The Things We Hide: Why I Write

Last week I wrote a post about How to Start the New Year off Right.  My method was to write in a journal.  I mentioned how I’ve been journaling for years and how it’s a very therapeutic exercise.  Well, today I’m going to tell you more about why I write and when I started.

As a child I wasn’t much of a writer, that was more my sibling’s talent.  They were very good at writing and painting and I just liked to read.  So, I kept diaries every now and then because it was “the cool thing to do” as a little girl.  However, I didn’t get my first journal until I was 11 years old.  It was a present from one of my mother’s friends.  She gave it to me after my mother’s death.  Her thought was that I could write down my feelings and be better able to deal with my grief.  I didn’t realize what a gift it was that she gave me until years later.  In a way that journal helped me to find the voice that I have today.  I’ll always remember that journal, it was a sort of theme journal.  It had breaks every so often with inspirational sayings and the theme was that song “I Hope You Dance.”  As an 11 year old, I thought it was the coolest little book ever and I treasured it.  It took me a while to fill up all of the pages, but eventually I did.  After that I was hooked.

The Things We Hide: Why I Write

For the first several years that I journaled, I looked at it as a way to preserve memories.  I figured that some day I would want to look back on the way my life used to be and I didn’t want my memories to be all fuzzy.  So, that was what I told myself as I wrote and most of the time I recorded events that happened in my life.  As I grew older though, I started to look at my journal differently.  My view really started changing when I was a Senior in high school, the semester I took a creative writing class.  That was when I realized that I didn’t have to write a specific genre.  My journal was mine and I could write whatever I pleased in it.  So, I started adding in more creative aspects like songs and poems.

Then, after I graduated college my sibling and I embarked on The Artist’s Way.  This led to the latest evolution of my writing.  Like I said in my post on this book before, you are supposed to write 3 pages a day every day.  You can only write about events in your life so long before you get bored of the repetition and start writing about your feelings.  This latest evolution of my journaling led me to the conclusion that to write in a journal is the best way for me to come to grips with my feelings.  So, my mom’s friend finally accomplished what she wanted.  I knowingly journal about my feelings now, it only took me 12 years to get here.  That’s not to say I don’t write about other things, sometimes I just write about how tired I am or what I need to do for the day.  But, every day I write.  After a while, it’s hard to escape that little voice in the back of your head whispering what’s wrong.  Eventually it’ll come out on the paper before you can stop it.  This has truly changed my life and I know now why journaling is so important to me.  It’s not just to record what happens in my life.  It’s to figure out how to make the most of what will happen.

The Things We Hide: Why I Write

Why am I telling you all of this?  Well, one reason is because of two bloggers that I admire: Nikki at View From In Here and Anne at Love the Here and Now.  A few months ago, they showed me how important it can be to write about the more serious and unpleasant topics.  Everything isn’t perfect recipes and DIYs in the blogosphere.  So, this year I’m getting down to the truth more with my writing.  This is the beginning of my new series, The Things We Hide.  Every week on Friday, I’ll write about a topic that I normally wouldn’t.  It’ll be a topic that I’ve tried to hide.  So, by bringing myself into the light on here, I can come to accept myself more in real life.  The second reason is because I want you to journal too.  I know that everyone is busy and doesn’t have extra time.  But, writing in a journal however much you can manage every day can completely change your life.  I know because it changed mine.

Do you journal?

27 thoughts on “The Things We Hide: Why I Write

  1. Great article you wrote. I never wrote much, especially with journals. Whenever I had to write a page or papers in school, I was excellent at it, but that’s as far as it went until I started to blog. Go figure! Now I love to write and put my thoughts to my blog and I have written a few posts that were hard and difficult, but it needed to be said. I look forward to your Friday postings.
    Carol@The Red Painted Cottage recently posted…Old-Time Beef StewMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Carol. Writing in any way shape or form is great I think. It doesn’t have to be a journal. Like, on here what I’m doing with my blogging about hard topics. It’s like you wrote, “it needed to be said.” 🙂

    1. Thanks, Lindsay! I hope you enjoy the future posts. I’m going to cover several different topics. I love this group too! The community is great! 🙂

    1. I’m glad you’ve found it to be helpful too. It’s just one of the best therapies, in my opinion. That’s great that you still journal to this day! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I’ve thought about the family history aspect as well. I’ve found a few notebooks that my grandma wrote in and one of my mom’s old journals actually. I’ve read all of my grandma’s. But, even though they’re great to read and learn about your family. Sometimes, it can be difficult. I hope that one day I have kids and grandkids who can look back on my journals and experience the life I led through those pages. I don’t think there’s such a thing as bad at journaling though. You just have to do what works for you. If writing every day isn’t practical, you could just set aside an amount of time whenever is convenient. As long as you do some writing, you’ll reap the rewards. 🙂

  2. Hi Gina…wow, I truly admire your discipline to have written three pages a day for an extended period. In my whole declutter thing I came across a journal that I started when I was pregnant with my first child. It had 1 entry! 🙁 I do regret not keeping a better journal while my kids were young. But that being said, you’ve planted a seed that at least has me thinking about journaling on a regular basis.
    I’m looking forward to your friday series.
    Have a good weekend.

