Writing vs. Journaling

So what is the difference between writing in a journal and writing a finished piece?  Of course the writing in my journal is very personal, most of the time too personal for others to relate to and therefore not all that interesting to anyone but me.  In my journal I work things out, write about dreams, my relationships, observations, opinions and what bugs me.  I don’t think about sentence structure, narrative or pace, I just let words fall where they may.  I don’t edit or censure.  It’s not meant for anyone else to read.

When I’ve written finished pieces for a writer’s group it’s another story.  It’s taking what I want to express to the next level.  The level of satisfaction is elevated too.  It’s more like creating something rather than just putting random ideas and thoughts down.  It may be like finishing a painting instead of doodling.  It’s bringing a lot of things together which is immensely satisfying.

“Goldfish and Autumn Leaves”, Janet Fish. Displayed at the Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University.


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