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The Importance of Journal Writing

Journal writing is an action that not only allows for the expression of withheld emotions, but it also symbolizes the freedom of expression. Journal writing can relieve stress and help to ease internal pain. However, when such an aspect of a person’s life is removed, it can create everlasting hardship.

I never realized how valuable journal writing was until I started writing in them myself. I began at the age of eleven. I remember the moment distinctly. I was once again feeling the onset of the internal anxiety, that hopeless despair that is impossible to overcome, and I had no one to communicate with. I knew that no one could ever understand the content of the intensity of my pain. Nevertheless, I remembered that I had a journal that I had received as a gift. I opened it, and began to write my thoughts. It was at that moment that I found something that for so many years made me who I was.

I loved to write within my journals. I had a collection of twenty-three. When I wrote within them, I felt so free, as if the implications of society were no longer as prominent. I would write about the deepest of my thoughts, that which I would never reveal to anyone. I know that the aspect of journal writing that I loved the most was that I could write whatever I wanted, without having to worry about the consequences of a negative reaction. I wrote whatever I wanted. I stated my convictions with pride. Fear did not captivate the content of my paragraphs. Journal writing for me was a mechanism by which I was able to contend with my emotions, to make my pain more tangible, and to understand the extent of my thoughts. My journals were in essence, myself. 

Throughout vacant rooms, scattered under bookshelves, in piles next to old books, my old journals can still be found. The past still remains. Nevertheless, the present continues, the future does not yet exist, but the presence of new journals, well, that is no longer a possibility for me. I stopped writing in my journals after an unfortunate incident with a twenty-three page term paper. I did not follow directions, and the consequences of this mistake created a permanent effect.

I had put too much of myself into even the most rigid of assignments. I decided to explain the rhetorical techniques of two short stories within twenty-three pages, rather than within the ten page limit. I allowed my thoughts to carry me through my work. I developed a profound connection to that paper that I never thought I could ever have. Unfortunately, I never thought of the consequences.

I do not want to believe that my writing is indicative of a compulsive disorder, however, writing endlessly beyond the page limit can perhaps cause this generalization to be made. My tears never fully faded. I put all my journals away forever, in a fit of animosity, sadness, and rage. My journals were indicative of my personal thoughts. I then decided, with tears in my eyes, that if those personal thoughts were nothing but compulsive representations, then they should never be written again. 

I made the decision to never again write in journals, and I never have. But even more so, that ability is no longer present. Years later I have reread some of my old entries, and occasionally I have even tried to take the pen, and dare I say, add to the thoughts I once had. Yet it is always to no avail. A negative connection has been made between my thoughts and my writing. I can no longer bring myself to write personal monologues of how I feel. This is depressing because it means that the emotions are more permanently withheld than before.

The conclusion to be made is that, emotions are delicate and esoteric. One can never know how a person may react to something, or even comprehend the extent of that reaction. I regret that I no longer write in my journals, however, I try to use this as a learning experience rather than a detriment. It has taught me to remember that following directions really is the most important thing. People may assume that if I can decide to stop writing in journals, I can just as easily decide to write within them again. But it is not that way. The emotional impact connected to the decision I made is too significant to be disputed. As a result of my experience, I advocate that if individuals keep journals, they should value their presence. Life changes. Someday, everything that we have, can just be gone.

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