After all you’ll have contributed to humanity, the world will want to know more about the “real” you in the wake of your death—and the first place they’re going to look is at all the embarrassing shit in your journal. Could you imagine? Oh my God, we would literally drop dead!! Lucky for you, it’s easy to avoid dying of humiliation after you’ve already died of natural causes. Here’s how we therapeutically journal without leaving yourself too vulnerable in death:
Be Honest, But, Like, Eat, Pray, Love-Honest
You may not have actually sacrificed your morning muffin in order to give some money to the homeless, but you did think about doing it. Write it down! Take all those benevolent thoughts you’ll never act on and put it in the journal. It’s basically the same thing as doing it! And no one can argue with your account of things if it’s in your private journal, not to be seen by anyone’s eyes other than your own, unless you are a comteporary genius who made strides in the humanities we never believed possible, clutching this journal in your cold, lifeless hands, and it is decided it will be published to enlighten future generations about what being a humanitarian is really about. And remember to keep all of the negative, unflattering, mean-honest things about your friends out of there. You’re only an asshole if you say it in your journal!
Anything sounds meaningful and deep if it leaves out enough details! Say nothing substantial, then let the readers decide what you mean. Quote Sylvia Plath, write down the word “tricycle”, write out a grocery list…Your readers will spend hours trying to figure out the complicated world in that head of yours without you having to give any kind of hint at your true feelings about the different places you’ve farted.
Don’t Put in Too Much Effort
You’ve been thinking about your message to the world and now you have a perfectly constructed epiphany. But how do you make it sound like you only just came up with it? Just fill in the blank: “It’s just funny how…”, “I don’t know, but lately I’ve been feeling…”, “I can’t really describe it, I guess you could say…” Nothing’s worse than a journal that looks too polished. This will make it seem like a train of thought, so you don’t come across as one of those losers who put too much effort into their journaling. Ugh, so embarrassing!
The Thesaurus is Your Friend
No one wants to read a journal that uses the same words over and over again. We get it; you’re sad. How about crestfallen? Despondent? Woebegone? Don’t be basic. Not only will you not seem like you lived a super boring life, it will also be a better literary experience for everyone reading about your sadness anguish.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
Writing is rewriting, and journaling is rewriting it twice in anticipation for its posthumous publication. Your feelings are boring and we’ve heard it all before in the journals of so many other dead legends! Make every word count; otherwise, you’re just writing to sort out your own emotions and find some release in the act of expressing yourself through writing. Can you say, “humiliating”? That’s not what self-aware journaling is about!
We’re all going to die, but our journals live on forever. These helpful tips will keep your journal tight, eloquent, and shame-free, so you can journal until you die! Happy writing!