When I was younger I did not see the point of keeping a journal. I used to associate journals with what I was seeing in movies, mostly pink notebooks held by teenagers documenting their high school crushes. Somehow, I did not picture myself in such a scenario therefore, journals were considered useless.
Anyhow, fast forward a couple of years and I’ve been wondering about how to document some of the thoughts, moments, realizations, rants and ideas that I have. I initially wanted to do it mostly through blogging. Yet I ended up not writing as much as I’d like. With blogging there is an absurd amount of editing and self censorship that I go through before I even start writing something that I deem worthy – I don’t see that as necessarily bad, it is just the nature of the way I use the medium.
For the past weeks I’ve been using DayOne to keep a personal journal and I am impressed by the amount of things I am writing. They key difference, is that now I just mostly write, I don’t even worry if it is good writing material or not. It feels like writing for the simple sake of writing, and trying to dig deeper into some topics that haunt me, and trying to unearth the core of what goes on the grey matter that lies between my hears. Eventually some stuff has blog potential, like this post which was initially in the journal in a “rawer” version.
In 20 000 Days on Earth (I cannot think of enough reasons why you should see this movie) Nick Cave says:
I love the feeling of a song before you understand it. When we’re all
playing deep inside the moment, the song feels wild and unbroken. Soon
it will become domesticated and we will drag it back to something
familiar and compliant and we’ll put it in the stable with all the
But there is a moment when the song is still in charge and you’re just
clinging on for dear life and you’re hoping you don’t fall off and
break your neck or something. It is that fleeting moment that we chase
in the studio.
That is how I feel about journaling in general. A lot of half baked thoughts, epiphanies and little sudden bursts of light are now recorded, and before they weren’t. This blog post also shares some of the niceties of keeping a journal.
Another reason why I wanted to start journaling is cause it is a way to go back.
How do you make yourself present ? You go back.
Go back to things you have made before, long ago. Go back to places
once visited, almost forgotten. Confront them – the things, he places.
Look them in the eyes and ask them for heir secrets.
Really – go, do that. They’ll tell you crazy things.
Craig Mod in The
I think it is scary to look at the past, imagine looking back at all past versions of yourself that you buried somewhere in the past: that version of you when you were the least popular person on the class, or when you were shy about talking to the girl you fell in love with, or that love letter you wrote, or when you were superficial, or when you hurt someone, or that horrible first website you designed.
I am the result of all of the things that took place in the past, and if these things would not have happened probably I would be another person, yet it is friggin’ hard to take a look at all the skeletons in the closet, it is easier to just treat as a part of the house you never visit. It is like I am somehow partly ashamed of some of these past selves, sad but true. Writing a journal, is a way to embrace and revisit all these past selves along with their quirks and imperfections. And hopefully, further understand where I came from, where I am and where I am going to.
Suddenly, for the first time in my life, I sensed an expanse. Some
distance traveled. Age, I suppose. Having aged. Having moved. Forward,
one hopes. One always hopes.
Craig Mod in The
In the future, I also want to use journaling as a way to perhaps kick off a conversation with some acquaintances. Writing is such a great medium to convey some thoughts or feelings. I have had a great number of occasions in which I thought that the best way to express something was through writing, instead of talking. Perhaps this personal journal of mine, it can also be a way to have a more meaningful discourse with some folks.