I keep trying to put an image of the journal here, but the blog displays it wonkily.

I will try one more time:


I’ve been writing regularly in a journal since January of 1994. I was 25, about to be 26, and seeing a therapist because of difficulties with my then boyfriend. Because I’m lately trying to write about that ex-boyfriend, I spent some time this morning putting my shelf of journals in chronological order.

There are 37 of them.

I am 48 years old. I have been writing in these 37 books for just over 23 years. Will I get to the point where my number of journals matches my age? Probably not–I have gotten better over the years at picking good journals, ones that have enough pages for a year or more, rather than a month or two.

I’m reading Harriet the Spy aloud to my boys right now. Drake is now 12, Guppy 10. Like Harriet, I’d be in a lot of trouble if people were to read my journals. I put my ugliest self in there, in the attempt to not say that stuff aloud. I also try to write out my bad moods, which are many. Best that they’re burnt without reading when I’m gone, I think.

I flipped through some of them. They don’t make good reading. They’re boring, repetitive, maddeningly vague if I’m looking for something specific, and mostly just me trying to figure things out. Story of my life, right?

2 Responses to “Journals”

  1. Amy Says:

    I’m assuming my journals are like yours, although I do a lot of “prep work” for fiction in poetry in them too, and I record dreams that are sometimes interesting to go back and re-read.

  2. james b chester Says:

    Maybe they are the story of life.

    I started keeping a journal as a kid as a result of reading Harriet the Spy. Though she gets into lots of trouble because of them, I loved them. I knew I had to have one if I was going to be a writer, too.

    I kept them for many years, still have them around her somewhere, but I stopped writing after I met C.J. twenty years ago. Worked out all my boyfriend issues once and for all I guess.

    Now, I just blog. ;-)