Sunday, August 10, 2008

Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Samara O’Shea

I have mentioned before that Hubby and I both love to read. So of course, I was excited about reviewing Note to Self:On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Samara O'Shea. Now let me tell you that I am not someone who journals, in fact other than my blogs, I don't really do any documenting of events at all. I used to. I have lots of diaries from when I was little. Starting with one that just has scribbles and my name in it, on and off right up through high school. I think I even wrote once in one in college. I did keep a pregnancy journal on-line when I was pregnant with Sara and I love going back and reading through it.

I think the hardest thing for me when I keep a journal is to remember to stick with it and write daily. And I think that is the biggest thing that I took away from reading this book. It is okay to not write every day. Phew. This is big deal for me. I would always feel like I was going something wrong and therefore was not able to keep a journal.

An excerpt from her website that basically sums it up for me:
"The way I made it work was I stopped getting mad at myself if I didn’t write everyday, and I stopped expecting myself to write down the exact details of the day. Basically, I broke the journal-writing rules, and, as a result, I was able to keep a journal. Many journals. Now, sometimes six months will go by and I don’t write at all, while other times I write everyday. Some days I write an epic poem, and other days I only write two sentences. I am the policy maker for my journal, and the policy is, “Write what feels right.” Keep this in mind if you’d consider trying a journal again. It’s worth it! We need to check in with ourselves and seeing our thoughts come alive on paper is a meaningful and profound way to do it. Anne Frank and I strongly advise you to develop yourself and express all that is inside you."

This book really did inspire me. I am going to crack open my old journal and start writing, whatever and whenever I want. In addition to being an inspiration for me to starting journaling again, it was just a wonderful read. O'Shea takes excerpts from her journal (and other famous journals) and weaves it together with her advice to create a wonderful book.

You can also check out her first book For The Love of Letters: A 21st Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing

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