The Influence Of Journaling By Kathleen Gerard And Robin Hemley

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Journaling exists as a principal source of identity. It allows the journaler to capture pieces of the past which may have been lost if not physically documented. The influence of journaling on identity is as much a result of the method, objective, and outcome of the writing as it is the face value documentation of the experience. Kathleen Gerard and Robin Hemley share their distinct journaling routines and describe a similar tendency to incorporate elements of journal entries into their respective fictional writing. Thus, their journaling habits become intrinsic to their literary identity as well as their overall conception of self. Kathleen Gerard developed her propensity for journaling through observation and emotional trauma. The abrupt death of her father left Gerard overwhelmed with grief and lacking a suitable outlet. She portrays the impromptu purchase of a notebook as an act of desperation and describes her preliminary journaling as having “no rules,” (Raab 63) because although she had…show more content…
He describes journal writers as “a special breed,” saying they are “suspicious of their own memories, like tourists taking snapshots of everything they see” (Raab 17). Hemley distinguishes journalers as “different from diarists who are fascinated with their own lives … journal keepers are snoops, enthralled with everyone else’s life” (Raab 18). This specification places emphasis on first impressions and discourages the influence of self consciousness. Hemley offers the term “lapidary” to describe such writing. He says “I’m simply snatching a moment, a phrase, a detail that otherwise would have been forgotten, and telling myself, here, remember this because it might be Art … someday. But not now.” (Raab 19) Like, Gerard, Hemley uses his journaling as a basis for his literary identity as he transitions the aforementioned lapidaries into “kernels” (Raab 18) for poems, short stories, and even entire

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