Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Writing a Journal

I know it really sounds strange but journals keep my head on straight. It's the place to explore ideas and thoughts before I expose them to the general public for consumption. (This blog is the exception. I don't give this too much thought before a post, just a general look through. Can you tell?)

I like reading other people's journals, when invited to do so that is. It's interesting to read what others put in journals. So, my library includes books of other journals and books about what to put into your own.

Here are some great titles, if you are thinking about starting, but haven't, or are looking for new directions for your own journals:

The New Diary by Tristine Rainer
A Book Of One's Own by Thomas Mallon
Writing Your Life by Lou Willett Stanek
Writing Alone by Pat Schneider
Leaving A Trace by Alexandra Johnson

I'm hoping my friends and relatives write their lives down. I can't think of a better gift to leave behind than a book for close friends to read. A suggestion in Leaving a Trace was to go through your journal entries and cull the ones you want to share. Then put them into a separate book for posterity.

If you don't keep a diary or journal you can get books to help you remember the past so as to leave behind a trace for your kids. Mom asked me once what I wanted them to leave behind in their will. I can think of nothing better than a book about themselves.

Read Leaving a Trace or A Book of One's Own and tell me you don't agree.

After the writer's death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter. -Jean Cocteau