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Old 02-03-2002, 11:26 PM   #1
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Journals and diaries

What is the difference between a journal and a diary, anyway? I think I'll go with "journal" here.

So who keeps one? I've been keeping one since I was 14. In October 2003, it will be ten years. Actually, I had one the year I was eleven, but I didn't write in it very much.

My journal is now about 2500 pages long. I know this because I write it in regular coil notebooks with a specific number of lined pages. It has varied in importance for me over the years. Sometimes I write in it all the time. When that happens, I know that (unfortunately) I am probably having a hard time with something. That's when I really need it. It has literally saved my sanity on a number of occasions. I especially need it when I feel I can't talk to anyone about something that is going on. The problem is, I guess, that a journal can also keep you from talking to other people--because it gives you somewhere to let everything out.

I have nothing that indicates the changes in my personality over the years so much as my journal. When I look back at the early entries, I can see that I was much more of a typical teenager than I thought I was at the time. I was untypical in that I was obsessed with things like Sherlock Holmes (it's hard not to notice from my journal, the first few years especially) but I was typical in that I was wildly obsessed with SOMETHING, not to speak of the crazy mood swings and everything--it's pretty textbook. What I find disappointing is that sometimes I know that something interesting--or something I would consider interesting now--was going on in my life at that particular time and I didn't bother to write about it. For example, my journal in high school tends to be disappointing. A lot of funny and strange things happened and some of them were very illuminating, in retrospect, but I only just remember them and I didn't bother writing about them at the time because I was more obsessed with music and I was always writing about what I'd just bought or what I'd heard on the radio.

In university it gets quite interesting because I went through some weird and difficult stuff. Particularly second and third year. Lately, I haven't been writing a huge amount, but definitely more just recently than I was late last year. If I don't write much, it means that my life is boring, that my life is just fine and dandy, or that I'm very busy, or all of the above.

I worry sometimes about having so much of my mind and so many private thoughts "out there" in a physical way. Partly of course it's the thought that someone else might read it. Partly, I think of things like what if there was a fire and I lost my journal? I remember talking to a guy I knew at university who said he had destroyed his journal because it reminded him of the person he used to be and no longer was. But he also said it was like destroying part of himself and he didn't think he had recovered yet. I kind of doubt I would ever really recover if I destroyed mine or something happened to it. There are some entries there that are extremely important to the person that I am.

So anyone else want to talk about their journals and their journal writing habits??

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[This message has been edited by scatteroflight (edited 02-03-2002).]

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Old 02-03-2002, 11:46 PM   #2
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I had a diary as a kid and my aunt found it one day and actually read it and then teased me about something id written so ive never kept one since.

i do have journals however, where i wrote poetry and wondeirngs about life.
Not a "today I did this" diary type thing. I just write.

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Old 02-04-2002, 05:01 AM   #3
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Originally posted by zooropamanda:
I had a diary as a kid and my aunt found it one day and actually read it and then teased me about something id written so ive never kept one since.
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