Obviously I was a much neater journal writer back in 2008, but since completing Keri Smith's Wreck This Journal last year I think I've loosened up quite a bit. All my journals used to be absolutely flat and perfect, now they're filled with all sorts of things I never put in my older journals (fabrics, souvenirs, cards, clippings and what have you.) I also recovered the 2011 journal with paper printed to look like rain on a window because while I loved the pages the cover was beyond ugly.
Some things don't change, however. In July 2008 I started an entry by complaining about laundry, and did the exact same thing in 2011. Laundry seems to be my personal demon no matter what year it is.
My personal journals are filled with art. I added a lot more watercolor paintings in my journals in years past; now I tend to put in more of my photography. I still leave some pages blank, which is not me being mysterious -- I just don't backtrack through my journals, and sometimes skip one by accident.
Art populates all my journals, especially when I'm sad or going through a tough time. Here in 2011 I pasted in some fabric scraps from a crazy quilt project on the day I lost my uncle (and that passage is deliberately blurred for privacy); in 2008 I actually ironed one of my paint rags and pasted that in along with some trimmings from my watercolors after a stressful day dealing with the downside of Publishing.
Of the several hundred journals I've filled I've given away only a few to friends, but those were journals I wrote especially for them. I've also destroyed a pile that I felt didn't need to survive me, and I think that's important. If you don't want it published or passed around after you're gone, you should absolutely destroy it now, because no matter what your wishes are, they will probably be disregarded once you've gone on to the next place. If there are only certain passages you want to remove, I advise tearing out and trashing those pages.
After thirty-seven years of journaling I can't imagine not having one. With everything being electronic these days I'm afraid the handwritten journal will soon go the way of the handwritten letter, so I'm more determined than ever to keep up with mine. I don't think mine are especially interesting to anyone but me or possibly my family members, but it's good writing practice and it helps to clear my head and get me prepped to focus on the work.
Do you guys keep handwritten journals? What do you put in yours that you consider unusual? Let us know in comments.