Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dear Diary

I've always been a big supporter of journaling. As a writer, I would force myself to make daily entries, whether it consisted of snippets of dialogue or decriptions. Perhaps even a three page scene or sketch which might promise to develop into something else. I remember being struck once by Steven King once writing that he wrote six titles, taped them to his refrigerator, and then forced himself to write a story using each one. Reading that, I immediately started adding possible titles to my journal entries along with one sentence outlines of where that title might head.

In 2000 though, I did something strange, I actually began a journal that recorded daily events and or thoughts. No writer's journal here. I recently found this journal while looking through the closet for a notebook to write in. Reading it over, I smiled as some memories were jogged and marveled at some of the things forgotten. I also was surprised by the emotional content. My therapist would have been pleased.

So, what about now? Has blogging replaced journals? Somewhat. But I am about to embark on a new experiment. A daily journal of the sort I made in 2000. I will be using the Star Message Diary program.Okay it sounds hokey, but the program is free and does what I want it to do.
I'll have to see how this process goes. Hopefully it will be as successful as the 2000 diary.


Christina said...

I use to have a diary, but switched it out for the Internet the minute I started enjoying the blogging scene. There are still some things I'd rather have private, which is great for the paper diary.

I bet you make some real emotional findings by doing this.

Charles Gramlich said...

I keep a daily journal but it would be so boring for anyone else to read. It's a tool for me mostly.

SQT said...

I think journaling is great. I find it very cathartic.

spyscribbler said...

I think I need to start that again. Blogging has replaced my journalling, and I think that's a problem. I'm going to check out that program.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Christina, I remember writing in the diary back then, at the insistence of a therapist, and I have to say it had tremendous emotional value.

Charles, I keep a journal for writing and a diary for emotional recording or for keeping events or memories in play that I want to be able to look back at.

SQT, yeah. I think too the value is being able to look back at certain emotions to see whether or not they were valid and able to hold their use over time.

Scribbler, blogging is in some way replacing journals, but people will write one thing for themselve, and one thing for someone else.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

Hey, Stewart. I call my notebook my "commonplace book," as a remembrance of the late Karl Edward Wagner. These days I still keep notes, but mostly use it for titles or last lines in a story, or, even morso, transcribing dialouge I overhear while riding the el train. I'm not certain I'd be blogging if I couldn't add the photos, which is a prompt for me, though I'd still be reading other blogs, that's certain.

Aimless Writer said...

I'm always writing stuff down and calling them Morning Pages. I think that came from Bird by Bird or The Artist's Way. Before I got married I burned my journal. lol Somethings are better left in the past. ;)
After marriage, I kept them. I have notebooks in the attic, stuffed in drawers, piled on the bookcase. I think someday when I'm gone my kids will have a history of my life.
I once did this on my computer then the computer crashed and I lost it all. :(
So now I write.
I love the idea of Stephen King's titles. Makes a great exercise when you're stuck.