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The Power of the Written Word

I just finished watching "Oprah." I have really been looking forward to this particular show. The topic was journaling, and it dealt with how the process can change/affect your life.

I have actually been keeping a journal for almost three years now. It began as an assignment for some of the acting classes that I have taken. Now, I cannot imagine my life without it. I write every day. Sometimes, the entries are several pages in length, sometimes only one page in length. Regardless, I write EVERY DAY. It is a part of who I am now.

When I was first assigned this in acting class, I went to my teacher and asked if I could type my journal entries into a word processor rather than actually write them down. My reasoning was that I can type faster than I can write (still can). She understood, but suggested that I actually put pen to paper and give it a try. After I had journaled for a while, I understood the difference between the two.

Even though I enjoy this type of journaling (on the computer), there is still something cold, detached and emotionally distant about typing words on a computer screen. I get more of an emotional connection when I actually put pen to paper. Any of you who read this have probably noticed that most of my entries here have been on a superficial level, although I am getting better and more comfortable with THIS type of journaling.

Actually WRITING connects me with the core of who I am. "Tom Uncensored" if you will. I get to the TRUTH of myself much more quickly when actually writing. Once those words come out on the paper, there is no way to take them back. I have all of my joys, sorrows, flaws, anger, fear, rejection, self-hatred, etc. unapologetically staring me in the face PRACTICALLY DARING me to deny that they exist. Here, it is VERY easy to hit the "delete" button and allow my censor to pop up and "bull shit" my way through a journal entry. That isn't fair to myself, or to my family and friends.

From time to time, I go back through some of my old journals, and I am constantly surprised. It is so much fun to re-read about the things that make me smile. Reading about the trials that I have faced shows me just how strong I REALLY am, even if I don't always believe it. I think the most important thing that journaling has done for me is to show me that we all have something to share and a story to tell. We get so caught up in our differences sometimes that is is difficult to see what bonds us all together.

We have more in common than we think.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 24th, 2002 10:19 pm (UTC)
I agree--there's something very satisfying, about writing with pen or pencil and paper. I'm a good typist (+touch+ typist), but I try to maintain pen and paper correspondence too, alongside writing some in a book journal.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )