Sylvia Plath kept a journal. So did Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Madeleine L’Engle. What did these and many other writers find valuable about journaling?
According to Virginia Woolf, a writer’s journal or notebook is a place to practice writing regularly. She said, “But what is more to the point is my belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. Never mind the misses and the stumbles...I believe that during the past year I can trace some increase of ease in my professional writing which I attribute to my casual half hours after tea.”
The long hot days of summer are fast upon us, and with them there will be time for sports, time for camp, time to dream, and time to do. Time to start a diary or journal?
A journal can be written for only yourself, to write down the things that are important to you: lists of favorites (music, t.v., and movies), pictures of friends and family, and, of course, your innermost thoughts. Fun times deserve to be remembered, and sometimes writing about a bad situation can help you deal with it better as you think it through on paper. That kind of journal is personal, and you may not wish to share it with anyone.