To write is human

I write here a great deal about journaling. It’s not lost on me that in a way, what I write here is a sort of journal. I began by creating small journals for specific trips where selecting the journal itself was part of the trip preparation. Soon I began using dedicated journals and started writing when I felt like it. The more I wrote, the more I appreciated the practice. I’m long convinced that the mind is for having ideas, not for holding them. In fact, often I use my journals to chase things out of my mind; get thee gone flittering woes and flocking shoulds!

Lately, I’ve been dipping into my personal archives – specifically, my old journals – to reacquaint myself with the person I was 20 years ago, doing remote fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic for eight weeks each summer. I’m writing a book, you see, about my experiences as a field scientist, and though my memories of that time seem strong, I’m still surprised by some of what appears in my journals. For example, I didn’t remember arriving in the field as early as I did one year, or the level of frustration I had when some of my equipment didn’t work. My journals bring these events back to me, in full colour and precise detail, allowing me to add lyrical descriptions and scenes to my book.

~ Sarah Boon from,

One day—yes I could look it up—I sat down and figured out a way to be able to review all my handwritten journals based on the dates of the entries. (Relax, you can see there’s no wall of text coming. I’m not going to explain it.) Now, when I sit down to journal, I can flit back to any point. I don’t know how to explain how powerful that is. I know me best. Absolutely, 100%, no exaggeration, no wiggle room, the big lessons I’ve learned through my own hard work of listening(!), reflecting, journaling and reviewing said journaling.