Saturday, April 2, 2011

Journal Writing and the Fear of Forgetting

Writing a journal isn’t the easiest thing for me. I’ve attempted and reattempted many times, but I never got around to it until this year, when I was required to do it for a class. It’s a great way of keeping track of my memories, my anxieties, my ideas, what’s going on in my life at the time, and just another way to release some of the demons of my mind onto the page.

And I think I’ll keep up the habit of writing a journal until the end of my undergraduate year of college, so I could look back on how much I’ve grown, how much I’ve been through, how much I’ve seen, and all that’s in between.

I have already snuck a peek at it once or twice and couldn’t believe some of things that I had forgotten. You know I always had this feeling in the back of my mind that somehow I’m going to contract some sort of memory losing disease and never remember who I am, what I have done, who I am friends with, or my family. Being all alone in the world with nothing or no one is probably one of my greatest fears in life, which is probably why I save all my adventures down in my journal or on my blog, which is why I collect all this junk on my Memory Wall, or why I try to remember everyone’s name that I meet.

I have the fear of forgetting.

I’ve written probably a handful of stories of people with no pasts or who had lost their pasts along the way of their journeys. They try to get by and make themselves new lives and I guess I truly look up to people who can do that to survive. I don’t think I can ever be capable of doing that. My characters are composed of the people I’ve met in my life, in fiction and in reality that I admire.

So, keeping a journal was always a tough thing to do because I didn’t want to write in it every day and fill it up with useless information, so I decided to write down only the necessities or major things that I’m going through. However, I think I’ve hit a speed bump on this road to journal writing, which I’m sure that some other journal writers have hit as well.

I can’t seem to write anymore in the journal. I feel unmotivated and lost. I have all these thoughts that I want to put on the page, but I can’t seem to organize them down into words. I just wish that I could pull out the words from my brain, heart, and tongue and slather the page with all those memories and thoughts, but I am hesitant.  As soon as my pen lightly dots the page and I’m prepared to write a word— I just freeze. The lines start to look like prison bars. The pen is glued to my hand, but won’t write a single word.

And I tell myself, “You can write.”

But I doubt those three words. My anxiety has reached its peak. One of my friends, Dalia, advised me to try and wait it out with the journal writing.  So, that’s what I’m planning on doing. Sometimes good things come to those who wait, right?

Do you keep a journal or diary? How do you feel about it? 


The Words Crafter said...

I can't keep a journal. That's what my blog is for. Kind of....

Try taking all those thoughts and just do word clouds with them. Connect lines from the words and write thoughts that stem from them. Don't aim for form or structure or organization. Kind of like random association. Then, later, after you've purged your overloaded mind, come back and see what sense you can make of it. You'll be surprised!

It's nice to visit! Hope you've been doing well :)

Chris said...

I hear you, I am afraid of forgetting as well. I've been keeping a journal since fifth grade, although sometimes there are periods where I'll start to slack in writing. The best way to keep it is to try and make a little bit of time each day to jot down thoughts and events, even if it's only a few minutes. Keep trying, don't give up :)

Anonymous said...

Like you I have tried many times as an adult to keep a journal but failed. I used to keep one in high school required by my creative writing class. When I graduated I threw them all away and still regret doing so. I would have loved to reflect back on my crazy thoughts and maybe just maybe get some ideas from that when I'm dry on my writing. This year I have an art journal. An experimental playground if you will: fragments of ideas, ticket stubs, quotes, ugly sketches, etc and I don't care about writing in it daily just consistently.

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