Monday, November 16, 2009

Journals Get Me Every Time

Does anybody besides me have a journal addiction?

I'm not obsessed with writing in them nearly as much as buying them. I just can't resist a gorgeous journal. I'm constantly finding older ones around the house that I bought, wrote 1/2 way through, then abandoned because I'd bought a new one I couldn't wait to use.

The other day I found a beautiful journal I'd kept while in grad school. I use the term "kept" loosely because apparently I only "kept" it long enough to write in the first 5 pages.

I'm pretty sure this behavior is listed as a sickness in the American Psychological Association's handbook of disorders.

I wrote notes and quotes from a book I was reading at the time called The Skillful Teacher by Stephen Brookfield. Here's a sample of my scribbling:

"Teaching is frequently a gloriously messy pursuit in which surprise, shock and risk are endemic."

"The most significant and transforming learning episodes are often experienced with pain and trauma ... students, therefore, may not see you as a good teacher for months or years to come ... after the pain has passed, and after the student evaluations are written."

"Those students who struggled in their own learning may be much better at understanding and assisting students who are struggling themselves."
(reminds me of 2 Cor. 1:4)

So are you a journal writer? What do you write in yours? Notes from books you're reading? Experiences from your life? Bible verses? Prayers? Do tell!

You might want to pop over to P31's She Reads blog today and enter for a chance to win Bonnie Grove's new novel Talking with the Dead. And get a load of this - Bonnie is also giving away an iPod Nano loaded with songs she listened to while writing her novel. How cool is that?!

I'm banned from winning this giveaway, and I'm bummed about that. But that means your chances of winning are greater. I'm off to write some more in my grad school journal. Rediscovering this journal was almost as good as buying a new one!


  1. I COMPLETELY understand this addiction! I have the same thing! I was just out shopping this weekend and came across several I wanted to purchase...but knowing I had many at home that I haven't used up yet kept me under control :)

    I use the journals to take notes from sermon's on Sunday's or listening to a radio broadcast. I also use them for recording thoughts on books - just picked up "The 12 Ways of Christmas" by David Jeremiah -- lots of good stuff in there!

    But I'm learning that if I use the same journal for everything I end up using it more. Before I felt I needed a separate journal for everything!

  2. Oh the love of a new journal....which is so quickly abandoned when another love comes along...!!
    I am RIGHT WITH YOU in this. Although I've found this addiction doesn't stop at journals. I'm the same way with new shampoos, new lotions, jackets, pens, etc. Do you think I have a problem? Well, the first step to freedom is admitting the issue...

    Anyway - I use my journals for prayers, general thoughts on the world as I see it, quotes from books I am reading, and meditations on devotions.

    When I was younger (much 9-10yrs old?), I tried for a period of time to be like Harriet the Spy with my journal. But that phase was soon squelched when I found that I couldn't actually sneak into someone else's home through a laundry elevator. Oh well.

  3. Amy G - I too have learned I need to keep one journal for everything. (But deep inside I still want seperate ones!)

    AmyKat - my daughter tried to do the Harriet the Spy thing too at age 10. She would climb neighbor's trees and sit watching with her journal. :)

  4. As a teacher, I appreciate, understand and LIVE your musings!

  5. I admit, like you, I have a number of journals. Many of them are about half written in. Some not even half! LOL

    Hope you have a great week!

  6. I love pretty spiral notebooks! I can't help myself! I have a couple that I write in regulary...prayers, answers to my devotional times, favorite quotes and scriptures. I treasure my books.

    I look back in the ones that are half used and read back several years ago and it's amazing to see how I've grown.


  7. I totally have a journal buying addiction, too. And people know I love to write so they give them to me as gifts. That's like giving a 5th to an alcoholic. What are they thinking?
    Yes, I mainly use them as prayer journals since my bloggy blog houses my thoughts now (scary!). I probably do need some private journal entries.
    Hmm. Off to find a journal. I'm sure I'll trip over one here shortly.

  8. Yes yes yes I love journals also! And while I know I'm more successful using only one - and I have tried more than several times, just can't seem to do it! I am comfortable having a journal hidden in the rooms I tend to linger!

  9. Ha! I was just eyeing a gorgeous journal at B&N yesterday... but I told myself, "Self, you already have a gorgeous journal that's not even halfway full. You can not have it." The thing is, that journal matches my bedspread. I mean, really. You need a journal that matches your bedspread, right?? Hmmm, might just have to go get it and put it up for "later." I am convinced that a pretty journal and a nice pen is one of the best gifts you can give to a friend!

    One thing I have started doing is taking my journal with me when I travel and also taking it with me to record sermon notes in church. I am really enjoying it and feel like it's becoming a more integral part of my life. Like the other commenters, my journal is a combo of prayer journal, notes on my devotions and books I am reading, prayers written out to God, and thoughts. I use it a LOT more once I integrated all that into one thing.

    If you missed Ann Voskamp's journaling series she did a few months ago, search it out in her archives. It was well worth the read-- she did it for about 4 or 5 Wed's in a row. If I was a better friend, I would find the link for you. :)

  10. About 3 years, I started something with my two daughters (now ages 14 and 17). They each picked out a journal and we would communicate back and forth through them, sometimes it woould just be little notes, or questions, or just normal day to day stuff. Though we did stop doing it a while back, I think today would be a great day to get that going again! It really is neat to look back at what we wrote to each other, sometimes with laughter, sometimes with tears, absolutely wonderful memories (and a great excuse to buy a cool journal)!

  11. I don't spend much time anymore actually journaling, but can completely relate to that itching desire for a new journal. My love of that feeling extends to new stationery supplies in general. I think it just takes me back to the beginning of the school year feeling, where all the paper (and books, in those days) had that new, crisp smell and feel. I LIKE beginnings. There is a sense of promise in a new journal.

  12. I am truly grateful for this post, because I thought I had a serious problem. Each visit to Borders includes my browsing for yet another journal. And because I have so many unfinished journals, I never thought about going back to one and finishing the journal. I am relieved that you all have this same experience - LOL.....and what a great idea to use it for everything. This is challenging to me but I must try it! I am so relieved :-))


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