ABC’s of Writing: J is for Journaling

ABC’s of Writing, Matilda Butler, Post #8

You’ll Never Guess What Happened on the Way to this Post

It’s been more than a month since I last posted on Telling HerStories although I had intended to post each Monday. I’ve been on the move from California, my home for the past 40 years, to Oregon, my new home for the past 14 days. After having interest but no offers on our home, I decided to start a website devoted to our property. As a memoir writer and coach, you can probably imagine how difficult it was for me to let the land and the home be the two main characters and to leave us and our stories out of the almost daily blogs.

Because Kendra and I now know a lot about search engine optimization, I soon had my website occupying one to three positions on page 1 of Google. More importantly, my website began to climb the chart of amount of traffic. Of course, was always first, but I was soon beating out even the website of the listing real estate agency.

More importantly, our home sold a few weeks into the blogging/journaling. Actually, it sold twice. The first buyer ended up with some unexpected financial problems and we went with the backup offer. Our home sold to a family with three sons and I’m delighted to imagine how much they’ll enjoy roaming the 10 acres.

So what does this have to do with the ABC’s of writing? I began to treat the property blog as if the property were journaling about itself. One morning, for example, wild turkeys showed up just as the sun beat out the fog. In the previous 13 years, turkeys had only come by once. So that day’s journal was about the turkeys on the land. The pineapple guavas were just ripening and so another day’s journal focused on these unusual and plentiful fruits. The buyer followed the journaling each day. The journal had even managed to answer her question about “What do you do with lemons from 25 Meyer lemon trees?”

The Journey
Now you might say that this effort wasn’t really journaling, and I’d agree. However, it began to turn my thinking toward journaling. Therefore, when we departed from Gilroy, I found myself using a daily blog on our Women’s Memoirs website as my journal about this significant move.

If you’re interested in reading some of the memoir journal blogs about our transition from California to Oregon, here’s a list:

Memoir: Day 10 of Life’s New Adventure – The Light at the End of the Tunnel

Memoir: Days 5 & 6 of Life’s New Adventure – The Nomad

Memoir: Day 4 of Life’s New Adventure – A Moveable Feast

Memoir: Day 3 of Life’s New Adventure – Ours versus Theirs

Memoir: Day 2 of Life’s New Adventure – The Realization

Memoir Writing Prompt: Day 1 of Life’s New Adventure

The ABC’s of Writing: J is for Journaling

We are well engaged in this next adventure in our lives and have taken our inspiration from Thoreau’s statement in Walden:

I left the woods for as good a reason as I went there. Perhaps it seemed to me that I had several more lives to live, and could not spare any more time for that one. Thoreau, Walden, 1854.

We have more lives to live and are excited about devoting our next ones to Oregon. Thoreau has been so much in my mind that I turned to his story of journaling as the inspiration for a video I’ve just completed that includes one tip for non-journalers and another for those already journaling. I invite you to visit my post on Women’s Memoirs and see this brief video. Whether you journal or not, I hope to inspire you with ways to use journaling to improve your writing.

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