    Lynn

    1. Thanks, Lynn. I do miss days here and there. And continuing to write does take a little discipline. But, it’s really only 15 minutes out of my day. So, I think that anybody could do it. 🙂 I found a lot of books like that from my mom and grandma, they would start writing or start a scrapbook and only get a few pages in. I’m glad to hear that you’re thinking about journaling more regularly. Like Kathryn said, it’s a great way to preserve your family history as well. One day your kids can look back on them and see life through your eyes.

    1. Leanne, I love to find other journaling fans! I do mainly write for my eyes only. But, I think sometimes it might be nice in the future to share how I felt about past events with my family and friends. I’ve looked over a few high school journals with a girlfriend and laughed about the things that were such a big deal in those days. It can be fun. 🙂 Enjoy the rest of the series!

  3. Gina, I used to do that type of writing when I was younger before starting a family. It really helped me to clear up my thoughts. Now I just bounce everything off of my husband and drive him crazy lol. I look forward to reading your thoughts and I believe writing to be very theraputic and helpful in self-awareness.
    Mary-the boondocks blog recently posted…A Bright Night on the Town – Μια Λαμπρή Βράδια στην ΠόληMy Profile

    1. It definitely helps me clear out my thoughts. I call it “clearing out the cobwebs.” 🙂 I bounce things off my hubby too sometimes. I just find that for me, if I write every day I can see the things that I’m focusing on and it drives me to change them so that I’m not writing about the same thing every day. You can only write about your messy closet so many times before you decide to just clean it. 😉

  4. It’s so great that you write journals because you can look back on how you have felt or your feelings on things and literally see who you were as a person when you were younger which is really cool. I couldnt get into it as much unfortunately and its something I regret now – thanks for the insight into your life 🙂
    Charlotte recently posted…Upcycle Your Holiday CardsMy Profile

    1. Thanks! I like to look back and see how I’ve changed over the years. Although, my writing hasn’t changed too much. Haha! It’s never too late to start writing, at least I don’t think so. Even if you start now, you can look back years later and see how you felt at this point in your life. I still found journals that my grandma had started in her 70s. I think it’s helpful no matter your age. 🙂

  5. This is a brilliant idea. I have written diaries all my life too, and unfortunately shredded some of my teenage journals as they were so cringey, which I shall probably regret one day! I do write about the more negative and private things on my blog, but I’m often not brave enough to publish those posts, they are pure therapy. Writing is fantastic therapy. x
    Rebecca recently posted…A New Year and a blank canvasMy Profile

    1. Thanks, Rebecca. I have some pretty cringe-worthy old journals myself and have thought about destroying them. But, now I look back on them and just laugh at how dramatic I made life seem back then. For me, it’s been difficult to write about negative and hard subjects. That’s why I’m doing this. Because, even though I’ve written in my journal about them so many times. It seems like I tend to go in circles. It’s hard to accept things about ourselves sometimes, at least for me. So, once it’s published on here for all the world to see, there’s no denying that it’s part of who I am. I just have to accept it and deal with it. I agree, that writing really is fantastic therapy.

  6. Gina, you are a girl after my own heart. Are you by any chance an INFJ? You seem like you may be, since I read this I’ve been dying to ask.

    I love this series, and I’m so proud of you for taking it on. Writing about the hard things is HARD! But it helps me to think through it, to see that there is more than one perspective and that others may not feel the same as I do. Then I wonder why I feel the way I do and if I don’t like the way I react, I try to change it.

    I will be reading and excited to see what you come up with next. There are so many things that we hide. That’s one reason my word is transparent this year. No more hiding. Feelings aren’t wrong, but how we act on them could be. A journal never tells. xoxoxo
    Nikki Frank-Hamilton recently posted…Quote of the Week 1/17/2016My Profile

    1. I haven’t ever taken that personality test. But, after looking up what that classification is, I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended with that result. I’d say I fit all of the criteria. 🙂
      Thanks, Nikki! It can be really hard and I have a lot of even harder topics coming up soon. But, I agree that it helps to get more perspective. Also, seeing it published there on my blog keeps me from denying things any longer.
      I published the next post in this series last Friday and I actually have a follow-up to it. It’s about eating disorders, specifically mine. I’m publishing a post this week on the warning signs and what not to do when your loved one has an eating disorder. I like your word this year and I think that this series is helping me be more transparent. Hiding those things doesn’t help us deal with them. For me at least, I think that it’s made things harder to deal with. So, here’s to no more hiding! 😀

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