The Most Precious Thing… Journals

In the end, we loaded our technology (computers, hard drives with all the historical pictures on them), my old Smith Corona typewriter (yes-crazy!) and we stood holding what we decided were the most precious things… our cottage journals.

We began our first journal on our first day as we moved in to this place. Our kids’ friends wrote enthusiastic missives about how beautiful everything was. Our kids wrote about their feelings, capturing with words what their hearts were beating. “Powered down. Closed up. Fits perfect.”

The words of our son as he did his first final closing at age 18.

The journals number four now and have chronicled friendships, community losses, high points, low points, activities, picnics, first fingerprints of grandchildren, celebrations, achievements, jobs, retirements, comings and goings, weddings, funerals. Our life is there.

We carried the four journals to the boat. The most precious.

We were lucky, and so many of us felt lucky as the water bombing planes extinguished the fire and summer students were planted in the forest to seek out hot spots for a week afterwards.

We felt so lucky.

And so grateful. The journals are back on the bookshelf,  fuller still after the summer of 2016.

Source: The most precious thing…: COMMUNITY SECRETS | Barrie Examiner

I’ve thought about what I’d save in case of fire too. Likely everyone has at some point. I also think about my old diaries/ journals. I haven’t looked at most of them since the day I wrote the entry. At one point, moving from one place to another (again and again), I was at the point of throwing them all out. Journals are a link to our past selves. Sometimes a burden but irreplaceable too. I deleted an online journal I kept while I was going through a divorce. I don’t remember why I deleted it then. I’ve tried to get it back a couple of times but never found anything that worked. Gone forever, irreplaceable.

Imagine the Long, Lost Journal Found

What does a journal look like? If you found the long, lost journal of long dead explorer, what would you expect it to look like? I see it as leather, beat up, dark cover and dirty, weather beaten held together with string or something else found along the way. What if it were the journal of a dentist? That I’d expect to be pristine, white and not at all dog-earred. What does your own journal look like, if you keep one?

Pick someone: scientist, teacher, fashion designer, etc and write about the journal they keep. What does it look like? How does it reflect the writer? Describe the wear and tear and any extra things like art added to the cover or a lock to hold in all those secrets. Where is the journal kept? Or, has it been lost? Give the journal a whole story of it’s own (before you even open the pages).journal

Journal from: Canada Beauty Supply

My own journal has evolved to a lined page notebook with a flowery cover. No security like a lock or elastic to hold it closed. I don’t keep it in any special place, nor do I hide it away. But, that’s my life now. I used to keep it in my desk drawer. These days my desk is a computer desk and it didn’t come with drawers. Besides, it seems wrong to keep a journal in a desk drawer unless the desk is old and made from wood.

12th May – Keep a One Day Diary for Mass Observation

May 12th 2016 is likely to be quite an ordinary day, but for those researching, the ‘ordinary’ can often provide extraordinary results.  The diaries will be held and used alongside the 1937 documents. We would be very grateful if you could document your May 12th for the future.

Please write as much as you can about what you do, who you meet, what you talk about, what you eat and drink, what you buy or sell, what you are working on, the places you visit, the people you meet, the things you read, see and hear around you, how you are feeling and of course what you yourself think.

Source: 12th May12may

Complain in the Right Way

14. Complain.But do it the right way. Present your beef with an idea for improvement. “Framing things in terms of solutions lessens the focus on the problem and who might be at fault,” says management professor Russell Johnson, coauthor of a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. “It evokes pleasant emotions instead of negative ones that cause mental fatigue.”

Source: 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Just another form of constructive criticism. We want others to give us that kind of critique… so do others. I especially like not focusing on blame. That puts people in defensive mode and very little gets accomplished once they start putting up a wall and can’t hear you any more.

The Culture of the Diary

If you’ve never kept a diary, try it for one week. Write a note to yourself every day and see how it goes. If you already keep a diary give it an update or think of something unusual to write about. What haven’t you confessed to the clean, white pages? What are you holding back, even there?

From Samuel Pepys to Bridget Jones, the private journal combines the mundane with the confessional. Lucy Scholes reveals why the diary still fascinates readers.

Source: BBC – Culture – Anne Frank and the cult of the diary

I Used to Write on BackWash Kids

bwkids

If you also wrote for (with) the BackWash community network of writers/ columnists join us for a BackWash reunion.

