Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Journaling for Friends

Occasionally I'll carry a journal around with me for a few months, tape photos and pictures in it while I jot down spontaneous thoughts, observations and such for a specific friend. Here's an entry from one I wrote two years ago for another writer:

May 9, 2007

The 50-acre fire in [nearby town] has burned another 850 acres and is now only ½ mile from my house. I have our grab-and-go bags packed. It would be the week I have a shot at the Times that God would decide to burn my house down.

The smoke haze is everywhere; the truck was white with ash this morning. I keep thinking of Pompeii, silly me.

One of my more religious friends believes that we’re in the beginning of The End Times ™. Between her and Mom I feel Revelations-battered.

I don’t believe in the Bible boogeyman of The End Times, but I have just enough residual faith to drop into a knee-jerk depression whenever someone who does preaches to me.

So: I will write!

Of a future that does not end because people are afraid.

Of people who face their fears.

Of fears that can be fixed.

Like Charlotte Lucas after she marries Mr. Collins, the parlor of my writing is reserved for my particular use.

Sometimes,the only place I can breathe is in that parlor.

When the journal is filled up, I read it out loud to the Dragon, save a text copy, and send the original to the friend. It's like a very loooooooooong letter.

Do you do anything unusual with your journals? Let us know in comments.


  1. I just use mine to brainstorm, organize my thoughts, etc.

  2. That would be a lovely gift to receive. You have luck y friends.

  3. I don't keep journals so much as notebooks for my writing. I work out scene glitches, and reword, and push through writer's block with them. Sometimes I use them for English class, as a means to show my daughter how to get the ideas out of her head and onto the page. (And to show her, through my own journey, that it's okay to make mistakes with her writing, because they're always fixable.)

  4. My journals tend toward lists of things done at the end of the day. I do it to keep track of things that need to follow up, and for accountability to myself. If I didn't jot down at the end of the day what I'd done, I might spend my days home watching Law and Order and playing solitaire on the floor.

  5. I don't journal. Is that an awful thing for someone who loves to write to admit? Maybe I'd be more consistent with my blog/site if I did.

    I love to read other people's though. Sometimes they're more fascinating than any fictional work out there.

    Lovely gift to give your friend, btw. She/he is blessed to have you.

  6. I think EJ and I are kindred souls because my journal is more of an accounting of what kind of week it's been than it is a journal of what's happening and how I feel about it. I have lists of what I did, what I need to do and even a few of my more "creative" excuses for not getting things done. When I look back over a couple of weeks and realize I've been using the same lame reason for putting something off it's usually enough to get me moving.

  7. I love journaling to the point of insanity.

    I have a regular personal journal and a seperate writing journal, both updated regularly. I keep a dream journal and a tarot journal, updated irregularly. But they are all active. Love them!

  8. So glad I found your blog! Really enjoyed it. Kudos!

    Sam W


  9. I would consider something like that a treasure. That is one way to tell someone you care for them and they are important to you - to show them that you think of them always.

  10. Anonymous6:41 PM

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  11. SPAM comment deleted above, folks.

  12. I keep travel journals for friends and family to read. It can be difficult at times because I don't want my mother (or indeed anyone) to read about by sex life and certain other stuff, but I solved it by keeping a supplementary private journal, with references to the "official" journal when necessary.

    I love the idea of writing letters as journals - but I don't think any of my family or friends would get it if I sent them one.