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Thread: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

  1. #41
    Senior Member Fermata's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    There was a story that I recall but I have searched for it now and cannot find evidence of it, it was a treasure trove with a journal at the heart of it.

    In essence, a family lived in a 100 year old house and they decided to do some renovations. Within the attic they found a note nailed to the rafters which said something to the effect of I have left you this note and it is to tell you how to find my journal, my pen and some photographs of my family, look in the garage, you will find a box hidden in the roof. It was dated 1936 and signed by the daughter of the house who was 12 years old at the time. The box was found, it contained a journal, a junior Duofold, photographs and a few personal items. The journal told of her daily life.

    Rather than burn our journals it may be possible for you to hide away your journals to be found in 100 years time.

    There was also a Holocaust Diary found, 70 years later,

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...ica-180970534/


    Our journals may be hum drum today but treasures for the future.
    Last edited by Fermata; April 4th, 2020 at 11:46 AM.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Burn. I already toss out one for each one I add: the shelf is full. My journals only serve me in the moment that I write them. I do not revisit them. I only keep some of them to remind myself to write more.

    Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    The Covid-19 pandemic and resultant 'stay at home' has certainly changed what and how much I am writing now. I think I've written around 100 pages in my A5 notebook since March 12, which was when our school decided to start spring break a week early. Now, as of yesterday, no more in person school this year, so embarking on a new journal of remote teaching. I'm sure I'll have plenty to write about that.
    I use a fountain pen and a paper planner - paperinkplan.wordpress.com

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    I don't keep diaries or daily journals but I write in notebooks. When they are full I transfer important facts and details to the new book and destroy the old one. Usually by tearing out the pages and shredding them.
    Regards, Chrissy | My Blog: inkyfountainpens

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    Senior Member Voiren's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    I am normally not a journaller (or not a journaller outside of ink references, or away-from-home holiday time, occasional book reviews) but did today just do some more writing in a journal I haven't touched since the Christmas I was given it. I thought things were sufficiently weird right now that I'd record some of it. Also so I could check when which changes happened. I generally have a good memory, but my memory of chronology is terrible.

    Even used the pen that has Scabiosa in it! There's been a drip or two of water on prior pages.

    No burning here - I think a handwritten journal is sufficiently entrancing as an object, even if all the entries are deadly dull! I'd hope someone ended up with them that thought the same. At the least, you can make artwork out of them.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by VertOlive View Post
    I've been thinking about this after reading another thread here. Now I have two questions:

    1) If you journal, why do you journal, to what purpose?

    2) To those that journal, will you leave them for others to read after you die, or will you burn them?

    I'm still considering my answer to the second question; what about you?
    I bought a fountain pen and it caused me to want to write in pen and paper. A journal seemed as good a place to place my thoughts as anything else. In general I'm ore prone to writing poetry using a computer to record it. I was working at a poem per day but it didn't last when I got sick it turned morose. When I wrote using the computer it was easy to succumb to the temptation to place the writing on facebook for others to see. One poem in particular about lust my wife took umbrage with. Less of an issue with pen and paper.

    Back in the midst of the gap between my first and second degree engagement I had a journal while working a couple of jobs to support myself. I was dating a beautiful young lady who decided to help herself to the contents. She didn't like my questions to myself about love. She took my using a journal to examine life as a statement of my soul not realizing that points of view don't necessarily capture essential reality. It pretty much was the beginning of the end of the relationship.

    For now I journal because it's an opportunity to write without too much temptation to share.

    As to burn or not, once gone I won't care.

  7. #47
    Senior Member Deb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Both my husband and I use notebooks a great deal. We get through several in a year. It's not really journalling, I suppose. Most of it is drafts for articles in the pen blog and other stuff in Dreamwidth. My husband writes a lot of autobiographical articles that aren't posted anywhere. A lot of it is personal. I'm not sure it would be of interest to anyone else but I'm not sure we would like the idea of someone else reading it, even after we're gone. I think I said earlier that I would burn them but I'm greener than that. It's what the shredder is for.
    Regards,
    Deb
    My Blog
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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    I keep a journal just because I like to write....but it’s not very personal. I don’t share my deepest, darkest thoughts. I think this can be traced back to my childhood and teenage years, when I kept diaries faithfully. Unbeknownst to me, my mother was sneaking into my room and reading them...and then would later throw things in my face based on what she read - I can remember thinking “How does she KNOW that??”

    I thought my hiding places were good, and to her credit, she was worried and perplexed by me, and was desperately trying to figure me out - but it was a major invasion of my privacy, even as a child, and left me with a lifelong phobia of writing anything down that I wouldn’t want someone else to read. So, my journals today are pretty boring. Accounts of what I might have done that day, to do lists, bitching about work, etc. It’s just the pleasure of the act of writing that has me doing it.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    also keep in mind you might not want to deprive folks of the opportunity to choose not to read your journals.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    also keep in mind you might not want to deprive folks of the opportunity to choose not to read your journals.
    By that token, should I infer that you wouldn't want me to erase all my master tapes?
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    While I don't journal, there are other personal and confidential documents, letters, notes, records, etc. that could prove -- shall we say -- disadvantageous to someone, one's self, a relative, or friend for instance, if their contents were divulged. burning is a viable option. I personally prefer to shred anything of a remotely personal nature including daily correspondence, and recycle the resulting paper chips.

