When it Comes to Writing Journals, Why Stop at One?

Today, for the second in my occasional series of guest posts on journaling, I’m delighted to welcome Diane Woodrow in the House of Dreams. Diane is a writer, blogger, workshop facilitator wife, mother of twenty-somethings, dog walker and renter of rooms via Airbnb and word-of-mouth, who loves encouraging and talking to people. She moved to North Wales nearly a year ago.

What I love about her story is that she has so many notepads on the go, all at the same time! I’ve only met one other person who does that, in all my years of writing.

So, over to Diane…

Diane Woodrow

I have been doing personal writings for as long as I can remember. I’m really disappointed now that I’m older that I do not have my teenager diaries and journals and other writing that I did. I am thinking I either threw them away at that stage of “growing up” when you think all your teenage writing is angsty rubbish or that they are hidden in a box in my mum’s attic and I’ll find them when I clear it out after she’s died.

I got back into regular personal writing twenty-five years ago when my son was born and I also became a Christian. I had so many questions about my new faith that I just had to write. The when and how I write has changed a lot over the last twenty-five years but I still have a need to write a journal every morning and a diary every night.

The start of my day is used to deal with something that has been bugging me on waking. As I write I often reach a conclusion or solution to the issues and it helps me then to plan my day. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been writing 2-5 pages in a horrid A5 notebook that I found in my daughter’s pile of things when we were packing to move. I’m using it because I was feeling broke at the time and that I was being self-indulgent regarding things I was buying because of the move. Even though I do see writing as vital to my life I also often see it as self-indulgent and do not spoil myself with lovely journals. But I am determined to fill this latest book so that then I can buy myself a nicer one for next time.

The view from Diane’s study window

My evening diary is a page-a-day diary which I started the year my son was born and since he has been sixteen my son has bought for me every Christmas, which then makes them extra special. I really do find solace in putting down my thoughts and feelings at the end of the day. If I am travelling light so don’t have the space for that diary or camping where the lights are out once it’s dark I find it hard to sleep as though there are still things that need to be removed from my brain.

During the day I do have a nice notebook I carry with me for inspirational things, poems, thoughts and feelings. At the moment there is one that lives in my handbag and another that lives on the little table in my study. They take more than a year to fill but they are the ones that I take things from to write further with – whether poetry or stories. I would never take anything from either the morning or evening writings. Those are very much unloading places. In fact I rarely look back at either of them; though at times I might look back through the night time one if my husband has brought up something to continue and argument about. It is then interesting how I have written down my day.

You can find out more about Diane’s work and writing here and here

What do you think – could you keep a morning journal and an evening journal going at the same time? Are you tempted to give it a go?


6 thoughts on “When it Comes to Writing Journals, Why Stop at One?”

  1. Reblogged this on VitalWrite and commented:
    Great post on Writing in the House of Dreams from Diane Woodrow.
    I’ve never told anyone just how many journals I keep at one time. There’s one by my bed with 5 lines to sum up my day, I never miss this. It’s a 5 year diary so I can compare with the previous years. I have another for writing about events that happen, good or bad, or when I need to rant about something. This one has been going about 3 years so far. I have a spiritual diary where I record my progress with meditation and prayer. I’ve always had a deep interest in different religions and these pages allow me to explore further what my beliefs are. I carry a small journal in my rucksack where I write my observations of the natural world – animals and birds I see, and the environment around me. I used to have issues with buying too much stuff, so in a slim notebook I now record my successful avoidance, things I’ve sold, or intend to give to charity. And thoughts about why having ‘things’ used to be so important, but have now become a weight. Finally I also keep notebooks – and these last ones are very large, and filled with bright colours – on characters and plot outlines for novels and short stories I’m working on. For my personal journals I prefer Paperblanks books and a cartridge pen with blue ink, or a bic biro when I’m outside. I’ve just remembered I have a book for recording made up recipes, tea mixes, home made creams etc. This one has little drawings in it too. I’m obviously a serial journal keeper. I think that’s because writing is how I make sense of the world and myself. I can also find old entries far more quickly because I can narrow down the subject. Thanks for this post. At least I know I’m not the only one…

    1. This is so interesting, Josie! Would you like to send it, adding any extra thoughts such as how you started, plus a photos of you and your journals, and links you’d like to share, and be my guest here in the series, for anyone who doesn’t read the comments? Thank you for reblogging.

    2. Oh thank you for reblogging. And now I feel like I’ve missed out. I do keep meaning to get a journal for prayers, meditations, etc. I’d even like a dream diary.
      And you know I did miss out the big one that I keep for workshop ideas but I sort of felt that was moving into work rather than personal 🙂 See and now when I think about work/workshops the number of journals I have gets even larger 🙂

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s