#thepersonalside: Taking On a Habit Again

I had a diary as a child. If I remember correctly, I received it in my ninth birthday. It was the typical one most girls got during that period in time, with its pink cover and a drawing of a girl with a ponytail on the front. Of course, it had its small lock and key.

I tried to write in it every day. However, as an elementary school kid, I really didn’t have that much to write about. By the time a month had passed, the dairy rarely left the top drawer of my small desk.

I tried to pick up the habit again when I entered junior high school [now called middle school]. After all, I had picked up the interest in boys and had gained friendships that went beyond the close-knitted neighborhood I lived in. I thought, for sure, I’d have a lot to write about. As before though, the habit didn’t stick. I kept writing in it for about eight months though, which, I guess, meant I was beginning to form a serious attraction to the craft of writing.

Ninth grade was a school year of major changes for me, mostly because of my Civil Government class teacher, Miss Strong. All of a sudden it was a time to learn about how imperfect my world really was. I began writing free verse poems about injustice, discrimination, and prejudice — all hot topics of the latter 1960s, my world at the time. I would walk a mile to the five and ten-cent store on a regular basis to buy more pens and spiral notebooks so I could write my poetry.

Where did my diary go? I haven’t a clue. I could hide the spirals within plain sight without any worry of my brother or my parents snooping around in them. I just laid them with my school books knowing they were safe.

When I entered college, my days of diaries and poetry were left behind. I majored in Sociology/Social Work, meaning I was preparing to do something about all that injustice, discrimination, and prejudice I had found appalling [and still do]. The poems seemed trivial in comparison to what I was learning in my classes.

I didn’t take up the craft of writing again until I married for the second time and quit working as a patient representative. At that point, a little over fifteen years ago, my love of poetry had vanished into thin air. I didn’t find it trivial anymore but I did think of it as being too obscure for what I wanted to do with my writing.

The desire to take up writing again was almost overpowering, drawing me to the chair that sat at a desk in the master bedroom. Nevertheless, I didn’t choose to begin another spiral or diary. Instead, I got busy with a full-blown novel that I still am working on. It just didn’t occur to me to have a diary or journal again until I read some blog posts by some established writers.

Last September I searched high and low for an app that would suit this need. To tell the truth, I was sorely disappointed. I have come to the conclusion that programmers, as a group, don’t have a clue as to what is needed to have an adept journal/diary.

I decided I had to make my own. Being halfway savvy with computers now, I brought forth WordPad, typing the first line in cursive for the day and date. All other lines after that being non-cursive to type out my thoughts.

I haven’t written in this make-shift journal every day but few days have been missed until the week before Christmas when I got that awful cold. I didn’t write in it for over two weeks. Exactly one week ago I brought it up to my desktop again and wrote. Mind you, I didn’t write a lot but it was a new beginning.

This last Monday I got myself back into the swing of writing in the journal every day. I know there will be days I miss because of other activities but I have taken on the habit again.

image by Rossi Fox @ http://rossifox.com/



10 thoughts on “#thepersonalside: Taking On a Habit Again

  1. As a diary and journaling nerd I read your post with interest! Well done for getting back to it after your illness (hope you’re much better) and the trick is not to berate yourself if you miss a day or two. Also, what a great idea to use an app that works as a diary…I’m intrigued as I’ve tried writing one on a computer but it never felt ‘personal’ enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would use pen and spiral except my penmanship had gotten atrocious over the years. When I bring up the WordPad, I don’t maximize it. I leave it in the smaller form because it feels more personal that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “I have come to the conclusion that programmers, as a group, don’t have a clue as to what is needed to have an adept journal/diary.”

    Having worked as/with programmers for over 40 years, I can say that you could easily replace “journal/diary” with almost anything. Programmers tend to get too immersed in the technology while the user/customer sits at the surface and doesn’t car what’s going on under there. We’ve never quite gotten that.

    If I were to want to keep a journal, I think I would use Microsoft OneNote. It allows virtually free-form writing, doodling, capturing along with lots of ways to organize if you choose to add that element. If not, it doesn’t require you to do anything beyond click and go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about using OneNote but I’m using it for so many other things like post ideas, research for my WiP, photos of the characters I have in my WiP, and the list goes on. It sometimes gets confusing. That’s why WordPad. O_o

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve journaled since elementary school when my aunt gave me a diary for Christmas. Going back, I can pinpoint the most depressed phases in my life because I will go 3-6 months without making a single entry. Over the past three years, I’ve done about three a week. Now that life is settling down again, I will probably do back to about one entry a week. I get frustrated because I spend too much time detailing what happened over the course of the week, and then I get tired of the writing, and often don’t feel like delving into being more reflective. Journals are great in that they can be pressed into many uses depending upon need.


  4. I love the quote, Glynis. I’ve never kept a diary, and did try after having a chat with my life coach. I was never good at developing a habit or need to write whatever was happening. Perhaps its time to try again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, Luciana, in the past I haven’t been diligent on keeping a diary or journal. However, my purpose for the one I have now is to clear my head in hopes of focusing more clearly when working on my WiP, kind of like dusting all the cobwebs out. Often, I include what kind of progress I want to make on my WiP, sometimes getting specific.

      Liked by 1 person

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