"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dear Diary...The joy of journaling

I have always felt at home with words.
Sometimes, moreso than with people.
As a young teen, words were a means of escape and expression, for someone who was shy, gifted, and socially awkward.

I suppose it's why I've always kept a journal. I haven't taken an official count, but I'd venture to say I have dozens, representing various stages and ages in my life. Beautiful and sometimes painful reminders of my journey.

They come in an array of sizes and colors and styles. Oh my!

Which is why I was so geeked when I scored one last week from a local thrift store. It was not just any journal, mind you, but a devotional. Beautiful, 6x9 with a beige and burgundy cover and tan linen pages. Brand spanking new, for less than a buck. :-)

I dig that it has specific categories: prayers for the day, the day's weather, your mood, things you'd like to see happen tomorrow. I like that it calls for guided input. I look forward to penning my thoughts and seeing how it all takes shape.

I should also add that this form of writing is therapeutic, and sometimes even marketable. I've actually gone back to revisit them and used passages to pen essays and poems. Some of which have been published in national anthologies and magazines! Cool, huh? Not to mention, it's nice to laugh at some of the crazy adventures and to feel blessed for the growth.

Remember that love you thought you'd never get over...?

How about you...do you journal? Why or why not? What reflective lessons have you learned? Do tell...

Image Keattikorn


  1. I am at a crossroads in my lige with regards to my career. I have come across At A Journal Workshop by Dr Ira Progroff and I am hoping it my uncover the hidden patterns within my life as what I should be doing....

  2. Good luck in your journey. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Journals are great at proving that nothing is permanent. Our perspectives and points of view change, our situations change, and the people who are in/out of our lives change. Journals help us reflect and grow and become, I think, better human beings!

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 23, 2011 at 8:27 AM


    How true! They can be a great learning tool and measuring tool, I believe. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. I have kept journals since I was twelve, but although I still have them all, I have never revisited them. Either I am afraid to read how crazy I used to be or that I have never changed.

  6. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Missed Periods,

    Girl, where you been?! :-) Good to hear from you. Hmmm, now that's kinda' interesting...if you never revisit them, what do you learn? Or is it merely for purging purposes?

    Thanks for dropping in.

    P.S. Did you see the movie, "Social Network" yet?

  7. Just dropping by to say thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I have to come back to read some of your interesting posts when I have more time.

  8. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 23, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Thanks. I look forward!

  9. Congrats Jen on your great find at the thrift store. I am sure you were thrilled. I actually have not ever really kept a journal myself, but I have always thought it would have so much value. I think the interesting thing I have noticed is that now that I am blogging regularly, it is in a way serving as my journal. Usually the topics that come to mind are issues that I am working through or perspectives that I have recently had. That counts as a journal right? :)

  10. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 23, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Hey Sybil,

    Welcome Back! :-) Wow, I don't think I've ever known a female that didn't keep a journal, and certainly not a writer. :-) Not even as a teen, huh??

    Great minds think alike. After I posted this I was actually thinking that bloggers do indeed maintain "online journals". But that's a bit different in the nature of what most people would typically "record." At least I hope...

    Yep, I was indeed glad to get it at the T store. As an avid reader I have hundreds of books in my library at home, and the only way I can do this is to buy them where I can cop them at cheap prices. Most are brand new. Sometimes garage sells work well too. :-)

    Thanks for your input here.

  11. I've not done any journal writing in a long time but I'm thinking it might be something I'd like to start again. It's an excuse to go out and buy a pretty journal. ;)

  12. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 23, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    You go girl! Go for it. ;-)

  13. I kept journals from age 20 until I turned 31. I still have them and every now and then I'll read them. All I can say is, I was very depressed and angry during that time. I never realized how much. -I blog now, instead of journaling. It's saved my sanity.

  14. I have some sense that it's really good for me when I'm keeping a journal; but then I just don't know what to do with it, especially when it is used to let off steam and I wouldn't want someone to ever see it and misunderstand!

    That said, one of my most prized possessions is one of my grandmother's 5 year journals, which she kept religiously. Just enough space to jot down a few sentences everyday, and though the entries are brief they still capture her life like snapshots. I love it.

  15. I am a dedicated diary-writer but found it quite difficult in the recent past to handwrite in my journal as my toddler tends to grab either the book or the pen and dash off madly to the other room. Then I discovered OhLife.com, an online journaling tool. I’ve even written a little post on it. It’s really helped me get back on track with my journaling.

  16. Yvonne,

    How lovely to learn this. I think that the reflective part is what makes it worthwhile. And many times it serves as a testament to our strength and our faith. I appreciate your thoughts here.

  17. Elizabeth,

    I love the idea of your grandmother's journal and how it helps to preserve her memories. What a great way to "connect" on another level. As for what to do with yours, as I mentioned before, I've sometimes used mine in my creative work.

    Maybe that's doable for you...?

    Thanks for the feedback.

  18. gargimehra,

    Great to hear from you. I've never heard of that site. Will check it out soon. Thanks!

  19. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 24, 2011 at 8:52 AM


    Oh my, what a great idea! Ohlife.com is so cool. And I enjoyed reading your blog post as well at your site. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  20. Jennifer, I have several journals and you are right. They contain lots of gems that inspire writing opportunities, smiles, encouragement, etc. I am envious of your journal find at the thrift store. Once, I was looking for something and I ran across an old journal. What I read was right on time to encourage myself after all these years. Thank you.

  21. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 24, 2011 at 7:06 PM


    Thanks so much for sharing this. Great to get your input.

  22. Hi Jennifer,
    Having a journal..or a diary in my case when I was in my early teens, I'd say when I saw that again a few years back - I was kind of embarrassed and at the same time surprised at what I had been writing during that early years of my life - simple things like school, friends, even the programs I watched I had written about it. I was kind of smiling too because my handwriting was so different back then.
    Thanks for sharing this nice post! Brings back good ol' memories :)

  23. Jennifer Brown BanksJanuary 24, 2011 at 8:38 PM

    Hi Johanna,

    Gotta' love that flash from the past, right? Good thing we change in terms of our focus and things we consider important. :-)

    Glad you stopped by today.

  24. Currently (June 2013) you can actually find a recentpost on my Home Business Lifestyle Blog, that's about some Success Journal Notes mentioning the use of a Success Journal for Business.

    In that post you can discover a few practical examples of things that I jotted down in it, and how it can help with getting Inspiration & Developing Ideas.