I have always been an avid journaller. Since the time I could hold a pen and form words, I kept a journal – well, mostly, but we’ll get to that. I remember in elementary school, grade 2 or 3 having to keep a daily journal and I loved it. Looooooooooved it beyond words. Not just the act of writing, or of recording my day, but the feel of pen to paper, and especially the fresh, new, first page of a blank notebook. It was my childish ecstasy. So much so that in grade 2 – or was it grade 1? – I became a little thief and started stealing blank notebooks out of the supply cupboard at the back of the classroom.
I feel like journalling was a large part of the elementary school curriculum back in the day, now that I think about it. Like they couldn’t figure out how else to get us to write, lol. That certainly wasn’t an issue for me, of course. I wrote like someone might take it away from me. Especially when we started to get into the age of 12-13-14 where things started getting slightly more personal and we started responding to the things that we read and encountered around us. I think our teacher called it a “Response Journal”, and man, I had a lot of things I wanted to respond to!
This particular teacher gave me my first journal. It was really hideous and not me, now that I think of it. Puffy and pink with teddy bears on it. But man, did I love that notebook. I had never even considered the fact that something like that could exist, let alone that anyone would *buy me one*. And that’s really, truly where the journalling thing started for me. I think I still have that notebook somewhere. It’s pretty damn cringe-worthy, as you I’m sure you can imagine. The weird shit that I was obsessed with at the time would have been enough fodder for several psychologists.
It certainly was apparently concerning enough that my mother read this first, fledgeling journal. And even though she’s gone I can hear her voice in my head protesting, but yes, she very much did read it. Years later she would tell me it was because she was “worried” that I’d snap and destroy the school like one of the Columbine killers. Yes, this is what she said to me at the time of that particular tragedy. Thanks ever so, Mom!
Not that her reading the journal totally stopped me. I persisted for a while but in code. I made up an entire alphabet and proceeded to write in only that alphabet. But you can imagine how tiring that got, and for the most part, I stopped journalling altogether, concentrating my teen angst on poetry (Oh, the angsty poetry my friends!). At least until I got to university. Then I filled notebooks upon notebooks upon notebooks with the story of my Coming Out and Falling In Love. Yep. SO MANY NOTEBOOKS.
All that to say, I kept all sorts of journals over the years. And then I found the world of online journaling. First, through the esteemed folks at Diaryland. I opened an account with them in the summer of 2001 (!!) By December 2001 I had started to build some journalling over at Livejournal, where, believe it or not, I have 10 years of writing still. I quit updating LiveJournal in December of 2011, almost 10 years to the day I started.
Over time I’ve also had my own domain names, most of which are thankfully banished to the farther depths of my memory. I think this one is here to stay, though. Do you journal? How so? Tell me about it in the comments and be entered to win a $50 Chapters gift card. Only one more day to go! Winner will be chosen soon!