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Published Journaling

  • Date Submitted: 11/27/2013 02:52 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58.1 
  • Words: 1973
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Most Americans, at one point or another in their lives, owned some sort of journal or diary or personal notebook. Celebrated American author and journalist Joan Didion, in her essay entitled “On Keeping a Notebook” comments: “We are not talking here about the kind of notebook that is patently for public consumption, a structural conceit for binding together a series of graceful pensees; we are talking about something private, about bits of the mind” (Didion 3). Regardless of appearance (pink sparkles or dark leather), identity of owner (philosophical college student or love-sick, pre-pubescent female), or frequency of use (daily or ‘no idea where that thing is’), journals hold value. They symbolize man’s innate desire to remember, to record, and hopefully meditate on his experiences. Man will observe some form of interaction or occurrence and sense its value, if only at a very surface level. He copies it down into his personal notebook and, upon some later date, will return to it to consider the possibility of it possessing meaning in relation to his own life. If he determines no actual worth ever existed, he can easily discard it.
The blank page of one’s own journal is empowering. Journaling’s possibilities prove endless, its horizons blushing with the possibilities of being explored. Within one’s diary, one can transcribe abstract musings, internal dialogue, childhood reflections, political debates, and cultural commentary without any connections between. While most academic essays follow a specific and formal pattern, the journal does not demand structure nor order, ‘proper flow’, nor discernible connections between anecdotes. The only one in control is the author.
This authority can become dangerous for it possesses the capability to pollute the truth of an event. In her same essay, Didion writes, “I tell what some would call lies. ‘That’s simply not true,’ the members of my family frequently tell me when they come up against my memory of a shared...


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