I turned thirty this summer. I have one novel out, and another that will come out soon. A third is finished and under review by a publisher. I've written fifty short stories, and more than thirty of them have been published. One won an award. I think that's pretty good for thirty years.
My life has been very busy and very much in the present lately. However, I recently ran into someone from my past, and I was amazed by how ten years of who I am was able to crumble away simply at the sight of someone who I've been out of touch with for a decade. It was the kind of experience that causes one to feel even more reflective about the past than an abstract thing like turning thirty.
I am naturally a very analytical and reflective person. However, I don't put that energy into writing a journal. I put that energy into writing fiction.
When it comes to journaling, I don't keep a record with the written word. I like to keep my journal more abstract -- for eight years, from the time I left for college until my daughter was born -- I translated my life into a playlist of songs that represented the experiences I went through. After Elaine was born, I directed that energy into the pages and pages of photo albums that I keep of her. Between that playlist and those photo albums, I have an extremely detailed record of the last thirteen years of my life. The songs and pictures don't tell the whole story -- but I don't need them to; I just need them to help me remember it.
I'll continue to post anecdotes about Elaine that don't fit as picture captions here, and I'll try to show up with a comment or two about my own life sometimes. But, when it really comes down to it, I'll be putting most of that writing energy into my fiction.
So, if you want to read words by me or learn about what's been going on in my life, what I've been thinking about, or who I am -- read my fiction. It won't come with date stamps, and it won't be directly representational. But writing my fiction is what I've been doing, what I've been thinking about, and -- the person you see represented in my stories? -- that's who I am.