Awhile ago, in a Sociology class in high school, I started writing in a journal I had in front of me. I titled it “The Greatest Journal Ever!” and, in my excitement, made sure to write every period I had the chance. I penned my thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and it made me a better writer in every possible way. I credit my fascination with writing to my interest in writing personal narratives in my journal; although I spent some time before high school writing fantasy stories and unfinished novels, sometimes involving my friends, but more often invented by the solitary confinement of my mind, it exploded when I started writing about myself. Like my mentor teacher during my student-teaching period, we both were fascinated by the potential of personal writing. It allowed us to shape our experiences into creative stories themselves, to craft narratives out of our memories and the important moments that make up our lives. Without that journal in high school, I doubt I would have started writing blogs like this. I simply wouldn’t have had the experience to call back to, in order to make this less of a daunting endeavor.
I still write in my journal every once in a while, and when I first quit my teaching job months ago, I moved into my journal exclusively as my mode of writing. It preserves my thoughts during important moments, and I like to look back and see what I felt during those times. It provides a perfect frame of reference for the present day, so that I can look back, review my feelings, and observe how they have evolved since then. I love that journal, and when it comes time to write by myself, nothing is better.