In Others’ Words: The Practice and Purpose of Journaling
I started keeping a journal because Miss Gooley, my freshman English teacher, required it. Besides our regular assignments — reading, writing papers, taking quizzes and tests — students in Miss Gooley’s class had to keep a journal. Miss Gooley would read our entries, make comments, return our journals, and we’d repeat the process, all year long.
Decades later, I’m still keeping journals. Yes, journals. Plural. Maybe back in high school journal writing initially connected with the writer within me. And maybe I continued journal writing because it provided a private place in a world that was overcrowded and confusing — a place to sort through experiences and emotions and to experiment with the idea of being honest about life.
Even this blog is a journal of sorts: a virtual journal of favorite quotes and musings that I share with all of you. And I invite you to “write” in the journal, too, in the In Others’ Words section — and am always delighted when you do.
And yes, Richard Powers’s quote has prompted the idea of a new journal — one where I record favorite lines from books I read, both fiction and nonfiction. Some of them could end up showcased in this blog, but a lot of them could just be recorded and savored and yes, used to spur me on as a writer, too.
In Your Words: What kind of journaling do you do? Why did you start journaling? And if you have no interest in journaling, why doesn’t it appeal to you? (I’m just curious.)
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