Sellers, H. (2011). “Unkeeping a Journal.” Writer’s Digest Yearbook presents The Writer’s Guide to Creativity, 111-113.
In this excerpt from her book Page after Page, Ms. Sellers offers an emancipation proclamation for the long held captive journal. It’s hard not to find a writer who doesn’t keep a journal, but having a kept journal that tries to conform can stifle the soul. Ms. Sellers sets her journal free by removing the rules that want to dictate journaling. She lets it be as complicated, simple, ugly, beautiful as it wants to be. It can change personalities from day to day. Her journal is free to be as small as one sentence. It doesn’t feel the need to be tended daily. It’s a place for new projects, self-interviews, proposed titles. It’s home to ideas, snippets of overheard conversations, and important numbers. By emancipating her journal, Ms. Sellers has noticed a funny thing: ideas are free to come. The more the ideas are written, the more friends they invite. The more her writing is nurtured. The more her writing grows.
Unkeeping a Journal is an interesting take on journaling. For me personally, it wasn’t new per se, as my notes have never been kept. But it’s always encouraging to hear someone else confirm what you know. For those who feel journal writing is beyond them or are afraid they’re journaling wrong, Ms. Sellers offers advice to the contrary. In journaling, there shouldn’t be any rules so there’s the reassurance one can’t fail—unless one chooses not write anything at all. Ms. Sellers succeeds in encouraging writers to think outside the box in their journaling, and therefore, not only freeing, but growing their creative process.
As this was an excerpt from a book, I am compelled to check it out. In a Google search I did find her website and am eager to see what else Ms. Sellers has to say on other parts of writing.
To visit Heather Sellers check out her website: