I’m probably preaching to the choir here, because if you are a blogger, you are a type of journaler already. This area of family history is really about your descendants, not your ancestors, because finding an ancestor’s journal is pretty awesome, but also pretty rare. I have my grandfather’s journals, but they are merely diaries, meaning I learned what the temperature was, what he bought at the store and what time he got up and went to bed, but I don’t learn anything about him–what he felt, what he believed, what he knew. So I’ve resolved not to let that kind of disappointment come to my descendants–I want them to know me in my own words!
Your journal is your legacy to your posterity. Keep them in mind when you write. I’m not saying leave out the negatives, but I believe mistakes should come with a “lesson learned.” Anyone want to weigh in here with a different opinion?
So here’s a few journaling ideas:
*Don’t think about what you write—just write!
*Write like you are telling a story, not an English essay.
*Write every day. The more you write, the more memories will come!
*Think about places in your home and write about specific memories in specific places.
*Use your 5 senses–describe what you smelled, ate, touched, saw, heard.
I started blogging in 2008 and by 2011 I had enough blog posts to warrant sending them in to Blurb.com where they were bound into a rather nice quality book (see photo above). I also have hand-written journals from many years that I’ve toyed with the idea of typing out and having bound, but they may need some editing…
My hope is that my children and grandchildren will be able to refer to these when I am gone and gain inspiration and encouragement from my life and the lessons I can pass on to them. Throughout my journals, I try to testify of my love for God and His Son, and the knowledge I have of His influence in my life.
Here’s an excerpt from my entry for January 4, 2001:
What a wonderful holiday season! D & R arrived safely on December 16th after several flight delays and cancellations. We have enjoyed having them here for three weeks–they go back to school this Saturday. B&G took the bus up from NYC on the 21st; the house was full–of love and joy as well as bodies! We all tried to emphasize homemade gifts this year and it was quite successful: D made cds of each person’s favorite music; B did decoupage, V and I crocheted items, Gramma sewed and knitted. I made a canopy bed for V out of ribbons. We transferred her into it while she slept Christmas Eve and she woke up as if in a princess bed!
We enjoy a multitude of blessings daily. We are especially grateful for divine protection for Rich as he drives the back roads for two hours each day in his commute. He has been protected from collisions with deer, dogs and icy roads many times.
Over at ExcuseMeWhileIYogini you’ll find a great description of the difference between a diary and a journal.