Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Does Grammar and Punctuation Matter in Journals?

Whenever I write anything, I try to write it as correctly as possible without obsessing over it. For example, if I'm writing emails or blog posts, I would make the effort to make sure my spelling and punctuations are mostly correct by paying attention to them as I write. After that, I might do a spell check, but I wouldn't necessarily worry about every comma or semicolon. The key is to make sure that everything is readable, and correct for "normal" people, as opposed to Grammar Police.

For my journals, I take the same approach. I don't like reading things without any sort of punctuation or with excessive spelling errors, so I never write like that. I want my journals to reflect my language skills, not my laziness. But I'm little less strict with journals. If I am writing really fast because I want to get the words out then I don't worry about spelling or grammar. I do it as best as I can while maintaining the speed. And that's okay, because in those entries, it's  the emotion that matters. Punctuation on the whole is there anyway (because people who write without commas and periods should be severely punished), and spelling errors are more due to speed. But on the whole, I would say that yes, grammar and punctuation does matter. I believe that if I am going to do something, I might as well do it well. That applies to journaling.

What do you think? Do you care about grammar and punctuation in  your journal entries? How much do you care?

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Journal Writing Prompt 30 - Being Busy

"Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these needs there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing."
- Thomas Alva Edison

Modern lifestyle for most people is about being busy. We are rushed at work, we are rushed at home, and weekends are usually spent running one errand or another. Being busy, we are told, is good. Being busy means you are doing something with your life. 

But are you really? 

Being busy does not mean we are doing something. Getting results means we are doing something. Being busy is sometimes the biggest time waster of all, which keeps us occupied without getting results, and stops us from relaxing or doing things we enjoy.

So open your journal and write about the things that keep you busy. Are you accomplishing anything, or are you simply wasting time being busy? If so, what will you do to change it? 

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Reading Other People's Journals

Before you start shouting "sacrilege" let me assure you that I only mean journals I've permission to read. That means, published journals.

I will admit, reading people's journals hold a strong fascination for me. As a journal keeper, I want to see what they record, how they do it, and whether they can inspire me/teach me to do it better. As a person, I want to learn about their life through the most intimate medium. I know that their journals may not be the most accurate history of their time, but it is their history. Not just of facts, but of their thoughts and emotions. And as an extremely curious (nosy) person, I just want to uncover delicious secrets (which actually most of the time are incredibly boring.)

But, because I am a journal keeper, I would not dream of reading a person's private journal because I would not want them to read mine. That's where published journals are good. Author has given me permission to read them, so there is no guilt or a sense of crime, and I'm free to indulge.

I am always on the lookout for good journals. Of course, it is inevitable that most of the journals I end up reading are from writers/poets etc. because writer's mind holds a fascination for me. I am also more interested in learning about them,  than say a modern politician's diary. Currently, I'm reading "Time Out of Mind", Leonard Michael's diary. I came across this book in a bookshop in New York. Until then, I'd never heard of this guy, and now here I'm reading about his private life.

Some of my favourite journals are Anne Frank's Diary, Virginia Woolf's writer's diary, and Christopher Isherwood's diary. 

What about you? Do you like other people's diary? If so, why? And if not, why? What are your favourite diaries?