Nosy for a Reason – Personal Journals

Last night, my friend, Ruth Rivin, told me she had been cleaning out a storage closet and came across her collection of personal journals. This caused her to ask …

“What am I going to do with all these? Who’s going to want to read all this? Do I really want other people to see all this personal stuff?”

If you’re writing your journals for your children or grandchildren to read, that’s one thing … but what about those of us who don’t have kids?

Personally, I enjoy hearing/reading other people’s stories … where they came from, what they did “back then,” and what they’ve learned in their lives. But will my personal journals be meaningful to others? It’s something to consider as you write.

Last year, I lost a very dear friend (to cancer) in Atlanta. Her family kindly mailed back to me huge boxes of letters I had written to her during the past 25 years! Many contain details of where I worked, my adventures and travels, my engagement and subsequent wedding, being a ‘young bride,’ and what my life has been like here in Los Angeles. I’m so grateful that my friend saved my letters. They contain my personal history – as it happened.

[As for personal journal blogs, I can’t believe the unnecessary minute details people choose to include, i.e., where they parked, what time it was, how long it took to drive somewhere … boring to me, unless those are essential details to their story. But, this is just my opinion. At least, people are recording their experiences.]

If you’re in doubt about the value of keeping a personal journal (other than having a relatively private place to “vent” — not on the Internet), bear in mind there are researchers lurking out there. And who knows who might find your writings perfect for their project, especially in the far-away future.

For example, see this brief article:

Nosy for a Reason: Doctoral Student Researching History of Personal Journals in America

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