Friday, February 17, 2017

Journaling & Writing

The journal I'm keeping these days.
I love that it's silver, zips up, and has a mark from my hot cocoa mug.
Doesn't loving the journal make it so much more fun to write in it?

"After my husband died, I could not write much - I could not concentrate. I was too exhausted most of the time even to contemplate writing. But I did take notes - not for fiction, but for a journal, or diary, of this terrible time. I did not think that I would ever survive this interlude." --Joyce Carol Oates

Confession: While I'm in a different situation from Joyce Carol Oates, this is the first time in my life I've wrestled with something so hard I've been unable to read or write outside of work (even that has become more challenging). Lately, though, I've been finding that I am able to keep a journal, something I haven't done regularly in many years. I'm really kind of loving it, and I'm not alone. Here are some thoughts from the greats on journaling:

Even when I'm not journaling regularly,
I always love to carry a small Moleskine
notebook to jot down ideas, poems, entries, etc.

“The habit of writing for my eye is good practice. It loosens the ligaments.” 
― Virginia Woolf

“A good journal entry- like a good song, or sketch, or photograph- ought to break up the habitual and life away the film that forms over the eye, the finger, the tongue, the heart. A good journal entry ought to be a love letter to the world.” 
― Anthony Doerr

“My dear madam, I am not so ignorant of young ladies' ways as you wish to believe me; it is this delightful habit of journalizing which largely contributes to form the easy style of writing for which ladies are celebrated. Every body allows that the talent of writing agreeable letters is peculiarly female. Nature may have done something, but I am sure it must be essentially assisted by the practice of keeping a journal.” 
― Jane Austen

"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." -- Ray Bradbury
The last time I regularly journaled was in this
(only blank page pictured). My best friend took
a classic black Moleskine and glued in pics,
quotations, etc. as a gift when I left to spend a
summer in Israel. Really cool idea if you want
to try it.

"The only thing I have done religiously in my life is keep a journal. I have hundreds of them, filled with feathers, flowers, photographs, and words - without locks, open on my shelves." --Terry Tempest Williams

"When I write notes in my journal, I'm just trying to scribble down as much as possible. Later on, I decide whether to follow some of those first impressions or whether to abandon them." --Natasha Trethewey

"I keep threatening to keep a formal journal, but whenever I start one it instantly becomes an exercise in self-consciousness. Instead of a journal I manage to have dozens of notebooks with bits and pieces of stories, poems, and notes. Almost every thing I do has its beginning in a notebook of some sort, usually written on a bus or train." --Walter Dean Myers

"The first set of lyrics for the first songs I ever wrote, which are the ones on 'Pretty Hate Machine,' came from private journal entries that I realized I was writing in lyric form." --Trent Reznor

"I've always written. There's a journal which I kept from about 9 years old. The man who gave it to me lived across the street from the store and kept it when my grandmother's papers were destroyed. I'd written some essays. I loved poetry, still do. But I really, really loved it then." --Maya Angelou

"I write journals and would recommend journal writing to anyone who wishes to pursue a writing career. You learn a lot. You also remember a lot... and memory is important." --Judy Collins

"For me, writing is a way of thinking. I write in a journal a lot. I'm a very impatient person, so writing and meditation allow me to slow down and watch my mind; they are containers that keep me in place, hold me still." --Ruth Ozeki

What are your thoughts on journaling? Any tips? Favorite styles of journals? Times a journal saved you?

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