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How Journals Inspire Me

We should write, above all, because we are writers whether we call ourselves writers or not." – Julia Cameron

 

Since I was a child, I've had a fascination with diaries and journals.  It's not that I'm a habitual journal keeper—it's that I'm curious and nosey!  I want to draw the curtains, peek into the windows of people's lives, hear their voices, and commune with them. Reading journals, diaries, and old letters lets me do that!

 

In the novel that I'm now writing a tattered journal arrives without warning as a secondary character in the protagonist's life.  In a meticulous script, the author's words, written a century earlier, plead with Suzanna, the protagonist, to listen—a forewarning that should not be ignored.

 

What inspired the diary in my new novel?  A suite of materials and journals from the late 1800s melded together to offer up their wisdom—an old composition book overflowing with stories of a young woman, a diary of a nineteen-year-old school teacher setting out on her own, and a monograph of the memories of a young man, tucked away in the archives of a historical society.

 

A deep bow of gratitude to these writers whose words have inspired me.

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