After I posted,”Journal, or not to Journal” I assumed at the time that everyone understood the journaling process. Not so. So, here is a primer.
Please understand that one does not need a fancy book that is already bound or that has questions for you to fill in. Someone gave me such a journal a few years ago and I actually did use it, but it stifled my thinking. I dutifully filled in the blanks, but did not feel a sense of accomplishment. Honestly, the paper usually should not be loose-leaf unless you put it in a binder. Spiral bound school paper is really perfect and doesn’t cost much.
If you must, self-assign a subject as a beginner. Teachers assign a subject for journals in English class because students need a “seed” idea. You can choose the weather, a person, a place, a book, a meal, a project, or all of the subjects mentioned and more! Sometimes the entry might be a Bible verse that soothed or pricked your soul.
Since no one is going to “grade” you on the journal, make it just a personal as you want. I keep my journal (which is a spiral-bound school notebook) on my desk most of the time out in the open. I also live alone. When I had family, I usually kept the journal with my Bible and I kept is closed. Like a diary, it is rather personal, after all. Most of all, because you are not receiving a grade, write just as if you were talking. Not every sentence needs proper structure. Burst into poetic form if that is your fancy. Use as many descriptive words as you like. Don’t worry about spelling and punctuation. Really!
Reflecting on what you wrote, the day you wrote it, may teach you something about yourself, or about your walk with friends, or family, or your God. Handwritten is best; just make sure you can read it later. Some of my entries, to my shame, are not legible. If you use pencil, it will fade. Red ink does awful bleeding as it ages.
There you go. I’ll be back on this subject again. I’ll be challenging you to other writing projects. You’ll be getting a workshop via weblog. It won’t cost you anything but neither do you get coffee and sweet rolls while the workshop progresses!
Excerpt from today’s entry in my journal:
Since Kholton was visiting me this morning, I decided he could walk the dog for me. Dog seemed happy to see the leash. About half way across the yard she sat down and would not budge! She turned to look back at me as if to say, “Mama, aren’t you coming? Hey, if you don’t come, I don’t go.” Kholton turned around and she was happy to come back. Later tonight, I took her for a walk. Everything went as usual. Labs are so sweet. She didn’t want to leave me alone at home. Indy Girl is one loving dog. Oh that I cared for others in such a meaningful way. Makes me wonder. Do I?