Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I'm always the first to admit it: I'm horrible at journaling. Every one of the (many) times I've attempted to keep a record of my life via journal entries, it's always been the same routine: I write a starter entry explaining that I never finish journals but this one will be different and yadayada, and these are all the important things about me and my pen and what color my wall is and yadayada... entries, spanning about a week total, fill the next few pages, growing shorter and shorter. A few words dated a month later are somewhere later, saying "Oops I haven't been keeping up...I guess I'll get back to that...in a little while..." And that's that.

But. For the holidays my friend gave me a really pretty journal. She herself is a journaler, and over break I convinced myself to give it a try. But after the first entry I could feel it happening again; everything seemed forced, like I was saying redundant, kind of useless words--why was I explaining that I never keep journals because I suck at it? I already knew that!

I ripped that page out and started again. I wrote about whatever crossed my mind at the time. And I still didn't feel completely satisfied. So I turned the page again, and at the top wrote "Dear..."

I wrote a letter. The letter flew out of my pen faster than the previous entries, and left me with both a satisfied feeling and the urge to write another one. Why had I been writing journal entries to myself? I have nothing to say to myself. But to other people--definitely. And it's definitely interesting, writing to your friends and family, especially when they're not going to read what you write in the conceivable future. My journal now has pages and pages of letters, and I've been keeping at it for over a week.

So there's a piece of advice--if you're like me and have trouble journaling, try writing to someone else.