Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Journal: A-Z Challenge

J is for Journaling

illustrated by Rob Z Tobor
In high school I was introduced to the world of journaling. I wasn’t the best kid in high school, so when the assignment to write in my composition book every night was given, I was pretty pissed.  Did this lady think I was a writer?  

My teacher knew her stuff.  She inspired lost souls like me and taught me to use my imagination.  She explained how to brainstorm ideas.  The entry didn’t have to make sense, just let my brain take over and write for five minutes.  This became one of my favorite ways to journal.

She prompted me to look for sayings and use those as inspiration.  She said a creative picture was allowed from time to time, as long as I wrote down why I drew it.  She suggested trying my hand at poetry and quick thoughts for a story. Best of all, (at least at the time) I didn’t have to worry about spelling and grammar.  She graded only on creativity.

I still have my journal from her class.  I drag it out from time to time and love seeing her comments in the margins.

I continued to journal after I graduated her class.  It kept me creative. I also used it to process my thoughts and feelings.  When my husband’s sex addiction came to light, I hit that journal like a mad woman. Once I was finished, I tore the page from my notebook and threw it in the garbage.  The weight of my emotions going with it.

I took my journal and started a blog.  Some of you may remember the days of that first blog.  I warned you when it was a journal entry. I felt no one would read it unless they were effected by SA too.  Boy, was I wrong.  The support I received from my blogging buddies was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  I wasn’t judged and it was beautiful.  You truly helped my recovery and healing.

I often wonder why so many of you follow my blog knowing what the core topic of it is but then I remember to be grateful instead.  Had it not been for those journals I posted and the love I received, I don’t think I’d be where I am today; in a happy, serene place with myself and my hubby.

