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SuperMouse's avatar

If you journal or write in a diary how often do you go back and read what you have written?

Asked by SuperMouse (30738 points ) October 9th, 2009

This evening I pulled out a bunch of my journals from between 15 and 17 years ago. I was blown away by the things that were so important to me back then and where my life was. I had completely forgotten many of the things that seemed so life and death to me back then! Do you go back and read your old journals? If you do do your find yourself being surprised by what you have written?

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17 Answers

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

I do it every so often. It’s always so interesting to see how much I’ve changed over the years.

MissAusten's avatar

I haven’t look at them for years. The last time I flipped through them, even the ones from college, just made me cringe. What a dork I was. I’m very tempted to burn them or something. The idea of my daughter someday finding them is horrifying. Instead, I should start a journal now which I haven’t done for years, fill it with wisdom and sage advice, and then start leaving it around for her to find.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

I do actually. It’s a great thing to do, and sometimes when reading them it’s funny what was occupying my life back then.

I also sometimes wonder why I was able to write so brilliantly back then and why I’m such a retard right now… Urgh..

Beta_Orionis's avatar

I don’t do it sooner than 4 or 5 years out from when the content was written. It’s an interesting reminder much later, but unhealthy to dwell on while too close to the immediate time frame.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I do and I look through them periodically. Like, maybe one to three times a year, I’ll pick one out and read it through. It’s a good refresher for my feelings and for remembering things that happened. I have a tendency to look back through whatever journal I’m writing in currently pretty frequently.

Sometimes I’m surprised, especially if I’ve forgotten something that happened, or sometimes I have amazing insights.

aphilotus's avatar

Never. My journals have almost always been stress-release valves and chronicles of the crap I need to remember to do, a sort of “well, if I write 700 crappy words I can start writing good ones too” start-of-the-day kind of thing.

Rereading them is like reading about a very bitchy, detail-obsessed version of me.

Why would I do that?

augustlan's avatar

The only time I regularly kept journals was around the time each of my girls were born. I called them “letters to my daughter”, and wrote about the pregnancies and their infant/toddlerhoods – as well as my hopes and dreams for them. I just recently re-read some of those and was completely amazed at how much I’d forgotten from their early years! Stuff I was sure was burned into my memory. I was also dumbfounded by my horrific spelling during those times.
Just goes to show that new-mom-itis really does affect your brain!

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I go back and read things all the time. Usually, I regret it because I feel like a moron.

drdoombot's avatar

I rarely go back and read them, but it’s always a treat to learn/remember something about yourself.

I wish I was more consistent in writing them so I wouldn’t have gaps every few years.

deni's avatar

i usually only write in one on paper when i travel. right after i graduated HS my best friend and i drove all over the US, and i wrote down soo many little details, things we were laughing at, songs we were listening to, dumb stuff we saw that didn’t matter…i love looking back on it so much.

deni's avatar

oh yeah, when i was 12 i went to mt. rushmore and got really sad because gutzom borglum, the guy that designed it, died before it was finished. i was seriously so upset at the time! i thought “what a shame! what a beautiful sculpture and he never saw it finished!” well, i wrote in detail all about my sadness, and i love looking back at that and chuckling too.

augustlan's avatar

I just remembered that I kept a diary when I was a teenager. I found it when we moved to a new house, and I had young children. I read it, and promptly destroyed it. I never, ever wanted that thing read by my kids!

Jamspoon's avatar

I don’t often reread whatever I’ve written in my journal unless I’m searching for something specific, some piece of needed scribbling.

irocktheworld's avatar

I do have a diary and whenever I start writing something important or something great then if I’m in a great mood then I would re-read over what I wrote and all the memories and just smile.

Zen's avatar

I’m giving this a GQ because it made me realise that I never do.

hearkat's avatar

I have to de-clutter my world this week, and will have to try to NOT distract myself by stopping to read them! But I do like to go back from time-to-time. So perhaps when I’m done I’ll do that.

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