Musings On Journaling...Why do we journal? Why do we feel compelled to jot down our thoughts, ideas, prose, general brain droppings (as I’ve come to refer to them as) is whatever scrap of paper we have lying around, notebook, computer word processor, actual journal, whatever. Do we think these will be read by someone in the future? Do we think we actually have something deep and relevant to say? Is it out of narcissism? Boredom? Or are we perhaps driven by some inexplicable urge to just write, either on paper or writing inside your head?

For me, it’s definitely the later explanation, with maybe a generous dollop of narcissism thrown in. Being a somewhat semi-serious writer, it just seems like a natural thing to do. As natural as always having a book or two in close proximity, or the slight anxiety I get when I realize I don’t have a notebook and writing utensil handy whenever the urge to jot down my brain droppings.

I don’t ever see myself not writing. I cannot fathom the day when I just lay down my pen, retire my word processor on the computer and whatnot, and say “well, I’m done.” If I lose my right hand, I will learn to write with my left. If I lose both hands, I will learn to write with my feet. If I find myself paralyzed from the neck down, stick the pen in my mouth. I will find away.

I started my first actual journal in High School, when I was required to keep one for my Sophomore English class. All year, I needed to maintain five pages per week. That teacher only counted the number of pages, and didn’t actually read them. So I got away with using wide-ruled paper, and copying the lyrics from my cassette tapes to fill them. My Senior year was different – the Creative Writing teacher actually read the required amount of pages, and jotted down suggestions and comments on them before he returned them. Still, I wasn’t all that serious about journaling then, despite having been bitten by the fiction writing bug at an earlier age. And while I kept a notebook journal off and on in the 1990s, I didn’t really get into it until a couple of years after the turn of the 21st Century. Specifically, when I started my first blog, on Live Journal.

I certainly don’t blog online as I once did when I started in 2004. This has to do most with only having a small amount of time with my computer after the work day is over. I find myself writing in my notebook journals before work and on Thursdays after work while sipping root beer at Sean O’Casey’s awaiting the arrival of the Exalted Geeks. And after all this time, I’m transcribing my scribblings and blog entries into a year-by-year collection on the word processor. Once in a while, I think or find inspiration to publish something on my current blog if I happen to believe it’s interesting enough to share with the entire world. Unfortunately, this has resulted in irregular updates and posts, which just looks lazy. It’s not, but the blog being public, and no one privy to my notebook journals, it doesn’t look as prolific as I really am. Not that I’m all that brilliant. Well, okay, maybe I am, but nobody really needs to know. For whatever reason.

Besides, I have a feeling my Master Journal will never truly be finished until I’ve breathed my last, and my body is found slumped over my computer, or more than likely my notebook.