15 November 2011

On Why I Journal

In elementary school we read Harriet the Spy, and I promptly became obsessed with observing the world around me and writing it all down in my black and white marble composition book. I only used a red pen that I tied to a string and wore around my neck.

Through my days as a "spy," I fell in love with writing. In my head, thoughts were messy and jumbled around. But on paper, they were poetry.

Slowly I allowed other pen colors to grace the wide-ruled pages. I started writing more frequently. My content turned introspective as I used my notebooks as a way to process the day, remember experience, document sadness, and immortalize triumphs.

In high school, I was never without my journal. It went back and forth to school, a constant companion. Although I had moments of panic where I envisioned my journal being photocopied and hung up in the girl's bathroom, it didn't keep me from writing. And writing. And writing.

My journals sit in a big box under my old bed at my parent's house- one of the few things still waiting for me there. During the 1 or 2 times I get home a year, I love laying on the floor and reading page after page, reliving parts of my life, flipping quickly past others.

On Thursday, November 5, 2009 I wrote:

"I'm realizing how much I need to journal- how much it is a part of me. I long for the day that I can carry my box of journals out of my parents' house and they can come home to live with me. My journals are ridiculous and silly and mostly stupid ramblings that now seem meaningless, but to me, back then, they were everything." 

I still journal, but it looks a little different these days. This blog is what much of my journals are. A way of remembering my life. Getting it all down and moving through.

But I still keep a paper-bound, hold-in-my-hands journal. One that I can pore out my heart to. One that I can rest my head on when I'm struggling to write more. One I can speak truth to. One that I can scribble it in and then tear it out.

The prayers of my heart go in my journal. Those conversations between me and the Lord are there. 

Do you journal?
What do you journal about?

Because I feel so strongly about it, I will working on a few more posts about journaling. Do you have a story to share about your experience journaling? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I love that harriet the spy was my idol! I started journaling because of her as well! Although I stopped, and began again my senior year of high school...which I proudly can say I've kept up quite nicely since then! I love it, and use my as a scrapbook where I tape in photos, ticket stubs, notes...its the only way for me to keep it interesting!

  2. I journal to remember God's faithfulness, to be able to look back and see that He is changing me to be more like Himself, and my thoughts tend to be articulated better in writing than when they come out of my mouth. I just recently started an online journal cause I can type faster than I can write. :) I pretty much only journal about my struggles or the Lord, so it usually isn't lighthearted stuff.

  3. I journaled fairly consistently until I got married about a month ago...now I really want to start again, it's just a matter of finding the time!

  4. Have been writing in journal's forever! In 5th grade we had to do it everyday before the morning news and that is when I started. I looove going through old journals and reading what I wrote. As a recovering addict I need to write my thoughts out daily<3 Thank you for sharing. I have a blog and have shared some of mine. Come visit.


  5. I love hearing others that love to journal too! I journal to pour out my heart and prayers to God. Its amazing how quick we forget things, and writing it down helps me to live in the moment, pour out my feelings and revisit later. You notice how much you've changed and how far God has brought you when you capture the moments in paper and pen.

    Thanks so much for sharing this post, it made my day!

  6. Oh my gosh I needed my own black and white journal after watching Harriet the Spy as well! I love journaling. I started my first journal in jr. high before my first day of school. I am now 23 and my journaling has turned into prayers to God. There is something about writing down your thoughts and prayers that really makes you dive deep into your heart. Thanks for your post! I love what you're doing!

  7. I love journaling but I'm not always the best at it!! I forget a lot, but I have started a new way of documenting life, through a website ohlife.com! they send you a daily email prompt that just says 'Its Tuesday, How'd your day go?"

    its helping me to become more consistent!

  8. i used to journal years ago in high school then quit then started again when life was tough then stopped. now i am feeling the urge as so much about my life is changing. i have started a blog,well actually my husband and i have to keep family in touch with his new diagnosis of dementia. i also hope that it will help us process our feelings and give us a place to write down memories that will help my husband remember.

  9. I used to journal all the time, too. I got my first diary in 3rd grade and wrote semi-regularly from then on until about the first year that I started dating my husband...which was when I was 20. I have many beautiful journals now that I look at often and dream of filling them with my thoughts...there are a few I've started writing in and never finished. I really want to be better at it. Blogging is definitely part of the way I journal, but I'd really like to have a more physical one as well.

  10. I remember being highly influenced by Harriet the Spy as well! I also kept many journals, with varying levels of success through high school. Now that I have my blog, my pen and paper has fallen to the wayside, but I do miss the physical act of writing my thoughts down on a daily basis.

  11. I'm a new follower! LOVE your blog and I'm a big time journaler. It's one of the only ways I stay sane. :)


  12. I love to journal. I just wish I was better at it :)

    Christen Krumm

  13. A series on journaling!
    Love that!
    I'm a major journaler.i think my first 'diaries' were pink and had little locks on them. I've always kept my hopes & dreams folded in the pages of one hard bound book or another. Went through my Harriet the spy phase too!
    Yay for journaling!


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