Daddy's Christmas Angel

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Keeping a Journal for Memoirs

"Dark Angels" Copyright 2012 MMSikes
Although I like to find and read the journals and diaries of other writers, I've never kept a diary myself. Strange because I've always been a writer.

But perhaps that's why I haven't kept one.

As a freelance journalist I've always been involved writing something. Because I spent so many hours interviewing, composing, then editing, there was no time and no energy left to write down my own activities and thoughts. I've kept up calendars of events and have stacks of these little datebooks. I've filled notebooks and sketchbooks while on trips, but these were about the places I visited. Nothing personal was entered. I only wanted material for travel articles and books.

When I read about impressive memoirs like Phylllis Theroux's The Journal Keeper, I wonder if I should have been more diligent about keeping a personal diary. My grandmother didn't write anything about her life for me to see. Neither did my mother. The books I've written are novels, travel/hotel stories, and a how to market your writing book. Nothing even resembles a memoir.

Still I have my paintings and wonder if these might tell a story. Could they be my memoirs? I have no idea how many paintings I have created over the years. Many of my early paintings are of my children. As a visual person, I find these more important to me than my writing. The other day I found some small sketches I had forgotten about making. That was an exciting and amazing find.

Will I regret not keeping a journal? Maybe. Should I start one right now? I don't know.

Perhaps this blog is a journal...

What about you? Have you kept a journal for your memoirs?

12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Your blog could be your journal! Or you could do a visual one of your paintings with short descriptions on each one.

Monti said...

I've never cataloged all my paintings. Have intended to do it but have never found the time. I do have several sketchbooks filled with photos of my paintings...

Chuck said...

I think your blog is your journal. Sounds like you have done plenty of documenting your life just in different ways. I am for sure keeping a journal on my trip to BElize in June!

BTW, that picture at the top is really intriguing.

Monti said...

Thanks, Chuck. I made that encaustic painting on Friday. I love encaustic. Maybe it should be my medium, but it requires a well-ventilated work space.

Wow, I want to hear about your Belize trip. My novel, Jungle Jeopardy, is set near there, and I researched Maya ruins in Belize for the background of my book.

Helen Ginger said...

I haven't kept a journal. Occasionally. I'll write something personal for my blog, so that's the closest I've come to journaling.

I think your pictures are a form of telling your lifestory.

Marian Allen said...

I love your paintings, Monti! And I love how you use your own experiences to inform and enrich your books.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

BodieP said...

Can pictures be a journal? Absolutely. I have a series of paintings that I published as a memoir of a key period in my life--they document the journey I made through a difficult transition. The funny thing is that I kept a written journal as well, and someday I'll publish it. It'll be a good read, and helpful to others (I hope), but I doubt if it'll have the visceral impact that the paintings have.

Stephen Tremp said...

I journal often. Like Alex said, a blog can be a journal. I also have a Word doc I collect thoughts at the end of the day.

Monti said...

Your blog are outstanding, Helen. I can see them worked into book form somehow. Thanks for commenting.

Monti said...

Thanks, Marian. I love anything visual and lots of color. Also painting with words!

Monti said...

Bodie, maybe an illustrated book could come from your experiences as well. Or is that what your memoir?

Thanks for commenting!

Monti said...

Steve, I love the idea of collecting your thoughts in a word doc. That is awesome. Thanks for sharing!