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Journal or Diary?

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on May 24, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid spoke to my son when no other books would (oh and it was a journal, not a diary).  My daughter started keeping a sporadic diary at age 7 and I have been “journaling” since I was 14.

Sadly, one day when I was 23 and I was packing to move, I got rid of one of the many boxes filled with what I thought was junk paper.  You know, you get tired and lazy and you start thinking…what do I need all these old papers for?  And with the box I tossed my journals, my short stories and a novel that I thought I would publish…(Of course in my mind, this lost novel was a masterpiece!).  And lost was the documentation of memories of me as a teenager.

Who would want to read these?  Well, I might be famous someday and it has potential to be interesting… (-:  But the real reason it is a loss is that my son is now 15.  I hear myself saying things to him that my mother said to me.  It would be helpful for me to know what I was thinking THEN versus now.  It would help me be a better parent and to relate better to my son.  Sure we get along, but it would be nice to show him I am human too.  I luckily still have the one when I was pregnant with him and before I named him.   Such fun for him to read!

People keep journals/diaries for different reasons.  I always tell people that it can be therapeutic and even fun.  It is possible that no one but you will ever read them.  And maybe that is exactly the way that you want it.  It can be something to pass on to your children or to document history (like Martha Washington’s diaries).  It can be to document experiences in case you need them (this was a tool that victims of domestic violence sometimes used to help them).

Just remember, if you write it down, there is the possibility that someone else might read it.  So never put something in writing that you don’t want published and always put the journals away so that are not tempting those you don’t want reading them.

And remember, it can be fun!

Do any of  you have good journal stories?  Thoughts?  Ideas?


One Response to “Journal or Diary?”

  1. Great post! I used to spend hours writing when I was in my late teens and going through some rough times with life. It was always amazing to go back a week or two later and read what I wrote from an outsiders perspective.

    Sometimes, you can be quite surprised at the thoughts you had that you didn’t even realize were there.

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