Have you ever kept a journal?  If so, did it help? Did it inspire a story?

~~~@

This post is part of the A-Z Challenge.  Wanna see more?





39 comments:

  1. I admit, I've never been a journal writer. But if it prompted your creativity and got you through situations, then that's awesome.
    Yes, the support here is awesome. Most give without ever expecting anything in return.
    And I don't follow a blog as much as I am following a person. Maybe that's a better way to word it?

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    1. My journal has been a great tool for me. Especially when I'm stuck in a mental loop (writing or emotional). I'm stunned by the support I've found on Blogger. I really like how you put it, Alex. Following a person vs. a blog. That really sums it up for me. When I connect with a person, I make an effort to read what they have to post. I learn so much from others.

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  2. We still follow because we care. I've tried to keep a journal on two separate occasions. I think you can guess how it went. I just never really did anything to warrant keeping a journal. I had nothing interesting to write down, and no random little thoughts either. It didn't do much for me, but I'm glad it helped you and you found an outlet.

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    1. Thanks, Mark. That's sweet. I admit, I'm surprised you don't journal. You have plenty of interesting thoughts. I see them on your blog all the time. But, then again, you don't need that extra push that I seem to need sometimes. It just comes to you.

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  3. I hated the assignment to keep a journal. Truth be told, I hated most homework assignments. That was my time and I certainly didn't want to waste it writing nonsense a teacher was going to judge me on. I knew my thoughts and I was pretty sure no one wanted to read them and if they did, they weren't the kind of people I wanted to know my thoughts, anyway.

    I read here because you commented on a mutual friend's post. I continued to read here because of the raw emotion in your every word. Your early work was very much like I'd expect a private journal to be and it fascinated me even though the subject matter often left me uncomfortable. You weren't here whining about what happened to you, you were talking about it. There is a world a difference between the two. That difference is why I have been here so long.

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    1. I was the same way in high school. I felt my friends were more important than my school work. I turned down the opportunity to take regents math classes because it would have cut into my hangout time. I didn't appreciate my high school work until years later when I went back to college for the second time. I'm trying my best to make sure my daughter doesn't fall into the same mental trap I did.

      I remember when you first drifted over here. It seems like so long ago. That first blog was difficult to write, I can only imagine how hard it was to read. Especially as someone who isn't touched by this addiction in any way. I'm thankful you're still here, monkey man.

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  4. Nice J . . . . . . . .HAH AH HA HAH HA HAH HA ha hha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hahahah ah ha ha hah

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    1. Glad you like the J…it's like you "know" it or something. haha

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  5. We had a class like this called Creative Writing and sometimes I enjoyed it and other times I hated it.

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    1. Yep, that's what this class was too. I took it again in college but the one in high school really had a big influence on me. The sad thing is, I've been wracking my brain to try and remember my teacher's name and I can't recall it. =(

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  6. I had 'one year diaries' in high school that I wrote in religiously and after high school, I started to get blank ruled books to write in. I kept it up steadily for 30 years, then in 2009 I stopped. I tried to catch up after I moved here but I stalled out in the spring of 2012. I got writers cramp. It's just easier to type.

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    1. That actually sounds like a great way to keep the diary. One year at a time. I hope you get back to keeping one again soon. I think on the computer is just as good in paper. My hands are a mess right now because of the auto-immune disease so I can't write for too long either.

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  7. nope, never had one, but it is practical because you can always turn it into a book

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    1. Yeah, I should have kept all of them. I didn't though. Just my first one. The others I tossed for my mental health =)

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  8. I never kept a journal because I want no physical evidence of the kind of shite that goes on in my head lying around. Holy Christ, can you imagine what a peak inside my brain would be like? The horror, the horror.....

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    1. Personally, I'd love to see what goes in that brain of yours. I imagine, "Must get to painting that project over there. Must get to painting that project over here. Which Challenge am I in?" =P

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    2. It's pretty noisy in there, but thank God all the voices doing the talking are mine.

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  9. What a blessing and inspiration that teacher was to you! I kept a diary when I was a kid -- full of the usual teenage emo angsty crap -- but never as an adult. Blogging is as close as I come!

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    1. She really was a great inspiration. I hate that I can't remember her name. Ah, yes, the emo stage of teenage girls. My daughter is going through it now. A thrill a minute, that one. haha

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  10. I have gone through periods of keeping a journal.... usually when I felt highly stressed.

    Why do people read a blog on SA if they have never lived it? Well, because all people have lived with some sort of pain and even if isn't the same pain... they can relate. And encourage. I am so glad that you chose this forum to begin your healing journey.

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    1. Having a journal is a great stress reliever. I work a twelve-step program so that's gotten me back into keeping stuff on paper again. This time I won't toss it in the trash when I'm done. I'm glad people continue visiting my blog after they find out it's core subject is SA. I'll tell ya, after this Challenge, it'll be awhile before I write about it again!

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  11. In my teen's years and a little more I write a lot of diaries, ha but always someone wanna read lol
    I LOVE the word journal!
    How you feel today dear??
    Try to relax and rest
    I hVe a headache again.
    Im in the dentist with the twins!
    A big hug!

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    1. Oh no, Gloria. I hope you're feeling better by now and home with the kids. Hopefully, you're letting them take care of you. I was feeling great today. Took Peanut to the beach and had lunch on a blanket by the ocean. Nice life, huh? But, now, the migraine is setting in. Again, totally worth it! =P

      Hugs my friend!!

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  12. I first had to keep a journal in... 5th grade? Maybe 6th. I had the same teacher both years, so I don't remember when we started the journal-keeping. I kept it up on and off through college. Sometimes because I wanted to, sometimes because it was for some other class (once in middle school, twice in high school, I don't know how many time in college). I have them somewhere. I think.

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    1. I hope my daughter will take a creative writing class. She loves English class, unlike my boys. But, she still hasn't had to write a journal despite being in advanced classes. I really hope they haven't stopped using them.

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  13. The cat is crazy enough with the blog, no journal for me. Except maybe in grade 5 when they made us write stuff. I follow away if the person is fun and not a stick in the mud, can talk about sex or butt probing aliens for all I care. Same thing? hmmm lol as long as they can take the cat and dish it back, fun is had. And they aren't boring as can be, or long and whiny, or freaky one eyed things, hmmm why do I follow you again? haha

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    1. I think the cat enjoys alien butt-probbing in person vs. reading it on a blog. C'mon cat, we really know who you are!! A sick disgusting creature!

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  14. Elsie: Thanks for stopping by my website. your blog is terrific. I am your newest follower.

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    1. Thank you, JJ. I really enjoyed you blog too!

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  15. I must of had the same teacher in high school. i used it as a time to write poetry and short stories. I haven't kept up with it in a long time.

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    1. I love that I'm not the only one who had a teacher encourage journals. I wonder if they still use them? I hope so.

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  16. I've never kept a journal, at least not on a regular basis. I suppose I do sometimes view my blog that way. If I go back and look at some of the early post and comments, it takes me back to that moment and how I was feeling. It's like a chronicle of the past few years in that way. :)

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    1. Your blog can be like a snapshot of what you were going through during that time. I think our writing changes and evolves with our emotions and that shows in our blogs.

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  17. I used to keep a journal, and it still is incredibly helpful when something is weighing on my mind. And your blog is so honest - I really appreciate that!

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    1. I'm glad I haven't scared you off with my brutal honesty yet, Liz. =P

      I think it's great you still turn to yours from time to time. Fantastic!

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  18. "The entry didn’t have to make sense, just let my brain take over and write for five minutes." That's what I call sound advice, Elsie. WHAT!!!! She graded only on creativity?!!! Not on grammar? That holiest of holiestest um thingie?

    "I wasn’t judged".... So far I've been judged and found guilty only once. Everyone else is cool. You're right, it's beautiful.

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    1. You know me, Blue. Always willing to dole advice (but not take any unless I am forced!) Yeah, an English teacher that didn't grade on grammar. Well, at least in our journals. She kinda taught us some of that there other stuffs.

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  19. I LOVE journals. I can still remember when I bought my very first one at a book fair in the school gym.

    Do you have a favorite type of journal to write in? Do you like any special colors?

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  20. Have you ever kept a journal? If so, did it help? Did it inspire a story?

    After my Mom died in November, '79, I discovered that I wished I had journaled about things that happened after her death...

    So, when my Dad had his stroke at the age of 90... I knew he wasn't going to survive... so I did start journaling... it turned from my Dad's Death Journal to my Divorce Journal to my Trainwreck Journal...

    They are inspirational to me... I don't write in my journals as much as I used to... I find that I write journal-like entries in my blog... and I am ok with that..

    I like your blog a lot...

    ~shoes~

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. I'm here to help any way I can.