On Sunday I had the opportunity to teach the Laurel class. The lesson went well if you consider a one-sided discussion a good lesson. My daughter is in that class and she told me later that I kept looking at her. I told her it was because I knew she had the answer - it didn't make her speak up. According it the Young Woman's president, their reaction was fairly standard. At the end of the lesson, I could only think how good it would be to return to Relief Society.
On the way out of the room, the YW's president stopped me and asked if I would be willing to teach a Tuesday night class on journaling to the group. My first question to her was to inquire as to whether I had to keep an active journal to take on the task. She said my name came to mind because I am the only writer she knows and she figured if anyone was going to keep a journal, it would be a writer.I told her to give me a few days to forget about the faraway looks and disinterested stares before and then I'd be happy to do it. It serves me right for thinking I could escape so easily.
I purchased my first journal on my ninth birthday with some money my great-grandmother gave me and the books have slowly been filling up ever since. To be honest, my journals are extensive and there are times when I faithfully wrote for years without missing a day. Now I'm more likely to go years without writing an entry. Since January I have been trying to record something every Sunday. It's nowhere near what I used to do, but it is something.
As I started thinking about journalling, I realized that journals of all sorts are completely integrated into my life. There is my personal journal - like I said, one entry a week. There is also the journal I take with me to church meetings to record impressions and thoughts (and yes, story ideas.) My writer's journal follows me everywhere and is filled with brief descriptions, story starters, newspaper articles that intrigue me and notes about stories in progress. I also have a school journal where I record brief entries about the assignment I'm working on, how I feel about the learning process and notes about things I need to do. There is also a scripture journal with insights and impressions from my study time, my day planner which has all sorts of nuggets about life in it, and the morning pages I write before I do my other work which contain some surprising nuggets of thought. And of course, there is this blog - which, like my personal journal, has been suffering some neglect, but I do intend to give it some loving attention.
So after some thought, I guess I am a prolific journal writer. It seems I am surrounded by efforts to leave some sort of record of my thoughts and insights. Some of these attempts are more neglected than others, though which one gets ignored always changes.
Now I need to figure out how to take the obsession I have with the written word and relay some of that to the girls. A simple lecture will leave them all snoring in their seats and if I ask for too many answers to too many questions, the girls are bound to get that blank look as their minds wandering far from the topic at hand.
A few vague concepts are floating around in my head, but I'm looking for ideas. How would you get sixteen and seventeen year old girls enthused about keeping a journal and present it in such a way that they all stay awake?
And since I still have a bunch of handmade journal/scrapbooks I made at Christmas time, lets turn this into a contest. There are several books left, so you may be able to pick the color you like. Everyone who comments with an idea for this presentation will be entered to win. If you mention this on Facebook, Twitter, or your blog you get another entry. I'll draw a name on March 1st.