Why write? It is a question I often struggle with. Why do I keep up this site? (I honestly have no idea). Why do I write in my journals? (see answer above) Do I want to be famous? No. At one point in my life I did. I thought it would be great to have my name in every library. Now I attempt to fulfill that goal, as a patron. ;)

But why do I continue to write? I guess for me. There is so much going on each and every day that by taking a few moments to sit and write, it is for me. I try to have a conversation with the the words I write and try to understand both what is happening to me and attempt to have some understanding of what is happening in the world beyond me and my little circle. I try to write out my frustrations, my hurts, my disappointments; not so much for preservation of those memories but so I can perhaps attempt to understand and to let off steam so I don’t endanger close personal relationships.

I do fear that someone may come across my journals and misunderstand or misinterpret what is written there. I struggle with the question of if I should shred them and when. I do like to return to them and see if there is growth.

Lately I’ve been disappointed in my search for growth. I feel that I have been frozen in a rut for the past decade. There hasn’t been the growth or maturity I’d expect or desire in many situations. Many of my entries sound the same today as they did that first year of college.

I’ve written here before that I like to read other women’s journals– I’ve read Marie Bashkirtseff’s (the first volume) in its entirety, and I’m slowly making my way through Nin, Woolf, and Montgomery. I’m saddened when I read entires by Bashkirtseff or Montgomery at age fifteen and they are similar to those I write today in my late twenties.

However, I might find solace and hope in what Virginia Woolf wrote at 34 on 20 April 1919:

“What sort of diary should I like mine to be?

Something loose knit and yet not slovenly …

I should like it to resemble some deep old desk, or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself

Reader interactions

2 Replies to “why?”

  1. I’ve always loved the term “capacious hold-all,” and I wish I could do more in the way of being “capacious” in my own journals!

    One way I open mine is to write in bookstore cafes. I intersperse whatever I’m writing with descriptions (and sometimes imagined conversations, or overheard conversations) of the other cafe customers. I might reminisce about a song being played – anything to get me into description mode and out of full-tilt introspection.

  2. Why? Why not? I write for myself. If anyone else reads, that’s a bonus. For those that misunderstand to misinterpret, screw ’em. That’s a given. Not everyone is going to ‘get you”. I have a multi year computer journal that has never been published. That was started LONG ago, before I knew about the internet. Tons of photos and personal stuff. When I was younger I wrote lots and lots of paper journals. At least the computer has spell check, and I can read my own typing later. It’s a form of personal expression that transcends all others. It’s the written word. It’s what allows us to communicate to others of our species. And, most important, it allows US to look back on where WE were at any given point in our past.
    Whoa, this is getting too deep. Basically, do it for yourself. the rest is icing.

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