Why I Keep a Journal

Even though I write all the time.

I am a writer.

There. I said it.

But if I write all the time, why would I ever need to keep a separate journal? After all, isn’t this blog basically a journal itself? (Not to mention my previous 6+ year strong much more random blog! You can check it out, it was partially amazing.)

I love writing.

But most of the writing I do these days is geared toward either professional stuff (this blog), contributions to publications, and then all the writing, blogging, and editing I do for actual paying clients.

My days and my brain are filled with so many words.

But my journal is separate from all of that.

As a child, I kept diaries and I still have them. I have a shelf of journals on my bookshelf (in size order) that I have kept with me when I went to college, moved apartments, when I moved across state lines (Florida to New York), and into a marriage. I like having them!

Proof. My journal shelf in size order. The pink “diary” on the far right was my very first!

These days, my journal is less of a daily writing about my emotions (goodbye, teen angst!) and more an every few months update on my life. My current journal was given to me by my husband and has wooden covers with a leather spine (not pictured, it’s currently in use. This is the finished journal shelf.)!

I like to keep it updated with major changes or shifts in my life, any big news (good or bad), and how I feel about things at that moment.

I have journals from throughout my childhood and through my entire college experience and into adulthood, so I have a record of my life through my own sometimes skewed perspective. I wrote my poems, songs, short stories, and issues I went through.

Each is a snapshot of a point in time.

Much like photographs, my journals are a look into the past.

I don’t write in it often anymore, but I do like to update it now and then. Sometimes I look back and see how I was at a point in time and marvel at how far I’ve come — and see what has changed and what hasn’t.

In many ways, the core of who I am has remained the same throughout my life. My morals and values and sense of right and wrong and fairness has stayed basically the same.

I think writing in my journals as a kid and writing down my lyrics and stories and describing my emotions is part of what led me to being a paid writer as an adult.

I’ve always been a writer. I’m just paid to do it now.

Circumstances, careers, and relationship status has changed, but one thing never will: my love of words.

Do you keep a journal? Why or why not?

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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