Something sensational to read on the train

I get a huge kick out of Oscar Wilde.  We discussed The Importance of Being Earnest last night at the book club I help run at the library.  It was the first time I’d read it since high school and it has only gotten funnier with time.  One of the things that struck me this time was the way that diaries were used by the female characters to corroborate their stories and to daydream.

Oscar Wilde quote

 

When I was in middle school I kept a diary pretty faithfully for a couple years (the entries are hilarious now).  I flirted with journaling here and there in high school, and I blogged a bit in college along with starting paper and pen journals, writing in them for a bit and then abandoning them.

My mom is awesome about journaling.  When I was pregnant for Jack she gave me the journals she kept when I was little (she also gave me the notebook she used to keep track of my feedings/ poopings/ general disposition.  She was a lot more organized about that than I was – I think I wrote that stuff down for about two seconds after my boys were born.  My mom kept that stuff going until I was a year old.  Impressive.)

I have a “mother’s journal” that I write in when I remember (flurries here and there with six month breaks in between), but I want to be better about it because it was really special to me to know what my mom was doing and thinking when I was a baby and I would love to be able to share that with my kids.

So I’m asking you – do you keep a diary or journal?  What tips do you have for actually doing it?  Every time I sit down to write it either takes me two hours just to catch up and then I don’t get around to writing what I meant to or I fall into just listing events without ever writing anything interesting.

My favorite journal entries have been the ones where I had a couple uninterrupted hours in which to write.  (My very favorite, about Jack’s birth, was written when he was about a month old and my sister offered to watch him for a few hours so that I could go to the coffee shop and decompress.  Bliss.)  I seldom have that kind of time, so thoughtful journal entries are seldom written.  My aunt had the clever idea of keeping a calendar by each kid’s door and writing a cute thing they did or said on that day’s date, then keeping the calendars as memory books.  Has anybody tried that?  What else has worked for you?  Somebody teach me to journal!

-Elizabeth

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2 thoughts on “Something sensational to read on the train

  1. i’ve always loved the idea of journaling, but like you have lacked the discipline. I recently found a multi-year journal-type book that has one page per day with 5 5-line sections on each page. The idea is you write only 5 lines each day, cycling through the book 5 times to give you 5 years’ worth of entries. I keep this on my nightstand and have so far managed to at least write something short each day. I’m trying to focus on the good things about the day, to end on a positive note before sleeping.

    • What a good idea! Now that you mention it I have seen those journals before. I should make a habit of writing down a cute thing the kids did before bed instead of trying to write pages at a time. Thanks for the idea!

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