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In one way or another, I’ve been writing every day of my life for…let’s just say decades. Now that I’ve put a simple task before me to write in this “journal” daily, I find obstacles every where I turn.

My days are filled with writing technical articles, social media commentaries and replies, and responding endlessly to emails. I’m glued to the computer, keyboard, and mouse continuously almost every waking hour. When I’m away from the desktop computer, it’s the laptop, tablet, or phone.

Someone added up all the articles I typically wrote and came up with an average 1,975 articles a year. Yet I can’t seem to get to this journaling business more than a couple times a week.

I’ve started to study the art of the journal, especially memoir and family history journaling in preparation for the Family History Blogging course I’ll be teaching in Spring Quarter, and I’m so impressed by those who wrote great letters and journals, recording their thoughts on paper. Sure, they didn’t have a computer nor the near desperate panic of work ethic we have today, but they found time to record their thoughts. Why is it so hard for me.

Sometimes I think I have no thoughts – well, nothing original. Or my words fall flat with lackluster language.

Discussing journals with friends during our recent Thanksgiving holiday party, they spoke of the power in the written language to preserve a moment with flowery, descriptive words. One person told of focusing on a single subject, like a tree outside the window and start to describe that every day, commenting on the changes, weather, and eventually the things on it, around it, then about the world, all linked together.

A couple told of their long distance romance in the early years and how they wrote journals more than letters to each other. They’d exchange them when they got together and write responses in each other’s journals. What a magical way to romance.

Yet, for the first time in my life I look at the blank screen before me and the words won’t come.

Instead, I write about how all of this is just too hard.

It will get better tomorrow.

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