My Journaling Journey

I close my eyes and take in a deep breath. For five minutes, I find myself sitting on an uncomfortable plastic chair hopelessly trying to reflect on my day. I am an addict. I am drawn to words, and that is precisely the reason I sit down everyday with a pen and paper in hand.

I write.

Writing is not a hobby as much as it is a passion. It is this fervor that sparked my journaling frenzy when I was eight years old, and it is also the reason I am writing to you all now.

I was in the third grade when I began to carry a journal. I won’t go into too much detail about what I was hiding back then, but here are pictures of some of the pages in the pre-set journal I had at the time:

This is clearly my house.
“I don’t like the color brown because it just looks disgusting because it looks like poop! ICK!”
My sister loves chocolate.

My journaling habits have greatly evolved over the years (I swear, they have), but the purpose of me writing in a book every day has stayed relatively the same. As an eight-year-old growing up in a diverse community, I was accustomed to being around people of different cultures. An array of distinct individuals surrounded me on a daily basis, and I found that this diversity helped to mold me as a person. From writing about my bilingual friends in Ms. T’s class, to discussing the different accents of some of my classmates, I found inspiration through people.

It took me a while to realize this, but keeping a journal throughout my adolescence was a blessing. We often highlight how wonderful journals can be for holding your private thoughts – places where you can be completely honest about how you’re feeling about your life, and the people in it. While this is true, I started keeping a journal because I wanted to relive memories that I would have otherwise forgotten. I also wanted to have something to confide in when there was no one I could rely on, and that is precisely what I did.

As I grew older, I began to pour my heart and soul into my writing. Words flew through me like a thrill seeking body gliding down a waterfall, and I couldn’t help myself. I wrote about anything and everything–all at once. It felt good to let out my frustration on paper, but it felt even more amazing to share my excitement through written words.

If I read a book with a memorable quote, it would go into my journal:

If I fell in love with different  places around the world, they would go in my journal:

If I became a little obsessive over a certain series of books, a massive montage of pictures would go in my journal:

Don’t judge me.

For me, journaling became far more than keeping secrets. I was able to find inspiration, and my journaling habits even led me to write this:

This is a quote from a memoir I wrote for Penguin Random House earlier this year. I ended up winning a scholarship from the publishing company.

All in all, my experience with journaling has clearly been a great one. I have learned so much about myself throughout these past nine years, and I hope my words will have some type of influence on my readers.

And always remember that if you just write what’s on your mind, the rest will come easy.

-Sara

***

There’s a poem that I actually want to share in this post. It is by one of my favorite poets, and I think it summarizes my experience with writing particularly well. Enjoy!

“So You Want To Be A Writer?”

by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn’t come bursting out of you

in spite of everything,

don’t do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your

heart and your mind and your mouth

and your gut,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit for hours

staring at your computer screen

or hunched over your

typewriter

searching for words,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it for money or

fame,

don’t do it.

if you’re doing it because you want

women in your bed,

don’t do it.

if you have to sit there and

rewrite it again and again,

don’t do it.

if it’s hard work just thinking about doing it,

don’t do it.

if you’re trying to write like somebody

else,

forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of

you,

then wait patiently.

if it never does roar out of you,

do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife

or your girlfriend or your boyfriend

or your parents or to anybody at all,

you’re not ready.

don’t be like so many writers,

don’t be like so many thousands of

people who call themselves writers,

don’t be dull and boring and

pretentious, don’t be consumed with self-

love.

the libraries of the world have

yawned themselves to

sleep

over your kind.

don’t add to that.

don’t do it.

unless it comes out of

your soul like a rocket,

unless being still would

drive you to madness or

suicide or murder,

don’t do it.

unless the sun inside you is

burning your gut,

don’t do it.

when it is truly time,

and if you have been chosen,

it will do it by

itself and it will keep on doing it

until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

P.S. If you would like to hear the poem, feel free to click on this link: BukowskiIt will direct you to an audio clip of “So You Want To Be A Writer?” (read by Tom O’Bedlam). If you want to hear this poem by itself, without music in the background, click on this link: Tom O’ Bedlam (you will need to sign in to your Google account to hear this version)

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8 thoughts on “My Journaling Journey

  1. That was beautiful.You’re really gifted Sara! And it’s crazy because I’ve been thinking about keeping a journal for a while now! I feel inspired 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! That means a lot, and please do! It’d make me really happy if you started to journal. Trust me, it’ll help you cleanse yourself emotionally 💞

      Like

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