When journaling becomes hazardous

source: erynlou

I write in a journal.

Actually, wait, that’s not accurate.

I don’t have just one journal. I have scraps of paper, I have pages in my reporter’s notebook that have formal interview questions for my journalism class on one page and near diary entries on the other, I have corners of math worksheets, I have a private Tumblr blog, I have Never Stationary, I have Microsoft OneNote, and I have three notebooks in my dorm room that at one point functioned as my primary journal.

But at this moment, I do not have just one journal. I technically have ~12.

When I get the urge to write, I have to stop whatever I’m doing (paying attention in class, watching a movie) to jot down my thoughts.

Half of the time they don’t make sense. They may be analytical lists and comparisons of people, and they may be short sentences that describe an experience I recently had.

I hope to God no one ever reads my private writing.

I’m very calculative and very unforgiving when I think that my only audience is myself, because I will not hold back. I will compare and contrast, interrogate, and scrutinize every detail like the wannabe journalist I am.

I will explicitly outline realizations that I have about parts of my life.

“I realized today that this person is destructive and that I should associate with them less.”

“I think that I misjudged this person, and that they are actually a very worthwhile friend to have.”

“I’m starting to have second thoughts about a decision I made last week.”

I also get carried away, and this is where journaling gets hazardous. It turns into a fantasy, it turns into a “what-if” that bring my expectations higher and higher, until I get lost in my own thoughts. When I come out of the haze, the fantasy becomes permanently embedded in part of my brain, and it starts to affect my perception of reality.

Sometimes my journaling gets to be like unrealistic daydreaming.

And it’s hazardous because I’ll take a sentence that someone said two weeks ago and in my head, spin a whole tale out of it. I’ll construct a lifetime out of seven words.

Sometimes I have to restrain myself from writing because I know what will happen. I can nearly feel the impending disappointment.

It’s bad.

They say that journaling will change your life, and help you heal, grow, and thrive…but…

Journaling is a double-edged sword.

And that’s the realization I had today.

What do you think?

2 songs:

This song makes me want to dance for 30 hours straight!

Passion Pit – Carried Away (Tiesto Remix – Dotcom’s Heaven Trap Remix)

This song makes me want to stay in bed all day…preferably not alone.


  1. thegirldish

    I love it. I am just like you in the sense that I write all over the place whenever I feel inspired to do so.
    I agree it can be hazardous but at the same time, that’s the beauty of being a writer.
    Personally, I believe writers need to go to those places – spinning tales from one thing a person said and constructing stories from almost nothing .
    I understand what you’re going through because I too struggle with this feeling from time to time but I can honestly say, the more honest you can be in the writing the better your writing will be.


    • catdiggedydog

      I love this perspective! As emotional as it can make us sometimes, being able to spin a story from one thing someone said seems like an important skill to have as a writer. I suppose there is a bright side to all of this…
      I’m glad you sympathize with me, and thanks for giving me a new perspective on honest writing :)

      Liked by 1 person

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