In addition to this online journal, I keep a second journal – a private one. I try to write in it each day. I write down what I did, who I met, what I learned. Sometimes when I’m reading a good book I will include quotes or passages that I find instructive.
I started my private journal back in September 2001. At the time, I thought about going to the bookstore and buying a fancy journal to write in. But then I decided it was the content, not the packaging, that mattered, and grabbed a steno pad. I am now on volume 45 of my journal. After this one I’ll be out of steno pads and will switch to notebooks (they were cheaper due to back-to-school sales).
One sign that being self-employed full-time was stressing me out was that I hardly wrote in my journal between about July 20 and August 10. It’s rare for me to miss one day, but during that period I went two, three, even five days at one point without recording anything. I was running away from myself, I think. As soon as I made the decision to give up the credit-card biz on a full-time basis, I began writing again, and have filled the better part of a 60-page steno pad in the past ten days.
I highly, highly recommend keeping a journal if you want to learn more about yourself and how you relate to your world. For a long time, I resisted this suggestion. At first, a journal sounded like a diary – too girly. Then, there were several times in school where I was assigned to keep a journal, so I had a bad memory of it being busy work. But now I’m keeping it for me and it’s really made a difference.