me smile. When ever I have in the past, with very few exceptions, they look at me like I've asked them to take a dental appointment for me. However: If I remember correctly, even Jesus wasn't welcomed in his home town. :o)

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@gingerw Art Journaling – I happen to run across this topic of art journaling for beginners that I found on YouTube and some groups on Facebook. It looked interesting and it reminded me of collage which I did enjoy. I had about half of the suggested art supplies and ordered the rest in an attempt to try this type of journaling. I didn't know how to share these links so I'm sharing where one can possibly locate it on this thread.

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I kept a diary growing up and even some in college. I would try to write everyday or every other day. It became taxing after a while to document my life. When I started battling depression and anxiety more, I would write to release tension, stress, and just vent. I would write it down, but never use a computer due to hackers getting personal information that might be used against me. Now I will write if something big happens that I can look back on in the future or to process thoughts floating around in my head.

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