documenting my life

My first journal was a confirmation present from my parents when I was 13. It was white with light pink flowers and the edges were gilded in gold. It had a small gold lock. My journal-writing days began. That journal lasted for years. By the time I went to college, 5 years after starting the journal, it still contained blank pages–but what 18 year old is going to bring such a girly journal to her freshman year? Certainly not me.

In high school I started a “holiday journal” with the goal of writing an entry on every holiday and birthday. That lasted about two years and five entries.

College? I don’t remember writing in a journal. If I did, I can’t wait to find it!

2002: Hans and I set out in our Toyota Corolla for a 2-month cross-country road trip from Massachusetts to Montana. I learned that it is much easier to document your travels than it is to document daily life. We kept a journal, which we wrote in, together, every night. We used a camcorder (yes, a real camcorder with a VHS tape). We took still photographs with Hans’s dad’s old Canon SLR. We aren’t going to forget that trip!

2005: We are given a travel journal as a wedding gift–we wrote an entry every day of our honeymoon.

2006: Hans and I set sail in s/v Whisper for the Caribbean. 4 years later and what a technology boost. We took photographs with our tiny Canon PowerShot SD 1000 (which I still use). And we wrote in our blog, almost weekly. I tried to write regularly in my black Moleskin journal.

2009: I started a new holiday journal: Christmas – gifts received, gifts given, cards received, cards sent, highlights at the end of the year, and New Year’s resolutions.

2009 to present: Philadelphia. I am still filling in the blank pages in the Moleskin I started in October 2006.

2010: I start this blog.

I am a writer. Ask any writer for their advice on how to become a better writer and their answer is: write. Read. And write. Write daily. My New Year’s resolution this year is to write daily. I can write in this blog, in my writer’s journal, in my personal diary, in my novel. Anywhere. But I have to write. (Oh, and emails and facebook updates don’t count!)

If my only outlet for writing is a journal, my history shows that I will fail miserably. I have consistently owned a journal since I was a young teenager, but I have a hard time writing frequent entries. Since I’m not a very private person, the blog format is the perfect place for me to work toward writing every day. I know people are reading it (okay, maybe only 10 or so, but still!), so I feel a responsibility to keep it updated.

2011: I am working on starting a Baby on a Boat blog. I want to document my baby’s life beyond quick digital snapshots and I want to document my experience as a new mom. A blog seems like the perfect place. I could start a new cloth and paper diary, but, hey, look at my track record. I’d skip months of my child’s development. The best solution for me is to air all of the dirty diapers on the internet.

Writing. Every day. It can be a challenge, but, if I gather all my media, I’m up for it. Who knows, maybe this year I’ll fill in the last blank page in that 2006 journal!

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4 responses to “documenting my life

  1. I read your blog – THANK YOU!

  2. Nice post. I like the idea of having to write somewhere every day – even if not all in one place – it still represents progress of some kind and keeps the flame burning

  3. Would love to read your boat baby blog!

  4. Charlotte: I’ll definitely let you know about it once I get the site up and running with some content!

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