Day 12: Should I let someone else read my journal?
Journaling gets me excited. Really excited.
I sincerely believe that taking the time to get to know yourself is one of the most meaningful life experiences a person can have.
I know it sounds a little cheesy, but hear me out on this.
We are only here for so long. And we don’t know how long that is.
Our life is our story. The way we spend our time, who we spend it with, the choices we make, what we find funny, what makes us cry, all that stuff is part of who we are.
When we write it down, we dive into that story and we connect with the pieces of our life that mean the most to us.
That can lead to clarity. It can help us to create goals for ourselves that matter. And regular record keeping can give us the motivation to reach those goals.
That stuff is all awesome.
There is one more benefit to keeping a regular journal. You get to keep a record of your life that can be passed on to loved ones.
Your journal can be a beautiful gift to leave to a child or grandchild, spouse, or friend. It can be a way for loved ones to connect with you when you’ve transitioned from this life. One of the many reasons journal writing gets me excited!
Many of us journal writers will choose this path for sharing our private writing. We will not give our journals away while we are still living because they are sooo personal. Soooo intensely private, and if any questions come up, we might not want to have to answer them.
But every so often I receive a question from a client about whether or not they should let someone else read their journals.
I have pretty strong feelings about this.
And they are a resounding “No!”
My reason for this is that I let someone read my journal once and the aftermath was painful. Lots of judgment, teasing, and questioning about my writing.
I am sure there are some people who are able to share their deepest and darkest thoughts with another person and all is well.
However, if you are mulling over this questions, I have two big points for you to ponder.
First, ask yourself why you are considering letting someone read your journal. Did he or she ask you? If yes, what do they hope to gain from it? If not, and you are thinking about sharing your journal with another person, what do you hope to gain?
Is it an effort to create a closer bond with that person? Are you hoping to get something in return from him or her?
Be honest with yourself. If you are hoping to create a deeper bond, could this be achieved another way?
My second big thought about letting another person read your journal is this.
When we start to write for someone else, there is a really good chance that we change the way we write. Perhaps not consciously, but its there. A slight difference in the tone of voice, an attempt to polish our thoughts.
If this happens, we are no longer keeping a journal for our own personal benefit. Which is entirely against the point of keeping that journal in the first place.
Prompt for you: What are your thoughts on sharing your journal with someone else? Do you think it’s worth the risk that you might be viewed differently by the person who reads it?
Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. Visit www.saramarchessault.com to get your FREE Journal Protection Plan and start using your journal to create more joy in your life.