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Thread: Keeping a Journal..

  1. #1
    Craftsman goregasm's Avatar
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    Keeping a Journal..

    Iíve always thought it would be beneficial to start writing a journal but never actually given myself time to sit down and put thoughts to paper, but now Iím feeling like I really should.


    I was 40 in December 2020. I have 3 boys who are all fairly young, eldest was 3 in March and the baby is just 6 weeks old. My wife had an awful pregnancy with the youngest, one complication after another and some issues which will affect the whole family going forward. In fact, without going into too much detail We nearly lost her on the table so its been a hard & difficult time for all.


    During my paternity leave of 5 weeks I had a lot of time to reflect on what has happened recently, not just with the recent birth but events around my family too, not to mention the pandemic and social distancing. Iíve had time to think about where I am in life and where Iím heading (figuratively). The only thing is, Iíve found that these thoughts in my head tend to get muddled around with the day-to-day stuff like work and appointments. So Iím thinking I want to try and dedicate some time to write things down and get the thoughts & feelings out of my head and on paper.


    Iím thinking it would be great for my mental wellbeing plus maybe when the boys are older, theyíll be able to go through my journals to see how their father managed his life. Hopefully, it might help them too.


    So, does anyone do this? Any hints or advice would really help

    ~ Ian

  2. #2
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    It is a very cathartic thing to do and something I have done it on occasion, but I do not do regularly. I do believe the process of writing it down helps to unload the mess from your head.

    It sounds like you have had a rough time, so it will certainly do no harm to just to try it.

    I have in the past tried 'talking therapies', but it just did not work for me at all, whereas writing it down and keeping it somewhere only I could see it was very helpful, I didn't share it. For me it was nothing fussy, nothing complicated, just a simple Word document. Others may prefer pen and paper to include sketches, doodles etc and may prefer to share it with others when they want to. There is no wrong or right, so just give it a go.

  3. #3
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    I keep a small Moleskine I write in at Xmas and my lad's birthday, hopefully he'll find it in my desk when I croak!

    An email account can be good too, just a simple gmail and write to itself as collates it nice and neat for later reading. Password written somewhere it'll be found.

  4. #4
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    I'd suggest doing it on the computer in some useful format.

    We used to keep a diary at work, offshore - using Lotus Organizer - as you could read it/print it out in logical format.

    Was very readable, and while you may have ideas that your descendents will want to read your actual handwriting - I think if it is easy to read - they are more likely to do so?

  5. #5
    I use a journal to record thoughts, feelings and experiences relating to my ongoing family, now including criminal, proceedings and it really helps. Writing the words helps; knowing I can refer back to them helps; writing what I feel, no matter how tough or shocking or disturbing, helps. It sounds like it might help you too OP, so give it a go?

  6. #6
    If you want something with a bit of structure take a look at https://www.themesystem.com/. Itís a system born out of a podcast called Cortex. It offers a guided way to journal. I should note that Iíve not tried the system but have listened to the podcast for 5 years.

  7. #7
    Craftsman goregasm's Avatar
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    I do believe the process of writing it down helps to unload the mess from your head.
    This exactly my thought process, I have a shocking memory at the best of times so anything to help me clear that clutter and align my thinking would be perfect

    I keep a small Moleskine I write in at Xmas and my lad's birthday, hopefully he'll find it in my desk when I croak!

    An email account can be good too, just a simple gmail and write to itself as collates it nice and neat for later reading. Password written somewhere it'll be found.
    My Brother-in-Law does something similar for his son, he setup an email account when he was born and regularly sends messages, thoughts & experiences

    I'd suggest doing it on the computer in some useful format.

    We used to keep a diary at work, offshore - using Lotus Organizer - as you could read it/print it out in logical format.

    Was very readable, and while you may have ideas that your descendents will want to read your actual handwriting - I think if it is easy to read - they are more likely to do so?
    That isn't a bad idea, something I hadn't thought of to be honest.. I think the only thing that puts me off this is that I spend most of my day in front of a computer, i'd prefer less screen time ideally but I understand your point on readability

    If you want something with a bit of structure take a look at https://www.themesystem.com/. Itís a system born out of a podcast called Cortex. It offers a guided way to journal. I should note that Iíve not tried the system but have listened to the podcast for 5 years.
    Thanks for this, i'll take a look.. I've also been looking at Bullet Journaling, but those processes seem to be more about getting organised time-wise, rather than writing down thoughts & experiences


    Thank you all for the replies so far

    ~ Ian

  8. #8
    Master village's Avatar
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    I think if I was to keep a journal I think I would prefer it to be handwritten rather than electronic. I sort of think that as a reminder of their father a nice journal written by hand would be more of a link to me than either emails or some sort of word document.

  9. #9
    Craftsman goregasm's Avatar
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    I've ordered a Moleskine Classic to write in, which should be arriving tomorrow. I've tried to get a process in my head as follows;

    Using a pocket notebook throughout the day to jot down anything significant, thoughts & reminders etc.. I've created a rudimentary layout in the pocketbook over 2 pages, hoping that should be enough to see me through a week.



    Then consciously set aside some time in the evening to collate the notes and put it all together in a dedicated journal.

    Does that make sense?

  10. #10
    Grand Master
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    Journal, no.
    But I do write stuff in a notebook with a fountain pen as I find it very relaxing to be away from technology.
    I don't write anything particularly personal apart from noting what pen and ink I'm using, and passages from whatever book im reading. I dont read fiction so ive got a mixture of watches and victorian sewer systems noted at the minute !

  11. #11
    Master
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    It's never appealed to me because the thought of someone else reading my own personal thoughts worries me slightly....and my life at it's current trajectory will never be a best seller!!!

  12. #12
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verv View Post
    Journal, no.
    But I do write stuff in a notebook with a fountain pen as I find it very relaxing to be away from technology.
    I don't write anything particularly personal apart from noting what pen and ink I'm using, and passages from whatever book im reading. I dont read fiction so ive got a mixture of watches and victorian sewer systems noted at the minute !
    Indeed C, you can't beat a fountain pen for journal entries or anything personal like that.

    Makes it more individual and special.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  13. #13
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goregasm View Post
    I've ordered a Moleskine Classic to write in, which should be arriving tomorrow. I've tried to get a process in my head as follows;

    Using a pocket notebook throughout the day to jot down anything significant, thoughts & reminders etc.. I've created a rudimentary layout in the pocketbook over 2 pages, hoping that should be enough to see me through a week.

    Then consciously set aside some time in the evening to collate the notes and put it all together in a dedicated journal.

    Does that make sense?
    You donít think you are just going to become a slave to something new?

  14. #14
    Craftsman
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    Sorry to hear about the issues Ian.

    Iíve kept a diary on off for 25 years, though itís normally a brief record of the day rather than deep thinking (probably not capable).

    Currently I use the year planner an IM sends me each year and that works well, not too long for the dull days! If the section is too long to fill then it can be hard to religiously do it. But I do have v small writing and have to use a ballpoint. Maybe next year Iíll try something larger for the fountain pen.

    I have done 2 five year diaries, where each page is the same day split over 5 years. Thatís interesting, but quite a commitment!

    Definitely need to have a routine as to when you write it, else suddenly youíre a few days down the line and start putting it off more and more.

    For me it just makes me less stressed about having a memory like a sieve, and encourages me to do things worth writing in it.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

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