Journal Entry

18 October 2003 ... Journalling

First, some definitions...

  • Journal vs. Diary
    By the dictionary, these words are synonymous, but in the journalling community they have distinct definitions. The diary is a written record of the day's happenings, "This is what happened". A journal is ... well. More. It's "This is how I feel about what happened", it has doodles and stuff stuck in and colors and crazy stuff. A journal is more of a private work of art.

  • Online Journal (OLJ) vs. Blog
    Many people use these terms interchangeably, but traditionally there is a difference. The OLJ is a public letter to the world. A blog (shortened from "web log") is a collection of hyperlinks. "This is where I've been surfing today, these are cool links."

  • The Notebook
    I really can't be bothered with the whole "journal" and "diary" mess, so I just say, "I'm writing in my notebook". This is mostly to differentiate the hand writing in my book from the typing in my online journal.

Some prompts from the email group Journaling 101, where they are going through the book, The New Diary by Tristine Rainer.

What factors do you consider when selecting your journals?
I will write in anything. I've written on loose leaf paper, in spiral bound notebooks, in legal pads, and in various bound books, on the computer in a text editor and in a paint program with my wacom tablet, online, and on my Palm handheld. :) I've always got a good selection of notebooks laying around, so I just pick one that looks pretty, or is big, or is little, or has good paper, or pretty paper, or has lines, or doesn't. heh.

How do you approach your writing?
Most often, I write in the evening, sitting on my bed with a lap desk. I consider writing in my notebook a calming activity to get things off my mind.

Do you write fast? Are you Honest?
I don't write fast. This is also "thinking time" for me so half the time, I'm staring off into space. I am honest... with embellishments and omissions. ;)

Do you write daily, weekly, sporadically?
I no longer write daily. It probably averages out to every other day.

Do you feel the need to spell correctly and use "proper" grammar?
I try to correct my spelling, but if I can't get it I'm not going to get out my dictionary just then. When I'm typing for online stuff, I will always look up a word that isn't right, tho I rarely use the spell check. I don't worry about grammar. I write the way my brain talks.

Do you have any rituals or habits when beginning a new journal?
Yes, on the first page I write a quote or a word/phrase to dedicate the notebook. Also towards the front I usually have a list of current projects.

How do you ensure the privacy of your journal? Is it a big worry for you or not at all?
I don't worry about it. My partner told me he would never read my notebook and I believe him. When I go traveling, I tend to assume that my people will respect me and not read the thing. The one person who read without permission is no longer in my life. shrugs: why would you associate with a human you can't trust?

Of course, it's entirely different for the online journal. There is no privacy when you are writing to the world. I always keep in mind that when I type here, I am typing to an audience.

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