www.whyville.net Jul 6, 2014 Weekly Issue

Veteran Times Writer

Oh, A Journal

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Two birthdays ago I received a ballet pink gift bag adorned with images of adorable, wide-eyed owls from an older cousin of mine. Oh, how she knew me. It wasn't until a few hours later when I began to open it alone in my room, and as I pulled out the contents one by one, my subsequent thoughts were: "Too. Cute.", "Ka-ching!", and "Oh, a journal". It was a sweet thought. I liked writing after all, just not so much about myself. I'd sparsely written in a few pages of a diary when I was younger, but there were always so many excuses not to write. Maybe I'd have a boring day or an extended bout of writer's block, but more often than not -- eughh, emotions. . . I just didn't think journaling was for me, and so I let it sit on the shelf, unopened, for two years.

I was doing a little spring cleaning back in May and came across the journal again. Finally taking the time to get a good look at it, I realized the gift wasn't just the book of intimidating blank paper I'd thought it to be. It was a "Q&A a day" journal with a short question to answer for every day of the year, and five sections of four little lines for you to see how your answers change over the course of those five years. Some questions are as simple as "When was the last time you had pizza?", some are funny or creative, and every once in a while they'll throw in a super advanced level 100 challenge round question like "What is your biggest regret?".

I'm proud to say that I've actually been keeping up with this journal, and I find myself looking forward to answering a new question every day (even the ones about. . . feelings). Best of all, with short little prompts like these, I don't have to worry about running into writer's block or not having enough to say. It's simple, fun, and doesn't take anymore than five minutes out of my day. I'll have been journaling for two months now in exactly one week, and I hope to keep writing in it every day until 2019. Already I like flipping back through the pages and reading my responses, and I can only imagine how much they'll change five years from now.

I never realized it before, but having this book taught me that journaling doesn't have to be a huge challenge, even if you're a busy person, not the greatest writer, or aren't too big on jotting down your feelings. There are so many unique ways to tell your life's story. If you find you don't have a lot of time to write, you can keep a daily haiku journal to describe your day in a way that's short and sweet. You could also find a plain notebook and write nothing more than one word across the page that describes your day. You can take your time to design each word in a way that fits your mood, or keep it plain and simple. Maybe keep a daily photography journal and write a short caption to go underneath each picture. You could even try picking up a "Q&A a day" journal! I guarantee that no matter what way you decide to tell your story, you'll be able to look back through your journal someday and smile.


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