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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

300 Writing Prompts: Day 5

Today's random prompt: Where do you like to do your journaling? At a desk, in your bed, at the coffee shop?

I suck at journaling. Always have. I regret that I wasn’t better at it in junior high and high school because it would be fascinating to go back to read the entries of 14-year old Jeff navigating life as a freshman in high school, finally realizing that being an athlete was a dead end and acting was the path. Ah, to relive the unrequited crushes and events of seemingly earth-shattering importance.

The reason I was (and still am) so terrible at journaling is my own need for everything I write to be brilliant the first time. Journaling presented an opportunity to come up with the next great story idea or to just be absolutely friggin’ hilarious. I used to imagine that after my death following a career as an accomplished writer some scholar would discover my old journals and think, the genius was always there, even as a teenager.

My adolescence was nothing if not driven by delusions of grandeur.

The thing is I really would have benefitted from keeping a journal or diary. It would’ve been the perfect outlet for anything that came into my mind or even just a record of my day. I think that’s what I missed out on the most. The idea of going back and reading what was on my mind on March 14th, 1983, intrigues me. That I can’t saddens me. Of course, I had a penchant for writing cringe-worthy poetry and song lyrics, so I’m at least saved from reliving that.

Then again, that would be fun, too.

Today, I am better about journaling, but I mostly use it to work out story ideas. It came in real handy when I was putting together those silly bracket challenges during the pandemic. I’m still awful about just jotting down the events of the day because it feels boring. Who cares?

As I think about it, obviously, I do.

Oh, and to answer the question in this prompt, I have no preference. Anywhere is fine.

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