Why I keep choosing my journal over my blog and what I mean to do about it

I suspect that I am underusing this blog. From posting once a week when I started last summer, I’m down to posting once a month. I wait for inspiration; I get through the rest of my to-do list first; I edit things slowly. It takes me up to a week of loitering to post anything after I’ve written it. The process seems full of obstacles, real and imaginary.

And in the meantime – in my real, everyday life – I write copious amounts in my notebook/journal every week. I love writing for myself – it’s like speaking to a dear friend. Unconditional listening with no judgement. Some occasional heartfelt advice. Words of wisdom gleaned from greater writers and thinkers than myself. To-do lists and notes from meetings and conference calls. Intricate doodles from those same long calls. And then moments of poetry. DSC06359

Rereading my journals sustains me through challenging moments – I can step away and recognize my emotions and processes as waves that pass over me, clouds moving across the sky. When I am absorbed in feeling I am often surprised at how differently I felt a week ago, a month ago, a year ago. I start to see the patterns and cycles, and know that this too shall pass.

If I could save one thing in my house from a fire – apart from the people – it would be my stack of notebooks. Even the thought of that loss clenches a knot in my stomach.

A public forum is not a natural fit for me. A deep conversation with a friend or two or three is. But I’m learning that the trick to being a highly relational, sociable introvert – which I am – is to make every relationship  as personal, particular, and intimate as possible, and then gather all of those beloved people together often.

I want to keep stretching myself to share writing with people who are not yet in that safe space with me. Because as I keep telling my kids, as I encourage them into new situations, every dear friend, everyone I now love, was once someone I didn’t know. And I had to take a risk to welcome them into my life. And so I will choose to continue to take those risks both privately and publicly. Because the potential rewards are huge.

But to write anything to public consumption requires me to give myself a big push, every time.

And so perhaps it is time for some quicker sketches. Conversations starters. Experiments. I am inspired by Rozanne’s and Brooke’s 100 Scribbles. I am not committing myself to a daily post right now (perhaps never!) – I’m away from internet contact intermittently at various times of year, and I like it that way. But I will up the volume, and focus on economy of words. Loosen up. Reduce the stakes. Let go of the curse of professionalism. Just create and share something. And so I believe this is the perfect time to experiment with poetry, which I have been doing the past couple of months. Because why write an essay when it’s so often one simple image that I am trying to carve out. I will start with this one.

A map of the world

I learned once in a dream

That the answer is to dance

To dance across the intricate

Patterns of life

Its forms and permutations

Lift off

Levitate

Leap

In my dream

My body caught celebration

Radiated into wholeness

Hummed with the hum of the spinning universe

Every creature, every tree and plant and micro-organism

Was mapped

Under the loving rhythms of my feet.

10 thoughts on “Why I keep choosing my journal over my blog and what I mean to do about it

  1. Beautiful Malgosia. And although we are only able to see each other a few times a year, it is through our mutual love of storytelling and sharing our stories that I feel like we have connected deeply…it’s amazing really. There are a handful of people (and the number is continuing to grow) I have created a relationship with through the blog and through social media that maybe would never have happened in person. Kindred spirits that have found each other in this space that shrinks distances. And you are definitely one of them. Thank you for continuing to share and I look forward to reading your poetry. I am always grateful that our paths seem to cross but it never feels like there is enough time to speak!

    • Yes! I do feel like we are kindred spirits in so many ways and I love everything you write. I just “get it” on so many levels. Those online relationships that turn into real-life relationships, or those that are deepened by this extra layer of written communication, that’s a big reason why I want to keep doing this! Thank you for the inspiration!

  2. Malgosia, this line in particular rang the bell in my heart: “to make every relationship as personal, particular, and intimate as possible, and then gather all of those beloved people together often.” Yes. And yes, again. Thanks for inviting us in, and providing kernels for thought that allow us, too, to reflect in our personal ways. Hugs to you!

  3. make it 100 thinks! i love reading your blog. you know it’s now about five years ago since we met and hung out on edge of the river chatting, sharing and laughing. i fee like that summer as sustained our friendship in the face of hectic life patterns. happy to read your words. with love.

    • Yes, thank you! I do miss those relaxed summer camp weeks on the Humber. That was a magical time. I am happy to be able to keep in touch through sharing our writing!

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