I Love, I Hate Journaling

INTRO: Over the decades I have had a love-hate relationship with journaling. When I talk with people about journaling, I find that it means and looks different to each one of them. Different types of journal books, some are plain, some are fancy and they hold different meanings to individuals. There is no right or wrong way to fill journal pages. Nothing is too silly, stupid or negative to be included. But, be warned, most journals are very personal and for the eyes and ears of the owner only. If they are read by a loved one it can cause gross misunderstanding. That happened to me once! Not good. Journals are soul sensitive, written from the heart and even well-meaning comments made by loved ones can pierce and wound.

To me, journaling is a brain dump full of thoughts that clutters your mind. I was horrified at how many of my thoughts were about old past crap and negative thoughts. Journaling is to freely move your hand across the page to write, paint, draw or paste whatever comes to mind.

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I like to use A5 size journals as they are not too small and not too large. For me, just the right sized page to scribble my thoughts about the good, the bad and the ugly, as the saying goes. I often audio record thoughts, as it’s quicker and easier to record them in the dark, in the middle of the night, which is when these thoughts usual like to chatter away in my head.

My journal is different to my diary. In my diary, I keep a record of the progress of my goals. My journal is my brain dump. This poem was inspired after writing an article titled Tools To Dig Up Your Creative Treasure based on the beginning of the book titled The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, in which the author challenges her reader to write three pages of a journal each day. Beverley Joy.


PODCAST – I Love, I Hate Journaling

There is nothing new about the concept

It’s been around since man invented the pen

Writing our thoughts on paper uncensored

Things we would never say to someone’s face.


Daily rides on the journal roller coaster

Of victorious shouts of ‘rocky balboa

And free fall screams of ‘woe is me’

As emotions rise and fall as the scribble is formed.


After spending years scribbling my thoughts

I moved away from it, sick and tired

Of my own boring thoughts that were stuck on rewind

Replaying my past mishaps and mistakes.


Like a scratched vinyl record singing the same song

With lyrics, I hate, and a tune debased

Playing cat and mouse across my page

My scribble played shrill and in forte.


I never bought fancy journals to write in

As I had no intention of keeping them

Pages filled with fragmented sentences

Full of negative, positive, whinging and praise.


Like the final movie scene, in Bridget Jones’ Diary

When Mark reads the awful comments Bridget wrote about him in her diary notes.

“It’s only a diary,” she says in defence. “They’re just full of crap. Everyone knows.”


But I must admit, it helps me process

My anger and frustration with people and things

So, I journal again, but this time, it’s not the same

With both hands on the wheel, I’ll control where I steer.


Now, I don’t scribble my thoughts every day

I keep my thoughts private, hidden away

I don’t allow anyone to read my pages

I don’t read back over them again.


I now use two diaries to keep track of life’s journey

One for creative ideas and notes

One to scribble in and problem solve.


Journaling is very personal, to satisfy your purpose

For me, it gives direction moving forward

Like a road map, still with bumps and turns

Mountains and valleys that are yet to explore.

Beverley Joy © 2022 of Simply Story Poetry. All Rights Reserved.

You may also enjoy the article this poem evolved from Tools To Dig Up Your Creative Treasure on my blog Simply Create 2 Share

You can listen to all my poems on several podcast platforms here

Image by efes from Pixabay

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