I have always loved to write. Writing helps me to clarify my thinking and allows me to express myself  much more eloquently than in speech. I enjoy having time to process the things I experience, and I also like telling stories and providing helpful information.

When I was seven years old, my mother gave me a scrapbook. I pasted in pictures of friends and family, postcards and letters from penpals, going away notes from friends I knew I would never see again, and awards I had won. I enjoyed keeping track of the events in my life. It gave me a sense of history, and it was comforting.

At the age of fourteen, I began keeping a journal. Soon after I started journaling, I was introduced to stream of consciousness writing in my high school English class. I adopted that style because my mind was always racing, so it was easy to write. For the next five years, all of my personal writing was stream of consciousness. I used my journal mostly to empty my mind of confusing and negative emotions. Ironically, whenever I read my journal, I would dwell on the very memories that I wanted to forget.

During my first serious depression, I gathered all of my journals and threw them in the dumpster behind my apartment. I felt free. My depression lingered, but I'm glad that most of those painful memories have been trashed. Since then, I have ditched stream of consciousness writing. I prefer to write after I have had a chance to think. I'm considering keeping a journal again, instead of the scattered notes I currently keep, but it won't be about serious problems. It will be observations of things I encounter in daily life, and it will be funny. Now I would rather laugh at problems than worry about them.


  1. Anonymous11/27/2011

    I think writing is good for the soul but I certainly understand your reasoning for throwing them away. I had a journal full of memories from an ex boyfriend that I ran across and had to junk. It is best to live in the present.

  2. I am certainly not saying that everyone should throw away their old diaries--it's just what I did. Writing is personal and what you choose to do with it is up to you. I agree that it is best to live in the present.

  3. I think you'll like writing in your journal when you put some real thought into it (humor, analysis of daily life). I do. -- Jeff