What is a Journal?
is a series of writings done by a person in response to daily
life. It contains descriptions of events and reflections about the
events. I make a distinction between a journal and a diary.
I consider a diary to contain a description of the events of the
day. A journal may contain these descriptions, but it also
contains your reflections on the events, and your feelings about
them. It doesn't matter what you call your writing, either
a diary or journal, as long as you understand the distinction between
these two ways of writing.
When a person
becomes aware that their life is a spiritual journey, their journal
becomes the travelogue of their personal experiences along their
journey. Even people who travel along the same organized religious
path have unique and individual spiritual paths because each person's
spiritual path is based upon their own experience.
How A Journal Is Different
I used to believe that what separated a journal from all other types of
writing is that a journal is not written for an audience. It is a private writing
that is done because it helps the writer. However, since starting my online journal, I have come to understand that a
journal may sometimes have an audience. I still believe that a journal isn't written
for the audience, even if it has one.
I also believe that journal entries are different from creative writing
efforts. Many writers use their journal as a sort of writing equivalent of a
drawing sketchpad. And, many people use entries from their journal to develop into
creative writing projects. Even so, I believe that I make a journal entry because I
need to clear my mind and heart, not because I have a finished writing project in
mind. I make that distinction about the purpose of the writing at the time it was