- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (July 22, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061494151
- ISBN-13: 978-0061494154
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,186,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Note to Self: On Keeping a Journal and Other Dangerous Pursuits 1st Edition
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
O’Shea approaches journal writing as a therapeutic tool and an aid to helping journal keepers discover new strengths and develop others, find previously unsuspected dimensions and depths of their personalities, and uncover and confront painful realities. This self-discovery combines depth with breadth, so as the writer records both life’s mundane minutiae and family-altering crises, he or she acquires knowledge of the most valuable kind from dreams and candid accounts of personal crimes and misdemeanors. O’Shea includes her own journal entries in each chapter, covering different eras in her life, and provides writing tips and journaling exercises developed to empower the act of externalizing thoughts, feelings, and, ultimately, oneself. She also includes instructive passages from the journals of notable writers, such as Louisa May Alcott, who records her winter’s earnings in 1855: $120, which includes $20 for her stories—“if I am ever paid.” A listing of sources rounds out this interesting addition to journaling aids that emphasizes “it’s not the rereading where one finds solace but in the writing itself.” --Whitney Scott
About the Author
Samara O'Shea is the author of For the Love of Letters: A 21st-Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing as well as a blogger for The Huffington Post.
Top customer reviews
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Samarah's weaving of personal stories and journal entries into the book make it seem more like you are having a conversation with a friend.
It's a wonderful book and I would recommend it to life-long journalers, those who are just starting, or who just like to read books on journaling, as I do.
Now she gives us snippets from her journal dating back to her teens, which was not that very long ago, from this delightful and talented woman who is not yet 30.
Some of her journal entries:
THE FIRST PAGE
"I've always felt a pressure to be profound on the first page of a new journal. I won't say that I always achieve profundity, but I do try. Since there is no obvious outside source creating this pressure, I imagine it's one I put on myself: Say something smart to look back on later! I prefer to think it's nothing like that, but more like the beginning of anything. A new year. A new job. A new relationship. All of these, essentially, are the start of new seasons in our lives, and we want them to be as fresh as clean linens drying in the path of a friendly breeze. So we show off a bit at first - doing everything as diligently as possible. Going to the gym every day, showing up a half hour early for work, or tending to a new lover as if she or she were royalty. In the same vein, we start our journals off on a semi-philosophical note, or at least we acknowledge the fresh start we feel we're making with our words and the act of journalng itself."
..."I've never suffered from apathy. My problem is that my emotions are too strong and uncontrollable. I'm sixteen years old but I feel about eight. The world around me is foreign and I'll never understand it. Poeple and their actions are so weird. At this point in time, I do in fact have a boyfriend..."
..."My 2nd year of college but first year at Duquesne is closing in on me. I enjoy the warm weather immensely but the warmer it beomces the more I fear. Because that means graduation is upon us. Well, upon the seniors. I've met a handful of seniors this year and I know some will go, never to be seen again by me. I fear good-byes and life is filled with constant good byes."...
...Perhaps it was my grandmom who whispered to me that I couldn't stop writing. I don't remember her saying anything of the sort but perhaps she did. I saw her tonight...At the wrinkled age of 86 she is the victim of a very aggressive liver cancer. Looking at her today was strange. She was tethered in 1,000 tubes and her soft, toothless mouth could barely bring thought to the surface. I kept thinking, "All human beings are subject to decay." (Samara notes at page bottom that this line is from John Dryden's Mac Flecknoe. John Dryden, 1621-1700)...
...I thanked her for taking such good care of me. She took my hand and raised it to her rasin-wrinkled mouth and kissed it. Porbably the nicest moment we've shared in years. I tried to cry softly enough so she couldn't tell. Then I told her how proud I was and how in love with her I was. Now, I hope to hold that moment close. Forever."
Samara also includes journal entries from Anne Frank, Anais Nin, Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, among others.
Very well worth reading!