Monday, July 03, 2006

Journal writing

Reading the book The Life You Save Could Be Your Own, I have been compelled once again to making journaling a discipline. But the question I have is where should I do this? Seeing that Merton and Day published their journals and that they became a positive influence makes me wonder if I should make this blog my journal.

Then part of me thinks having a small portable notebook to write in would be better. Maybe I could be more honest and just post some edited excerpts from it here.

Then part of me thinks: Well you'll most likely just keep it up for a week or two anyways so why bother?

Perhaps some advice from y'all would help

the rev


urbanmonk said...

I have read the journals of Merton and found them more illuminating than trying to wade through the density and depth of his other writing. It is less abstract.

I have kept notebook journals for a decade now. It took me a long time to develop a habit that was comfortable and suited me. Originally, they were just a way to pray and pour my heart out before God. Or recording quotes and scripture that inspired or spoke to me in a special way.

I keep an excercise book as a private journal,( usuallly filled every three months) and occasionally post entries from them on my blog if the fancy takes me. Sometimes back dated ones from years ago.

Nouwen was also quite the diarist. he kept one for the duration of his seven month stay in a trappist monastery, as well as during his breakdown. Both have been invaluable sources of nourishment for me. As they reveal the person, not just the persons thoughts, ideas, or methods.

I am currently reading the autobiography of Merton. "the seven story mountain"

So, I guess I am saying that I endorse the discipline of journal writing....

Rebecca said...

some thoughts:
- ditto urban monk re: finding other's journals helpful
- there's an increasing amount of rubbish in cyberspace - not bad writing or anything, just a lot of it
- the benefit of a journal is you can write whatever you want (provided you don't lose them - I stopped journalling because I lose things!). Blogs are public. How much do you want to be public?

urbanmonk said...

That is why I keep the two separate. In an exercise book, I can choose what to reveal on a public blog. It may also be for the quality of the writing that I decide to post certain entries. Sometimes I might want to be more vulnerable, others, i might not feel safe enough to do this.

But another point on this:

Nouwen didnt publish his journal from his period of breakdown ( the inner voice of love) for eight years. He felt it was too raw and personal to be of benefit to anyone but himself. It was only due to the encouragement of friends and supporters that led him to do so. And I for one, am so glad he did! "what is most personal can be most universal." he often quoted this in his writing. Our greatest personal struggles can often be the greatest gift to others! But it can also be the rawest, shame filled parts of us, so I think its important to have good boundaries, to feel safe in sharing, and be able to get some distance for it to be profitable.. Thats also one reason why I keep all my journals.. another one is coz Im neurotic..

And yes, there is a lot of rubbish in cyberspace.. some of it is undoubtedly mine!

Keith Lowell Jensen said...

Keep in mind you can hit "Save as draft" on some of your posts, so they're there, but not visible to the public. That way the blog is your one central journal. Doing it this way is what keeps me doing it at all. Having a journal seperate from my blog would short circuit my hyper brain and undermine my discipline.
Of course, the risk is that you publish the thing on accident and then I'll find out about all the bad stuff you write about me. Stuff like: "My little brother Keith is so much sexier than I am. Oh how I hate him for this."

Keith Lowell Jensen said...

PS: It sure was great seeing you and your amazing family. I miss you guys tremendously.
I've been beating up my friends crazy monkey style.

Daniel said...

I have journalled on and off for 3 years now. I have recently tried to pick the habit up again. I use it as a way to pour my heart out to God also. I keep my journals and blog separate, but at times, you will be able to tell what is happening in my journal by seeing what I am posting about.

Rebecca said...

so what did you decide?!

The Rev said...

I have decided to start journaling more, and will share what I feel appropriate here. It is actually a bit frustrating that the FORGE intensive happened right now, and I am literally so busy that I don't have enough time to share the stuff I have already written, but soon.

the rev