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Steve raises a question on which Mari and I respectfully (and playfully) disagree. Are your journals stuck in a past that is no longer relevant? Or, are there good reasons (besides wandering down memory lane) to go back and re-reading old journal entries?
Some lifelong journal-writers will say the best part about keeping a journal is the zen-like attention and awareness of the present moment; and going backwards in time to read old stories is completely counter to that intention. Mari even (gulp!) throws them away!
And while I agree with that mindset, I know that my journals contain some deliciously captured moments, and zen-like insights of which I enjoy reminding myself.
Perhaps the best answer lies in the paradox somewhere in-between. Write as if you’ll throw away your journals, but keep them so you can cherish those “in-the-moment” reflections! (Click here to Tweet this!)
Please share: What do you get from re-reading your journals? Inspiration? Material for publication? Future blog-posts? A chronology to pass on to future generations? Entertaining reminders of a time gone by?
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Voiceover: Thomas Gerrard
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Thanks so much for this Q and A episode of JournalTalk, Nathan! I loved the creative suggestion you had to counteract the frustration of sloshing through hundreds of journal entries to find the few gems. Leaving a few pages for an index or table of contents at the beginning is a great idea. Keep those podcasts coming!
Thanks for the comment, Leslie. There’s also a very popular (but older) episode with Heather Severson, where she goes into great detail about organizing her journals for future use. http://www.Write4Life.us/hypergraphia. One of my favorites!
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