Here is the content from the post above. In text for those who can’t read it from the screen captured image above.

Spin your Thoughts with a Journal

Do you keep a journal? Sometimes its called a diary, I think thats the old fashioned term. What you write in your journal is up to you. Be creative, rant about your family, chronicle your life, or just spin your thoughts on the web.

Keep your journal in a secret place if you don’t want anyone to read it. Or, if you feel like sharing you can read what you write to friends or even keep your journal online with sites like Blogger. Of course, you can do both. Have an online journal and another secret journal for just yourself.

Journals can be kept in plain notebooks or fancy lined paper books you buy in stationery stores like Hallmark. I like to write with a fine tip black pen but you can experiment with all kinds of pens and colours. Add stickers or stick in clippings from newspapers and magazines. If you really want to put in a lot of clippings have a look at scrapbooking. Thats another form of journaling but there tends to be less writing and more drawings.

There are lots of websites about journaling and scrapbooking. Have a look around and see which appeals to you.

My History as a Web Publisher (Blogger)

When I started a blog, back in 1998 the early blogs, the very best of them, were all done by creative people who loved words, colours and design. Some of them wanted readers, fame, popularity and most of them got it. Blogging was new. Blogs were inventive, creative, an adventure. No one questioned what Google would like because Google didn’t exist. Blogs were something magical, seeming to exist outside of time and space and even reality (if they knew how to work the code). This was before Blogger, WordPress or any other blog software or client.

I was not a coder, or a programmer and my HTML was very limited. I bought a couple of books to learn HTML. I made progress. I had a rudimentary blog up, but they weren’t really called that yet. You were as likely to call them a web log or an online journal as anything else. Images were new and changed so much about the early web logs. Most people did not put up a site because it was easier to just play on the networks like the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) and the newsgroups (which were eventually moved to Google, becoming the backbone of Google Groups).  I joined newsgroups for ASCII artists.

This post will be continued as I feel like writing more.

Who Will Read your Diary in the Future?

I write a diary. You could also call it a journal but I prefer diary because that feels connected to history and all the women who have kept a diary through history. Since the early days of writing on paper women have documented their thoughts, their lives and their ideas.

We write with someone in mind, a reader.

It may be a generic reader or you may think of an actual person as you write. I do. The person I write to has changed over the years. I think I wrote to myself when I was a kid. It’s hard to remember and know for sure what I was thinking as I wrote so long ago when my mind was so much less complicated. Then I wrote for the people. I used to think my diary would be read long after I’m gone but it would be used for my biography, whoever took up the task of writing it.

At some point I began to edit myself as I wrote. Having that reader in mind, I started to think about how much I didn’t want the world to know versus how much I wanted to write about everything in my head. Writing a diary is a release, a freedom of thought and a way to organize your emotions too. But, when you think of someone else actually reading all of that… your outlook changes.

Now I try to write just for myself again. Thinking too much about the reader took away too much of what I needed from the whole thing of keeping a diary. So, they all join each other in a big storage box as I run out of space to write. But, I don’t know if anyone will ever read them. At least not until I am long gone and will never know (or hear) what people say about the real me in the pages of those hand written books.

The history of women is in our diaries, our letters and our crafts. I’m so glad to see the history of women being pulled from obscurity.

So few women managed to become a part of recorded history, other than being mentioned as the daughter, wife or sister of some important man. So much of women’s history is lost. What was it really like to be a woman, daughter, wife, Mother or sister in the 1600’s? Those were the days when North America was being discovered by Europeans. I’d really like to know about women in early, ancient and prehistory. In such early days we don’t have history of any people but those who were politically important, enough to have been written about. Of course, in those early days of writing, it was rare for women to be taught to write.

I think about that sometimes. I don’t take writing and being about write for granted. We record our own history, in our own words. That is something of value – our way of having a mark on the world, even if we aren’t sure we really want someone else to read it!

 

Write Like a Diarist

Most people who keep a diary / journal write with an audience in mind. They write to someone, even if they don’t ever plan to let anyone else read what they have written.

Try writing a diary entry about your day, or pick an average sort of day to write about. Choose who your audience is. As you write change your audience to someone else about midway through. How does this change what you write and how you are writing it?