September 12, 2011

Journals: a lifelong habit

A journal is the story of your life.
I've kept a journal since I was about 21. I'm 62* now, so I've been at this for a long, long time.

It's weird to look back at my earliest journals. I was a twit when I was in my twenties, truth be told. All I cared about was romance. Every entry was about my relationship with my lover -- as if this defined the world. I know: I was young and this is what youth does.

But over the decades, my journal changed and it became an important tool for me. I report there each day, as if it's an assignment. It's where I analyze what's going on in my writing and my life. It's where I argue with myself about my next course of action. Should I (or one of my characters) do this or do that? It's wildly helpful. And just think what a treasure it will be for my numerous biographers!

Do you keep a journal? What does it mean to you?

* An astute mathematician performed a mad statistical review of my birth date -- correlating it with the current year, of all things -- and showed me this astounding formula: 2011 minus 1948 = 63. And since I haven't had my birthday yet this year, I'm going to be 63. Damn! All year long, I thought I was 63. And I was really looking forward to being 64 (and playing the Beatles "When I'm 64"). The worst of it, of course, is that I'm going to have to live this year all over again! What a pain!

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