Art of Journal Writing

Keeping a journal (or diary) to document a vacation, an adventure, an event, or a change in environment (such as moving to a new part of the country, moving to a new job, or school) is an excellent way to keep memories for future notation. While photographs and video recorders are the most common methods used to document an event, these methods don’t often capture the day to day situations and decision making that mold a person’s life.

And unfortunately, since memories fade over time, a journal entry documenting in detail
  •  Your first trip overseas, 
  •  Your first year in College or the Service,
  •  Your last year in high school,
etc. may not appear to be worth the trouble now, but 10 or more years from now, after some of the details of the events have faded, is a wonderful way to reminisce about “the good old days”.

It all starts by writing small events that are dear to your life. As you grow older, past experiences and adventures become more vague and unclear. Also, journals are great because they provide you with great insight of what you are at a specific point of time. You can include all kinds of things in journal writing and you need not write everyday. Journal writing provides you with an insight of the various happenings in your own life.

This is the easiest hobby to start. Just get a blank book, notebook, or journal and start writing. Or if you want to go online, open a file and start typing! This hobby is great if you want to document an upcoming trip, or if you’re about to start a new job, marriage, a new year, or millennium celebrations.

Start by documenting the highlights of your day. Did you have any conversations that are worth saving? Put them on paper. Many of the greatest names in history have kept journals! Explorers such as Ernest Shackleton (who explored Antarctica), Peary and Scott (who went to the North Pole); Presidents such as Washington documenting his military triumphs and Jefferson documenting his gardening triumphs; and Inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, and Leonardo Da Vinci have all kept journals. Probably, the most famous is the Diary of Anne Frank which documents her family’s hiding from the Nazis during World War II.

A great journal to read for starters is the Journals of Lewis and Clark written by William Clark and Merriwether Lewis as they traveled the Missouri River in search for a route to the Pacific Ocean in 1804 through 1806 for then President Thomas Jefferson. These journals are the actual entries for these two men, it documents their encounters with Indians and how the Indians assisted in helping them find a route to the Pacific Ocean, it documents their first encounters with Buffalo Herds, spending the winter of 1805 in the Rocky Mountains, and what possessions and food they took with them.

Even best seller books such as Jon Krakauer’s ‘Into thin Air’ which chronicles the ill-fated Everest ascent of 1996 or Jon Krakauer’s earlier book ‘Into the Wild’ which chronicles an ill-fated journey into the Alaskan Wilderness of 22-year old Chris McClandiss are both based on Journal entries–the first being Krakauer’s and the second book using McClandiss’s journal. Both of these books are excellent readings. Finally, for humour, read any of Tim Cahill’s journals which document his comings and goings.

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