Posted by: penpatience | July 1, 2019


WRITERS WORDS:  “Over the years the content of the journals has broadened to include every aspect of my life. I try to see it all as natural history, and have become a naturalist on the trail of my own life.”  – Hannah Hinchman

Dear Readers:: “Banjo Man, my fiction short story has recently been published in the May 10, 2019 Editon of Page & Spine Fiction showcase ( and is  available for reading.





Recently and without looking for it, I stumbled upon my Butterfly Journal. Some readers might recall I wrote about this Journal in the July 2012 musing, the first year I began writing Pen and Patience. I rifled through the pages until I found the latest entry written on July 6, 1917—over two years ago!!! I vowed in the 2012 Musing I would write daily even if it amounted to only 15 minutes per day. Shame on me! I grabbed a pen determined to write something, anything to update the Journal to 2019. I stared at the blank page…and finally began “clustering” words, a writing skill I learned years ago beginning with the word Journal. Eventually, Journal led me to the word Diary. Was there a difference between keeping a Dairy and keeping a Journal?

Diaries are usually handwritten and an individual usually writes daily about what they heard, said and feelings-happenings of a personal nature. Many individuals and especially young girls in the 20th century kept diaries for various reasons. Many desired to maintain records about what they’ve done throughout their lives. When I think about Diaries, I think of the most noted, “The Diary of Anne Frank.” “Her diary is seen as a classic in war literature, and is one of the most widely read books today. The diary had been given to Anne on her 13th birthday. In it she wrote of her life from June 12, 1942 until August 1944 and was only 15 years old when she died.”(Excerpt Wikipedia, June 2019) I wasn’t aware of “The Diary of Anais Nin.” She began a private manuscript diary at age 11 in 1914 and continued her dependence on writing in her diary until her death in 1977 despite attempts by her mother, therapists and others to dissuade her. Despite the huge size and over 15,000 typewritten pages, eventually her diary would be published—over six volumes followed the initial diary covering the years 1931-1934.

A Journal can refer to several things. In its original meaning, it also can refer to daily records of activities, but today, the term has evolved to mean any record of activity regardless of elapsed time between entries. A journal can also refer to published periodicals (i.e. scientific and medical journals), newspapers and some magazines, (i.e. trade magazines.) Journals have a more diversified scope and although some can be handwritten, most journal records are printed.

I look upon diaries and journals as resources for family histories, special events and inspiration for writers seeking to write a life story or memoir on a particular or meaningful stage in their lives. However, memoirs are subject to scrutiny by many readers and may have negative or positive reactions from family members or other individuals. Perhaps the most notorious Memoir was “Mommy Dearest,” the expose written by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of the now deceased and famous actress, Joan Crawford. Christina wrote of her mother’s numerous abuses and ongoing neglect and this memoir caused a huge “brouhaha” when first published and for years after.

When I read a memoir, I respect the contents are written from the author’s perception of various traumas and events. I take into consideration that many memoirs are written by individuals who have a strong desire to share their stories. Whether you choose to record in a diary or journal, why not begin writing down pertinent data and important memories for future generations—-try it! Begin with only “15 minutes per day:)


Happy Fourth of July!





  1. I also write daily in my journal. I just filled up my 3rd one, starting a 4th over this past year. I also liked your blog that mentioned community gardens. I live in AZ so gardening can be tricky in the relentless sunshine and heat, but someday I will attempt one!


    • I didn’t know you kept journals. THat’s great! Perhaps a future Memoir?
      Thanks for the comment.


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