How often do you journal?
My response to this question is: not often enough.
Some people love to journal. They can’t live without it. They might not even be writers, but they record their life to minute. Perhaps a lot goes on in their mind, and writing it down sorts all those tangles out.
I’m not one of those people, despite calling myself a writer.
I only journal when there’s something interesting to write about. I’ve tried the daily journal thing because after reading the diary of Samuel Pepys, I thought––hey, diaries can be literature too! But I quickly discovered that writing every day events every day is a chore. Moreover, I realized how boring my life was since I have a pretty regular schedule. Even for Samuel Pepys, the only entry I can remember reading about is his account of London catching on fire.
So I resorted to just writing things down when interesting events happened, or when I had good ideas. This worked better, but sometimes I just fall out of the habit.
I think it’s important to push yourself to write down your life. It’s the same thing as pushing yourself to write. Perhaps it’s a little more challenging, because often times we don’t want to face those deep, dark things within us. Journaling is when we dig those things out, hold them up to the light, and examine them. It’s an action that’s a little scary to do, but it’s an action we should be doing as writers, because we’re observers of the world. We’re scientists, in a way, and scientists always write down their observations.
In another paradigm, writing your life down is the closest you can get to living forever. Think about it: by writing your life down, you’ll be immortalized in your words for as long as there are literate people in the world, paper, ink, and Microsoft Word documents.
Do you journal? What do you journal about? And what kind of advice do you have for someone (me) who often gets too lazy to journal?