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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Re: Poet Offers Journal Jotting Tips

I have been keeping a journal for about 20 years. I've never just sat down and read the whole thing. I sometimes flip thru it and read random entries. Or sometimes I'll pick a certain date, for instance,"Let me see what I was doing 5 years ago today". It's amazing the things I'd totally forgotten about. I've read about car accidents I'd forgotten, job interviews I don't remember ever having, etc.

When writing, I imagine that some future descendant of mine is reading it. There's one general rule I keep in mind when I write. When reading my old entries, I find that the "event" is not as interesting to read about as what I THINK about the event - or how I FEEL about it - or how it influenced me. For instance, I can write about 2 planes flying into a building in New York. I can record all the specifics...all the details...exactly what happened. That's good...and does have some value. But what would be even better is What I was doing just before I heard about it? How I found out about it? Where was I? Who else was around? How did I react? Did I call anyone? How did I feel? What did I think about it? Did I understand why it happened? Etc...etc. These kinds of entries are always more interesting for me to read.

Chuck P.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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