I am terrible at writing in my journal. (Hell, obviously I’m terrible at writing on this blog on a regular basis.) I should count up how many different journals I have in boxes in my basement that have about 6 entries in them. I’d bet it’s at least a dozen. I think I have 2 that I have actually filled up. Maybe 3.
I know it’s terrible that I don’t write, especially since the few times I feel truly motivated to write are times when I am really angry. I have this nagging fear that I will die suddenly one day and people reading my journal will wrongly assume that my husband is a big old meanie because I wrote something in a huff in September of 2010. I know I need to fix this, but self-motivation isn’t exactly my strong suit.
Since I can’t afford to hire a task master to make me keep a journal, I decided to enlist the best free task masters I know to help me with a personal history-type writing project: my parents.
My parents are amazing, and they both have so many interesting, amusing, and incredible stories from their pasts, and I knew I wanted to get them in writing. And I figured it couldn’t hurt to write my own story at the same time.
Since I am lazy and unmotivated, I knew the project needed to be done in small, simple pieces and on a regular schedule that was long enough to allow for time to ponder and short enough to ensure we didn’t just forget about it and give up. So here’s what we’re doing.
On Sunday, one of us picks a topic to write about for the week. For example, this week’s topic is to list your siblings and write one or two things about them. We then take the entire week to think and write about the topic, then e-mail them to each other by the next Sunday, when we will discuss our writing and choose a new topic.
We have said that we really only need to write a paragraph each week. This makes the task seem less daunting. (I know. I am such a wuss, but that’s just how I have to approach it.) The great thing about it, though, is that all 3 of us have written much more than a paragraph for every topic. I think it’s just nice to write without feeling like there’s an arbitrary minimum.
I love reading what my parents write–I love the insights into their lives and personalities. I find, too, that it is a great relief to have these things written down, so that I don’t have to just rely on my own recollection of stories I have heard before.
So far, we are on our fourth week of this project, and I have high hopes for it to continue. As we get further into it, I will share some of our writings, so you can learn all about my childhood wind phobia and my remarkable career as a part-time sock seller.