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Personal Journal Writing

Recently I was clearing out the book shelf (Yes I read physical books as well as e-books) and found a journal my dad had written back in 1932. I thought now why hadn’t I followed his lead?

I guess that was a side of my dad I never got to know and I did not come into the picture until 1939.

Mother and dad had only been married less than a year when he started his journal. Times were tough the “Great Depression” was in full swing and many were jobless. They were living in Arkansas City, Kansas.

As I read the entries some are funny, some sad and still other joyous. There was one entry on January 12, 1935 that the Dr. Pepper plant was robbed, the robbers got $12.50.

There are frequent entries about “Springhill” wonder what he is talking about? Dad wrote about working on the books and about directors meeting. (Note: looked up and it was a public golf course that is still in existence).

Times were difficult for my parents in the early 1930’s dad only managed to find temporary employment, but they were happy and very much in love. As I read about the simple events of life back then I wonder how we have become to distant from the wonder things in life like a simple drive in the country, going to visit friends or a picnic.

It seems that now days we rush to get some place and don’t have time to observe the blessings that surround us. Families do not spend time together like they did back then. I was surprised to see that dad often took care of my cousins at times when he was not employed.

Though I do not have children of my own to leave a journal for them to read I think journaling might be a way for me to better understand myself and a way of looking back on past happenings, both good and bad.

Why not share the things I learn was I begin to create my journal?

That is what this blog/journal will be about. I know a lot of the womenfolk have their diary, but for what I have seen not a lot of men take the effort to record happenings in their lives. Correct me if I am wrong.

The plan is to share at least some of my discoveries about journaling on a regular bases. If you would like to learn about journaling please subscribe to my weekly newsletter.

18 thoughts on “Personal Journal Writing

  1. Stella

    Barry this is such a wonderful way to relive memories and I believe many more comes to mind. When your dad wrote the journal I am sure he had a smile on his face imaging your face and feelings when you find it and know you will remember good old days!
    What a wonderful gift.

    1. admin

      My dad's journal was all written before I was born (7 years) so probably a lot of his thoughts have been lost. Even after 50 years still miss being able to call him or see him.

      Strange that now the 'bad times' seem to disappear and only the great times remain.

      Thanks for you great comment... appreciated.

  2. Stefanie Taylor

    Hi Barry, I think journaling is a great idea. It's wonderful that you can look back on memories that you would of otherwise forgotten about. And it's love my that you have your Dads journal to read and get a glimpse of his life before you knew him. I wish my parents had kept a journal for me to read, you are truly blessed.

    Yes, life moves too quickly and we need to stop and smell the roses a lot more.
    Keep up the good work with your blog!

    1. admin

      There is so much that I (we) miss in not hearing from the previous generation. Wish dad had written more or if he did wish they had been kept.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts..greatly appreciated

    2. admin

      There is really so much of the history our parents and grandparents lived. I wish he had done more journaling or if he did that we had kept them.



  3. Furkan

    Journaling can be cool and I even want to read my experiences 10 years later and remember these days. However I forget journaling some days. Do you have any suggestions?

  4. Irma

    Journaling has been a God-send to me! I get the most amazing ideas when I take the time to journal each day.
    While I do not know any men who journal, I do encourage them to if the subject comes up. When I was a kid, I had a diary, but did not know how to use it effectively.
    Now I cannot live without a book full of blank pages that lets me take the thoughts out of my head and put them on paper. I also write what I am grateful for as well as my hopes and dreams.
    Great post Barry!

    1. admin

      Thank you Irma. Seeing dad's journal has caused me to want to start even at 79 I will be writing some interesting stuff. Maybe you can teach me.


  5. Todd Matthews

    I felt almost as if I were back in a history class reading a first-hand account of someone else, which is amazing. Your overall writing talent is impeccable and I immediately heard your voice in my own mind as I read this. It makes me want to read more as journals from another time have always been up my alley.

    I also had flashbacks to some of the historical novels I read during my time in grade and middle school. These were some of the activities I looked forward to during my school days. Thank you for sharing this article.

    1. admin

      Thank you so much for the very nice comments. It is really strange reading dad's journal as this was long before i was born and in a time that for many of us it is difficult to understand the struggles of the great depression.


  6. Thais Gomez

    Hi, I like journaling. I used to keep a physical journal every year but now that I’m following a minimalist lifestyle I decided to keep my journals in a word document in google so I can write in them from my phone or computer. They are not as nice as the paper but I prefer in digital these days. I still keep my grandma’s journal with her hand written poems and even pieces of flowers. It is so beautiful.

    1. admin

      Totally understand the use of digital journal. I at times did a scattered computer journal. Scatter here and there as well as at irregular times. After discovering my dad’s journal decided to follow his lead even though do not have children or grandchildren not sure will be of interest to anyone but me. It is just a good way to recall what occurred in the past like what occurred on New Years Eve a year ago (2017). I know that when I look back at entry from yesterday (and today) I hope that I can remember all the fun and not about the staying up 4 hours past bed-time.


  7. Nancy

    I like your article. My parents grew up during the depression as well.
    As far as journaling, I wrote a few years ago and came across those journals and it was interesting to read what was happening in my life at the time.
    Because I found those, I bought a journal and started writing again. Not as often as I would like, but at least I am again.
    Do you have any recommendations of journals that you like?

    1. admin

      Nancy sorry for being slow in responding to your comment. Had some computer issues (often times referred to as operator malfunction or old-timers disease...LOL) that kept me from responding in timely manner.

      I had not given much thought about different types of journals. The variety of journals available is to my thinking a personal subject of the purpose for writing a journal. I will try to in the near future put together an article covering some of the more popular types of journals.

      Glad to rediscovered your old journals. There is so much in the journal of my dad’s that I wish I had known about when he was alive.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post and comment.


  8. Alex

    It is great to hear you read about your Dad's life in the Great Depression. My relatives have only left me old pictures, not their thoughts and opinions on the time they lived in. You are quite lucky to be reading about your Dad.

    I do have a question though. Do you ever feel like you are probing too deep into someone's life when you read their diary? Like it's a violation of their privacy? I've had some qualms about it.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope you make it a great day!

    1. admin

      Think if I was reading some one like my wife's diary might feel like violating her privacy. With reading my dad's it gave me a new insight to the man he was. I wish he had continued journaling after I was born to be able to relate to my own personal life. Several years after dad past mother was scheduled to have brain tumor remove. It scared her greatly and she told me stories that I had never heard about dad and about my grandparents.

      It is sad that there is so much lost because we do not record what we often consider to be the "little things".

      Thanks for you comments.

  9. Ricardo

    Hi, Barry! Richard here (qrwizard)
    I was so grateful for your kind comment on my WA blog that I decided to take a break and visit your website. Cool, dear friend!
    My dad is 88, but he travels the world with his laptop, taking pictures and writing short stories, 5% fictional because he doesn't want to say it's his journal (what would they think, showing his human side LOL)
    Congratulations. I love your fresh style.
    I'll be back soon.

    1. admin

      Thanks Richard
      You have been inspirational to me as I struggle trying to become a blogger. I had a niche I wanted to follow but discovered that sharing political or religious post on the WA blog site is against the rules. So have started over in a different direction while still maintaining my original goal for blog. I had hoped that would be able to get advise from bloggers as I built my original site. For now different direction

      So your posts are helping direct me as I basically begin from ground zero. Have several changes that will hopefully get figured out what I want blog to look like and you seem to have a camera looking over my shoulder or have hacked into my computer....LOL

      Again thanks for you encouraging words
      Barry alias "Barney44" on WA


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