Journaling (Revisited)

January 10, 2017

I touched on journaling before briefly when I first started the practice last year. Incredibly, this has been one hard habit that’s actually stuck with me, and since I started on July 3rd I’ve written 85,000 words.

I don’t have a good memory. If you asked me what I was doing on Tuesday last week, I’d painstakingly try to walk back through the days to see if I could figure it out. One thing that journaling’s shown to me is that although my memory isn’t amazing, it’s really my ability to do that sort of random access lookup that’s particularly bad. If I have a some recall hints, like the content in a journal, I can usually remember the day in question quite vividly.

I can now go back and read notes from days four months ago and have a pretty good recollection of the time and places. Meanwhile, the things I did before I started the journal aren’t gone–if someone reminded me of them I’d recall them–but without any kind aid to get to them they just gather dust in forgotten parts of my brain because I’m unlikely to recall them arbitrarily.

I think that an even lighter weight version of what I’m doing now that just involves the day’s cliff notes would be just as effective and require less time. I’m considering moving to that kind of system. The downside is that there’s less room for structured thinking in the form of text, which is somewhat therapeutic to write.

Now to see how far I an take it into 2017.

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