Thursday, 21 January 2010

Naming my Moleskine

When I first started keeping a diary, I used to start with traditional "Dear Diary". Then as my diaries became journals, I stopped doing it. It just felt silly to start with a "Dear Diary" so I just start with a date.
I don't usually name objects (except Teddy bears obviously), but when I got my netbook, I knew *he* had to have a name. He is Finn, and that's how I refer to him, and I totally adore him.
Anne Frank calls her diary, Kitty. She has turned her diary into an actual person, and she writes as if confiding into one friend she can trust with her innermost thoughts. It made me wonder if I should give my journals name(s). I don't share all my thoughts with anyone. Never have, and I doubt I ever will. In journals, I try to be as honest as possible, but sometime there is automatic censorship. So I wondered, would it make a difference, if I felt I was writing to a friend?
My journals are extremely important to me, so I certainly don't see them as mere objects. But to name them would be to personalise them. Anne consistently called her diaries "Kitty" because she was actually writing letters to a friend. But I see each of my journal as individual entities, though connected. It would feel totally wrong to call them all by same names, and yet you can't get close to many different friends.
So as I was writing in my current moleskine that I use for private journaling yesterday, I wondered if *she* should have a name. I haven't decided yet. Perhaps it is easier to write to a journal than a person, even if fictional. I don't know.
How about you? Do you ever name your journals? Does it make the experience of sharing your soul any easier?

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Inspired to Journal More

I am always on the look out for ways to improve my journaling techniques. The improvement is more about developing good habits, remembering to do new things rather than sticking to old ways. My journals often tend to be filled with my thoughts and feelings, and the real world that I live in, gets quite neglected. I would like a balance. Recording and exploring feelings and thoughts is fine, but I also want to be able to look back and read about what's happening in the world about me. So every time I read an article about journaling or read someone else's experience, I make a note of what I like and try to implement it.
Current inspiration comes from an amazing source. I started reading, "The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank. Most of you, no doubt, have heard of Anne Frank's Diary, a young jewish girl from Amsterdam who went into hiding with her family for 2 years during World War II, before they were finally caught by the Nazis. Anne started her diary when she was 13, and wrote in it for 2 years of her captivity. It is touching, and it is wonderful, all the more so because it is just a diary of a teenage girl. She is honest in her recordings, and though war plays a great part in her entries, at its core, it's about Anne - the person. It also strikes a chord with me because I seem to share quite a few personality traits with Anne. So much so that few of her passages could have come straight out of my own diaries.
I love reading other people's diaries - historical of course, because for one, I don't know anyone in real life who keeps them, and also because it's such a personal thing that most people would not want to share it. I know I certainly would not.
So what Anne's diary has inspired me to do? She has inspired me to be honest with myself in my journals. Granted, in her later entries she does mention that she can't believe how indelicate she was in writing some things, but I think it's a good thing. Despite a journal being a personal thing, sometimes, mind automatically censors. I have improved considerably over the years, but I could do with more.
It has also inspired me to find other published diaries, and read more, not only to see what I can learn but also to learn about those people's journeys through their own journals.
How about you? Do you like reading other people's diaries? Do you like to improve your journals or are you happy with what you have?