so it has been said that… “90% of the iceberg sits below the water.”
I do think that a good portion of who we are is sitting below the surface, unexamined. A journal is an opportunity to put your toe into the deep water…a place to explore yourself and to write freely, so long as you feel safe…that no one is going to discover your journal and share it with “the world.”
Do I intend that my journal be shared? Sometimes? Or never? Within its pages, I show my humanness and vulnerability. It is in these vulnerables places that I connect with myself on a deeper level. And if I choose, with another.
As I browse through a few of my earlier journals, I rediscover parts of myself–experiences, curiosities, confusions, illusions, poetry, painful places, the sci fi novel I started, unfinished short stories or complete essays waiting to be published. I can revisit whole periods of my life–what I felt, the choices that I made. What about you? Do you keep a journal? Reviewing it, are you ever surprised by what you’ve written?
For me, a journal has been many things…
–a place to express and clear an immediate feeling, catharsis.
–a way to find a path through a difficult experience or time.
–a place to describe something memorable.
–salvation in the written word.
–a place to practice writing.
–to write poetry.
–for describing something in detail, as in word paintings.
–a place to explore ideas.
–to write out dialogue.
–for laundry list writing.
–for an actual laundry or shopping list.
–exploring areas where growth is desired.
–designing the next step, visioning.
–writing a letter I won’t send
–a place for prayer
–or to offer a blessing
–a place for gratitude
What is your journal to you?
A journal can provide that safe space to write freely. If I considered that someone, someday might be reading my journals, would I express so freely? If my journals are written with an audience in mind, that’s different.
I wonder if most writers keep a journal…has there ever been a survey on this?
While, it is true that some of what I write about in my journals is fodder for writing that I choose to make public, most of it is for my eyes only. I ask myself if I would want my daughters to read my journals. I consider assigning a friend the task of disposing of my journals when I meet my demise?
Do you mine your journals, shelve them, box them, keep them under lock and key, burn them, share them?