Saturday, November 23, 2013

Creative Writing: Journal Writing and My Pink Lock and Key Diary

 At a young age, I started writing diaries primarily for self-expression.Diary writing or journaling allowed me to practice my writing; it taught me how to "flow." It was non-judgmental, which meant I could write about anything freely. It was a place where I could "think things through."

To those interested in keeping a journal, my suggestion is not to use expensive notebooks because these can intimidate you and keep you from writing freely.  The other thing is that people around you should respect your journals and not read them.  

There's one more thing: There is no "correct" way to journal. You can write about anything at all. Some people like to keep a faithful account of what they did that day, including their shopping lists. Others like to write about their feelings, why they are depressed perhaps.

I used to think my diaries had no value until I attended a literary reading of Diaries by Women, including the diary of a slave woman who wrote about her son being taken away from her. Then I understood that journal writing can reflect the world around us, and not just our person histories.

Many famous people keep diaries or journals.  

I found this site that tells you what some famous writers say about journal writing: 

Virginia Woolf -  " belief that the habit of writing thus for my own eye only is good practice. It loosens the ligaments. 

Franz Kafka - "One advantage of keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer and which in a general way are naturally believed, surmised, and admitted by you, but which you'll unconsciously deny when it comes to the point of gaining hope or peace from such an admission."

Susan Sontag - "The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. It represents me as emotionally and spiritually independent. Therefore (alas) it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather -- in many cases-- offers an alternative to it."

Anais Nin - "This diary is my kief, hashish, and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice."

I looked at my journals recently and found this pink lock and key diary. I'd forgotten that my friend Guia Lim had given this to me on my sixteenth birthday. Her dedication reads:

Dear Cecilia,
This is Guia writing to you on your 16th birthday. Hope you'll remember and pray for me till you're 60.
Happy Birthday,
Guia Lim

Guia and I attended high school at St. Theresa's College, San Marcelino, Manila and even though I went on to Maryknoll College, and on to UCLA in the US, we have remained friends. Just last August, we were in Canada, visiting another high school friend in Montreal.

 So, Guia, thank you. It seems that even when we were young, you recognized my passion for writing.

I'm quoting from this pink journal:

Gift from the Sea

Alone with the sea, the warm damp sea. The waves lap the shore, the sea drifts on. Alone with the sea and promises to finish the unfinished are forgotten. Books are unread, pencils broken, papers are unblemished. The mind is empty and the body is tired. The sea brings nothing. Time lingers on. The patient wait until the sea brings more than the present. Wait until the mind awakens, until shells will not just be shells, the sand only sand, and the sea only water. But wait until these things, which meant nothing to you will be transformed. They will become treasures, true friends. And you will find the gift of the sea.

Guia is front, left; Cecilia is last row, sixth from left.

Read also
10 Famous authors on the Importance of keeping a journal
Explosion and Drawing as Writing Exercises
Your Writing Workspace
The Importance of Sensual Writing 
Vintage pictures that help me write my novel - Paris, Barcelona, Ubec
How to Write a Novel #1
How to Write a Novel #2
 An Interview by Luis Diores of Cecilia Manguerra Brainard
Oscar V. Campomanes' Cecilia Manguerra Brainard Scenographer

For fiction, read:
1943: Tiya Octavia 

tags: writing, creative, journal, diary, literature
All for now,

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