In Our Own Words

I have never kept a diary. I’ve written about this before and, though I have made attempts, each diary peters out after a few entries. I do keep a little health journal with dates and procedures and questions for my doctor (How do I balance the need for Vitamin  D with the risk of melanoma?) but at the end of the day, it’s not very exciting reading, even for me, and it’s my body being discussed.

On my desk are a number of writing diaries and my beloved sprint journal. Every time I go away to retreat, I bring my retreat book. I begin on Day 1 with what I want to accomplish overall, record a work plan each day, and end with a summary. It is helpful, but it’s not something I revisit, and I can’t imagine my work plans making it into a panel in the Life of Ramona Museum. (A made-up thing I joke about with my family. Don’t ask about admission. It involves chores.)

But I have come to realize that I live in interesting times. All times are interesting, of course, but this is the only one I’ll be living in, so maybe I have an obligation to record this time in my own words, through my own world view, so the future can have an honest, first person account.

Why me? Is it hubris—conceited—to think that some future generation might learn from and value what I think, what I feel, what I fear, what I hope? I am not famous or extraordinary. I’m just me, just Harry…I mean, just Ramona. There won’t be any Museum of Ramona. Nevertheless, I don’t think it’s hubris to value my time in the world. It is my responsibility as a storyteller.

And yours.

I see and hear my friends lamenting these difficult times and the ones ahead. There are many ways to bring about change, many ways to fight it. This is one. Tell the truth of what’s happening and what it means to you. History is not only recorded by professional  historians, but by everyday people: soldiers, settlers, housewives, orphans, artists, survivors.

Anne Frank kept a diary. Think of the illumination her words have brought to the world. Did she have any idea of her legacy? No.

If today is a day that worries you and tomorrow is one you fear, write about it—to yourself, to a friend, in longhand, on a tablet. Your thoughts and feelings are part of our national consciousness, and our nation’s conscience.

Be heard. Write your story. Be like Anne Frank.

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A Gallery of Writers’ Journals

RamonaGravitarYesterday, Literary Mama, an online magazine for the maternally inclined, published my guest post, “What in the world is a  sprint journal?” The post appeared as part of LM’s After Page One blog series.

After Page One posts are intended to motivate, encourage and inspire writers on their journeys as mothers who are also write. In addition to its articles and stories on motherhood, Literary Mama offers numerous craft pieces that would aid any writer.

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The Journal Junkie

Yesterday I bought a journal. This is not newsworthy. I buy journals all the time. Like many writers, I am an office supply junkie. Next to sticky-notes, journals are my office supply Achilles heel.

I own many journals of many shapes and sizes. I have handsome leather journals, flashy faux gold leaf journals, nature-themed journals, journals from museum gift shops. Some of my journals are covered in drawings of hydrangeas or geometric designs; some are wire-bound and would be perfect for a school child. A couple of journals are lined with writing quotes. Another gives a line of advice on how to lead a good life. Continue reading