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Do you keep a journal? Why?

3 years ago by schrodingersman with 18 comments

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  • LacquerCritic
    +4

    I don't keep a physical journal; one of my best friends got burned by her practice of writing honestly and frequently in her journal and I wouldn't want that to happen to me. That being said, my presence on various interactive communities is sort of a journal in its own way - I put a lot of myself out there. I can look at stuff from years ago with anywhere from awe to mild disgust. It's hard to believe that was me.

    • ColonBowel
      +2

      I had a journal in high school that we kept as an assignment for class. The teacher wouldn't read it;she would scan through in front of us it looking at the dates and length of the entries to make sure we were doing them. Mine was stolen and read by a bunch of kids. In it, I had wrote about how I liked a girl, the interactions we had, and how I was building the courage to ask her out. They made fun of me for it, including her brother and she totally found out. I ended up changing schools for something completely unrelated, but I like my new school more. The initial school was full of assholes.

    • schrodingersman
      +2

      I do find that is one thing I worry about with my journal. I find that I can't be totally honest or upfront about everything I want to. Just in case the unthinkable happens even if it is only a small chance. It would be nice to not have to worry about it as I feel it would make my journaling more productive.

  • TiffanyAching
    +2

    I've had brief snippets of time when I have. I just can't sustain it though. Which is a shame because picking up the older ones I have made an effort with for a chunk of time is always an interesting insight.

    • hingeattack (edited 3 years ago)
      +1

      That's funny, I'm the same way. A couple times I went for a while, but I couldn't go for more than a month or two. I usually ended when I was embarrassed by reading the beginning.

      I actually just started a new journal, since I found the app Journey.

      • TiffanyAching
        +1

        Oh nice - I might download that one it looks good

  • NipplePuree
    +2

    I do, I use it every day to write down my goals, and plan out my following day. I will also make note of things I want to remember, or things I feel I could have done better. It's a habit I picked up a few years ago and I found that it helped me to accomplish a lot more with my time than I did previously.

  • a7h13f
    +2

    I've been using a Google drive document as a journal, off and on for a while now. I'm just starting to get back into it. I've found that being able to put things I'm concerned about in written form is a great way to get a new perspective on them. I also try to note any big events, so that if I need to find the date they occurred on, it's as simple as crtl+f.

    • schrodingersman
      +3

      I can see the appeal of doing it like that. The search feature would be great to have, but I love the feel of writing it down in a book.

    • spoderman
      +2

      Personally I would not be confortable with having my Journal in the cloud for security reasons

      • a7h13f
        +1

        That's totally understandable! I personally feel it's more secure than a physical journal, but of course I'm already using Google's two-factor auth and a 13 character password hahaha

        • spoderman
          +4

          I tried to keep a (phisical) journal, but I always found myself self-censoring because I feared someone might find it. If I kept my journal in the cloud, I'd be afraid the company where I keep it might have a data-breach or employees with questionable ethics.

          Right now I am a uninteresting nobody, but on the other hand I'm just 17. Who knows, mabe I will become a famous politican/enterpreneur/activist/whatever one day and some people will have an interest in my journal.?

          I think I'll set make myself an encrypted partition on my laptop where I only install a very basic, gui-less OpenBSD and emacs, for the only purpose of keeping a journal.

  • zants (edited 3 years ago)
    +2

    This turned into a longer post (with tons of annoying parentheticals, sorry!). Okay, here we go...

    I tried traditional journals (pen and paper, a Word document) several times, for a few weeks each. However, I felt that:

    1) I was putting way too much work and time into it. I found myself trying to "save energy" after my homework to write the journal entry, and lots of times sacrificing homework time for it.

    2) It was just messy and disorganized, I didn't know how to improve the system.

    3) I always found myself paranoid and afraid that someone else would find it.

    4) I worried about losing it, even though it was supposed to be "write it and forget it".

    5) As it relates to #4, though I could back up Word documents, school absolutely destroyed Word documents for me. I didn't want to use a program that I associated with the stress of essay writing, and reminding myself "it's ok, this isn't for school, you're just keeping a journal for yourself" as I'm on the verge of a panic attack staring at that white screen every time got super old.

    6) I really felt that I was deriving no sense of improvement from the activity. Being more aware of my thoughts didn't help me to work on them, if anything it made the situation worse as I uncovered more things to stress about fixing.

    For about a year (last year) I used a "habit calendar" where I wrote down a list of habits and ticked each item off as I completed it (things like waking up, brushing my teeth, not biting my nails, running, etc. - literally everything I should do every day). So that itself was sort of like a journal as I could look at the calendar and see what I did each day (which actually proved useful, as before doing the calendar I could never come up with a clear answer when people asked what I did yesterday/last week). I also had a section where I reflected on my day, and another where I gave it a score between -2 and 2 of how happy I felt that day. Overall I found this pretty time consuming as well. Ticking off items seems easy enough, but when you forget to do it until the end of the day you find yourself spending a lot of time thinking "wait... did I actually do this?" (and just in general, needing to set aside time every day to do it wasn't very fun). The alternative, running to the calendar to tick something off right after you complete it, would be super annoying. Also, it was just very depressing. Seeing so many days with the only thing checked being "Eat supper", and never going beyond a 0 on the happy scale. I knew I wasn't very happy and didn't do many things every day, but that list made me aware of things that really got to me (and I feel didn't make the situation better). So for now I've stopped doing it; instead, I moved everything to a program called "Stickies" which will pop up a sticky note and tell me what habit I should be doing at specific time. For some things this is useful, but for most things it hasn't done well (probably like 90% of the pop ups I instantly close and forget, telling myself "well I'll just remember to do that later..." but never do).

    Right now I participate in two kinds of journaling:

    1) About a year ago, something called /r/MyDaily3 was created on reddit. At the end of the day you post three things that you did that day. I've been absolutely hooked to this and look forward to writing down my three things every day. It's very motivational as well, as some days you find that you can only come up with one or two things for ...

    ... Read Full
  • SakuraPanko
    +1

    I have a journal I write in occasionally. I tend to use it in my worst moments because I like to look back later and see how far I've come.My advice to anyone who wants to keep a journal is to not force yourself to write every day. When you try to force yourself to write every day, it makes journal-keeping feel like a chore. You only need to write when you feel like it. Nothing makes writing more off putting than opening the journal and staring at a blank page for a long time.

  • ToixStory
    +1

    I'm always conflicted over it because I try to keep journals every so often but fail to, but as a big fan of history I know how important journals are and almost feel like I have, I guess, a duty to write down things for posterity's sake.

  • sea
    +1

    Yes. I'm really into the whole lucid dreaming thing, and keeping a journal allows be to remember my dreams all the more easily.

  • Skry
    +1

    I use it to write down anything weird that might happen throughout my day and then put it up and never think about it again.

  • KingAztek
    +1

    I've attemped to do a journal once, but I'm not the kind of person who can stay commited to that sort of thing