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The Four Different Ways that I Journal

I once judged the actress Emma Watson for having what seemed to me like a bazillion journals to document her life. I wondered: why do you need so many journals to document the same life?

Today I find myself admitting that I have several journals that serve different purposes. I now see the benefit in having multiple journals. Below you will find explanations for why I currently have four journals. 

A Spiritual Maturity & Grandeur

I was standing in front of an arrangement of roses with my uncle. We’d been in the dining room when I asked him if he had a simple piece of advice for me to find inner peace. When we stood in front of these flowers, he started telling me something important about the reason flowers need watering. But I did not let him finish his train of thought because I started crying.

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To give you some context, I hadn’t seen my uncle in more than five years (since the last time I visited Mexico. I was a teenager then.). In his interactions with me and our family, his presence emitted, what I’ll call, a spiritual grandeur. In the words of Ada Limon, “I env[ied], I env[ied] that.” I wanted his spiritual grandeur, so I braved myself and asked him for spiritual advice.

Dear Writer with Frustration, Inspiration, & Passion

Dear writer,

I’m with you. Like you I’m waiting for my breakthrough.

Out of frustration and out of inspiration I write here.

First, because even when literary journals or magazines have rejected my works, I refuse to believe that my writing isn’t worth publishing. Second, because Etty Hillesum, a not-so-well-known writer died too young and with her died her dream of becoming an established author. (Eight of her diaries were published in one book, but that doesn’t mean that’s all the writing she had to offer the world.)

I can’t let others write my story. Not anymore. To be honest, I don’t even know that my story is being told.

It has become too dangerous to wait until literary journals or magazines give my work approval. I can assure you that my story like your story is the story someone else is looking for right at this moment.

Lately, I’ve been writing with a combination of more urgency, more purpose, and more transparency.