    Part of my motivation for this is having had the responsibility of administering to the affairs of family members after their passing, I do not want to impose the tedious chore sorting through one's papers my heirs.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by An old bloke View Post
    While I don't journal, there are other personal and confidential documents, letters, notes, records, etc. that could prove -- shall we say -- disadvantageous to someone, one's self, a relative, or friend for instance, if their contents were divulged. burning is a viable option. I personally prefer to shred anything of a remotely personal nature including daily correspondence, and recycle the resulting paper chips.

    Part of my motivation for this is having had the responsibility of administering to the affairs of family members after their passing, I do not want to impose the tedious chore sorting through one's papers my heirs.
    I work in the medical field, and have thought a lot this past year about dying...I hate the thought of people having to deal with my things, bad enough I own too much useless stuff. I’ve considered finally going through and getting rid of several cabinets and drawers full of papers, receipts, etc etc...but it’s a chore I dread. Instead I think I’ll just put a note on top of them all saying “you can just throw this crap away”

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Igraine View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by An old bloke View Post
    While I don't journal, there are other personal and confidential documents, letters, notes, records, etc. that could prove -- shall we say -- disadvantageous to someone, one's self, a relative, or friend for instance, if their contents were divulged. burning is a viable option. I personally prefer to shred anything of a remotely personal nature including daily correspondence, and recycle the resulting paper chips.

    Part of my motivation for this is having had the responsibility of administering to the affairs of family members after their passing, I do not want to impose the tedious chore sorting through one's papers my heirs.
    I work in the medical field, and have thought a lot this past year about dying...I hate the thought of people having to deal with my things, bad enough I own too much useless stuff. I’ve considered finally going through and getting rid of several cabinets and drawers full of papers, receipts, etc etc...but it’s a chore I dread. Instead I think I’ll just put a note on top of them all saying “you can just throw this crap away”
    I have to say that is actually a clever idea.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by An old bloke View Post
    While I don't journal, there are other personal and confidential documents, letters, notes, records, etc. that could prove -- shall we say -- disadvantageous to someone, one's self, a relative, or friend for instance, if their contents were divulged. burning is a viable option. I personally prefer to shred anything of a remotely personal nature including daily correspondence, and recycle the resulting paper chips.

    Part of my motivation for this is having had the responsibility of administering to the affairs of family members after their passing, I do not want to impose the tedious chore sorting through one's papers my heirs.
    I have had this task, too. Hours and hours of tedium. Bills and bank statements 30 years old. Accounts long defunct. Correspondence and journals long discarded, just never tossed. I took six pickup truck loads to the dump of just paper when my mother moved into assisted living. She did not want anything, and none of it was the least bit interesting to me or my siblings. We tend to over value, I think, the stuff we keep and the junk we think.

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSherbs View Post
    I have had this task, too. Hours and hours of tedium. Bills and bank statements 30 years old. Accounts long defunct. Correspondence and journals long discarded, just never tossed. I took six pickup truck loads to the dump of just paper when my mother moved into assisted living. She did not want anything, and none of it was the least bit interesting to me or my siblings. We tend to over value, I think, the stuff we keep and the junk we think.
    I am so, so down with this. It started when I lost my bro-in-law to an accident and it fell to me to clear out his house and ready it for sale, and he wasn't an old man. It has continued through the houses of my in-laws, my parents, and an uncle. Even if you are dispassionately removed from the task (not always the case) it is a mind-numbing burden and I look around our house and slump over with where we have gotten, ourselves. I've actually tried to make a start on reduction because, frankly, we don't have kids and I have no idea who this would fall on if we were both taken out suddenly by an alien death-ray or something.

    Stuff. So much stuff.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    also keep in mind you might not want to deprive folks of the opportunity to choose not to read your journals.
    By that token, should I infer that you wouldn't want me to erase all my master tapes?
    yeah, what if I want to do it?

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    also keep in mind you might not want to deprive folks of the opportunity to choose not to read your journals.
    By that token, should I infer that you wouldn't want me to erase all my master tapes?
    yeah, what if I want to do it?
    Well, if you really want to do it, here's how to do it:


    (Courtesy of Rose Mary Woods)

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    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    Quote Originally Posted by FredRydr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by manoeuver View Post
    also keep in mind you might not want to deprive folks of the opportunity to choose not to read your journals.
    By that token, should I infer that you wouldn't want me to erase all my master tapes?
    yeah, what if I want to do it?
    Well, if you really want to do it, here's how to do it:
    Now you're just carbon dating the people reading this thread!
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    I've been keeping a journal for almost 6 months now. There is nothing hurtful in it that I would be afraid for family or friends to read. It's just a record of my daily life and thoughts and of little interest to anyone else. I have a separate spiral notebook for things I don't want to share. I write in it, read it, tear it out and crumple it up. Nobody else sees it and I feel better.

    I have written vignettes from my life. I'm 81. It's something I wish my parents had done. They are printed out and in a binder that's available for anyone who might care about them.

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    Default Re: Journals: To Burn or Not to Burn?

    On the heels of the previous post, I do have one serious entry:

    We recently unearthed a recording done of a performance series I took part in Berlin in 1980. Everyone had assumed it would never turn up. It has now been produced and issued as both a CD and digital recording. In preparing materials for it, one night I was sitting at my desk and had a thought to turn around. I looked straight back at the far corner of my bookcase and spotted a thin, blue volume.

    And I was right: it was a travel journal I kept from that trip - the 1st two weeks were with the performing group, and then I spent six weeks traveling solo around Europe and Middle East. I went back to the entries surrounding the performing part and there were all kinds of details I had forgotten in the ensuing 41 years! I'm really glad I did that journal and hung on to it. Pretty remarkable to have a handwritten memory aid for my own life.
    "When Men differ in Opinion, both Sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Publick;
    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

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