Earlier this week, we went up to Concord to see David Sedaris. I’ve blogged about that under “S”, which will be coming up eventually, but since today is “J” I’m going to hold off on my Sedaris comments. It was a wonderful show, and he spent a portion of it reading bits of writing from a diary. Sedaris said that he’s kept a diary for 40 years and quite honestly I felt kind of convicted when he said that, since I stopped keeping a journal years ago.
Most of my journals had tended to be a place to vent free-form, and I never re-read them. In recent years, I haven’t used journals as a place to collect or develop story ideas, and yet, I remember when our older three kids were very young, I went through a time of non-creativity, just too mentally exhausted after caring for the kids to collect my thoughts about anything. At that time, a friend recommended Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, which really unlocked a piece of me that I apparently had buried under everything else. Sedaris’s words reminded me that any recent journal I’ve kept has been mostly to record macro-nutrients, calories burned, or miles walked, and any frustration related to my success or failure. Diaries consist of daily calendars filled with To Do lists that never quite get crossed off. I was struck that Sedaris’s diary entries were just observations, and how I could imagine these smaller pieces being developed into something longer.
I think it’s probably time to crack open The Artist’s Way again and try to unlock some creativity that’s possibly getting buried under a busy – though very good – life and find my way back to journaling again.
During April, I’m participating in The A to Z Blogging Challenging, blogging 26 days of the month on writing topics while systematically moving through the alphabet. The goal is to develop a more regular blogging habit and network with other bloggers. Join us!