Tuesday, September 28 2021 - 6:41 AM
iPhone, laptop, journal
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The Benefits of Journaling

Ikept a diary as young as 10 years old; that little book without a cover floated around for years. I now keep it with the rest of my journals. It tells of the birth of brothers and sisters, the excitement of moving, and the first day of school. I kept another five-year diary all through junior and senior high. My very routine school years are detailed in just a few lines each day. However, from these casual comments, I remember how it felt to get an A in world history and how icky it was to dissect a crayfish in biology.

A Shocking Scene

I have an entry the day President Kennedy was killed. I describe how teachers and students were crying in the hall as we passed to our next class. Still, I can remember what a shocking scene it was, and I asked a friend what had happened. Another short entry describes the night the Beatles came to America and sang on the Ed Sullivan show. Of course, I had no idea how much this rock band would change our world with their strange mop-top haircuts.

Major news items and interesting stories from our newspaper are taped in my journal with my personal reaction. I add small invitation cards and thank you notes, wallet-sized pictures, the very stuff of life!

Meteor

A few years ago, a meteor went over our house; our home shook so badly I thought there had been an explosion. The dog started barking immediately, but it wasn’t his usual bark; it sounded different. I described this in my journal. The newspapers were filled with articles about it the next day. I cut out the ones that most interested me. Now I have the description of this real event to draw from if I ever want to write an article or even create a fiction story.

Everyday Happenings

There are so many everyday happenings that we can’t possibly remember them all. Don’t be afraid to save items about normal hometown news, funny and serious.

I think journaling is wonderful for anyone, but it’s really a must if you are a writer. Your writing skills will improve. You have a book that you can immediately go to and write down a memory for possible later use. The words come from your experience, and that always resonates with the truth. You are also creating a living history of your family life to pass down.

I don’t worry if it may seem like a boring entry; it could easily be considered a memorable event in a few years. You will also see how your serious challenges were resolved in a manner you would never have imagined.

Maybe keeping a journal of your life doesn’t interest you. What about a writer’s journal, filled with writing tips, descriptions of characters, outlines of possible stories, or potential plots? You will be pleased you did the next time you start that great American novel!

If you liked this, you might also like Scrapbooking 

Christine Collier writes from New York.

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About Christine Collier

Christine Collier

writes from New York.

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