Thursday, July 14, 2011

Journals, Journals, Journals

When I was younger - in my twenties and thirties - I used to write a lot. I had dozens of little journals that I filled up in no time, pouring my heart into those pages. They were my lifesavers on my travels and when I lived abroad, the place where I would keep all the new impressions. These writings especially are wonderful records of places far away and I am glad that I have them. But I also wrote short stories, poems and something that I called "sketches", many of them unfinished, some of them worked over again and again.

Where has all that gone?

Since the birth of my daughter I haven't written into my journal on a regular basis as I used to. I only write fiercely when we are traveling in order to keep these memories. But where is all the heart wrenching? The truly honest moments when I wrote EVERYTHING down, knowing that this was for my eyes only. It always felt so good to write, problems got sorted out eventually, questions answered, inspiration hit.

Why did I stop?

I honestly don't know. But I feel inside me that I need to get back to writing, that I WANT to. I love writing my blog, but it is not my language. I need the pouring out, when my thoughts are way quicker than my pen (I always write with fast pens), when everything inside me just spills out without any order - and this I need to do in my own language. The language I grew up with, the language that still best reflects my emotions, the language with all these beautiful, poetic words - German. I love English, but German is the language of my heart.

So I decided to do the morning pages, as so well presented in Julia Cameron's "The Artist Way". Kaefer and I went to Target yesterday because I remembered having seen some beautiful journals there. And yes, they still were there. All kinds of journals, actually. They had them in packs of three and individual ones. Kaefer fell in love with the spiral notebook to the left. Both of us couldn't resist the small journals; she chose the one with the birds. I went for the pack of three beautiful composition books - just perfect for the morning pages.

This morning I started with the morning pages. I woke up with the word "wistful" in my mind - what a source for morning pages! No wonder I had filled my three pages within twenty minutes! Later I still had time to write into my regular journal - the one where I can play with words, write in both English and German (sometimes in the same sentence) and think before (!) I write. Two very different kinds of journals - and both just right for me.

The small journal? That will be turned into a gratitude journal. I take so much in my life for granted without saying thanks although I feel the gratitude, that I thought I want to write down what I am thankful for. I got the idea from my blogging friend Honey - thank you, Honey!

What about you? Do you keep a journal? Do you write morning pages?



Anonymous said...

I loved this post!! I have just started journaling and I rather suck at it but am dertermined to not beat myself up about it and keep on going. I have also just recieved from Amazon a lovely book called Writing Down Your Soul which is really helping me along. :)

I love all those birdie journals! Gorgeous!

Friko said...

What are morning pages? Please tell me.

I keep a journal, i.e. a diary, but for several months now I have neglected it. Blogging takes up a lot of my time.

I write in ordinary exercise books, the sort kids have for school. Page after page of what I did at any given moment, some thoughts, some hurts, some happy moments. A lot of drivel too.

I am losing track of everyday stuff that doesn't go into a blog, I had better pick up my diaries again. I don't write in German, I now only write letters in German, to German friends.

My English is better than my German now, my vocabulary is much bigger in English.

But I am homesick exclusively in German.

Deborah Tisch said...

Yes, I keep a journal, and I so understand what you wrote here about being able to write with the pen, and the answers that come!

I have written morning pages, having read The Artist's Way several years ago. Today my journaling is slightly different but still as meaningful.

Love the photo of all your journals! What a treasure...

patty said...

Yea, Carola! I used to write only sporadically in my journal - sometimes 6 months would go by without being inspired to write.... until I read Artist's Way on the big trip. I started writing morning pages and have filled many journals since then! I'm not at all strict with the "first thing in the morning" rule or with the 3 page rule. And when I started my blog I really got away from it, but I am back! I take out my journal with my mid-morning cappuccino break whether or not I know what to write and sometimes it's pretty amazing! In fact, I even joined an Artist's Way group, in which we share our experiences. So glad you decided to do this - you won't be sorry!!

Molly said...

Well, I obviously need to make a trip to Target :)

I started writing morning pages in April via an online site This has suited me very well as I can type far faster than write and typically I write my "3" pages in about 15 minutes.

I do LOVE journals however, and hope to do more long-hand writing in the future.

helena said...

I have written in a daily journal since 1980 with only a few blank months.

For 2 years I have had something like a gratitude journal - each evening I note one thing that made me happy during the day and one thing that that prompted my creatvity. I have a page for each date (1 -31) so each day I can read the entries from previous months on that date. I love it and it helps to keep me positive

Chantal said...

my blog is my journal... other than that No I dont keep any journal or diary.

Cynthia Schelzig said...

wow,,,now that is some journal keeping girl!!!looks great spread out like that...and those new ones...gorgeous covers. I keep a journal mostly sketch and ideas...

kathstewart said...

I did morning pages for at the entire month of May on a callenge. I shouldn't have stopped. Something was changing within me, my days were smoother and I felt mire creative. Okay, you're right, hauling out the journal now. Thanks for the prompt!

Marcie said...

Love how it is that we inspire one another. And - me too - I'm a big..and avid journaller. Can't imagine a better way to record my life!!!

Darla said...

Like Chantel, my blog is about as close to a journal as I get. I did keep a gratitude journal for awhile. Wonder where it is.


PS: I so admire people who can blog in English when it isn't their native language.

Lynn Cohen said...

I started keeping diarys as a child. A teen. And a young adult. I finally distroyed some of my adult journals as I really did not want them read by anyone else, least of all my kids after I die.
But I kept some of the ones I wrote as a young teen. They are sweet and I like those memories.
I would not mind anyone looking in them.
I do not write in a journal now. My blog is the height of my sharing of things personal. My recent Road Trip art journal was fun to do and I will do that sort of journal again. and I will keep them for my kids/grandkids, as they seem to enjoy them now.

It was fun for me to see in one of your journals that you have been to Israel. I lived there for five years in my early 20's. I posted about it somewhere early in my blogging.

Diana said...

Gosh, I love seeing all your journals. When I read your posts, I know if you were closer, we'd be great friends.

I don't like to write, but I had stopped painting for years because I felt overwhelmed with the girl's activities and something had to give. Maybe now that Kaefer's older, you feel the pull to write again.

I say a little gratitude prayer before that.

Ginnie said...

I used to write in journals religiously, year after year, Carola, all throughout my 21-year marriage in particular. But interestingly, I always wrote in a certain code, knowing I couldn't ever be totally free, lest they got into the wrong hands.

As I was choosing what to keep and what to throw away during my recent move across the Big Pond, I decided to throw them all away. Nor have I second-guessed the decision. Not even my kids would find them helpful, I'm sure.

But yours? Please tell me Kaefer will inherit them one day!

Claudia said...

Hallo Carola,
was für wunderschöne Journale. Ich habe auch eine Zeit lang geschrieben, doch das ist schon eine ganze Weile her. Mal schauen, wo die alten Bücher sind. Komme gerade aus dem Urlaub zurück. Du hast ja so recht, man sollte lieber vor Ort alles aufschreiben, man vergisst so schnell.
Liebe Grüße