I've been thinking a lot about what I love. I think that is the first thing an artist must define for herself; what is it that thrills her (or him) and fills them with enthusiasm. Life and art are long journeys and take a lot of commitment. If the artist is to be sustained for that journey, she must start with a full measure of love and joy. I have been painting since I was 10 years old now and keeping diaries and journals for even longer than that. I honestly cant explain why I have done it. My mother did it too. She showed me her diaries when I was a child and I knew right away that I would record my days too. It has been an experience that has informed me, helped me navigate and defined my direction at every age.
The only time I faltered in my record keeping was in the aftermath of two devastating life experiences when I temporarily lost my faith. I dont know what I lost faith in. I just know that I felt silenced. I endured this time without the support of my mirror and eventually I began to write and record again and soon life was good and normal.
Recently I have had several people say to me that they wanted to journal but just couldn't get going. Maybe I am wrong but it occurs to me that perhaps it is not an activity that you should force or feel guilty about if it is not a thing you crave to do. I can't imagine forcing it. That would be wrong. If you would rather read or work out or write novels or cook delicious food, then by all means, that is what you should be doing. Grow roses, raise children, hold your lover close and go to the theatre. The journal is only for people who cannot escape the siren's call.
Do you have an opinion on this? I would be interested in hearing it.