My very first journal, however, was a spiral-bound steno pad that I used as a journal the summer I was an exchange student in Costa Rica. A returned exchange student urged me to keep a journal, as she said it's so easy to forget things once you get home. She was right. When I read through it years later I was stunned by my 16-year-old perceptions, and the experiences that had completely escaped my memory.
The eight years between my Costa Rican adventures and the law school journal were filled with my senior year in high school, college, and my first year or so of law school. I don't think it ever occurred to me to keep a journal in those years - I was far too busy living them to keep that kind of record. It was in law school that the scream inside of me began to demand an outlet. And I started a journal.
I've lost count of the number of notebooks I've filled with poetry. For years I kept telling myself I wasn't a poet. And I'm not, if you are looking for a Mary Oliver or David Whyte. On the other hand, I've written hundreds of poems in various notebooks. One of the workshops I attended with Natalie Goldberg was the haiku workshop she did with Clark Strand. I still write haiku when inspiration strikes. No matter the notebook, I find something magical in taking my pen in hand to fill the empty page with things that only I can write.
With the workshop coming up at the end of May, I'm already wondering what notebooks to take with me...
Carol (Doc) Dougherty
An avid reader, writer, and student, with a penchant for horse racing, Shakespeare, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Wake Up and Write Writer's Retreat Workshop