My wife recently started journaling again and, frankly, it’s an ability I wish I had. Keeping a journal has something of a mystique to me, probably because everyone from famous writers to ordinary citizens turn into introspective artists and keen social critics as they detail their daily musings. It’s a place for simple and true writing, without the categories or constraints imposed on most other forms of writing, such as novels, poems, plays, etc. You can even draw pictures and sketch in your journal!
Needless to say, I’m not very good at journaling. I’ve tried. I really have. Okay, well maybe just a bit over the years. I usually get distracted or completely forget about it in a few days and that rather defeats the point of keeping a journal. Oddly enough, however, I really like the concept of journaling in terms of fictional narratives. I like reading the journals of characters in stories probably more than I do “real” people. Of course there are some great travel journals out there as well, from modern day authors all the way down to the time of Melville or Homer.
I’m trying to decide whether it’s worth taking up the torch again to trying journaling myself. I’m not out to publish any of it, like Virginia Woolf, but at the same time I’m not sure what to put down. Diaries and journals are so private and everything I write always has an audience in mind. Is it a good idea or would I just be talking to myself? Food for thought.