How to Write Your Personal Journal

I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my dog.
- Emperor Charles V

My old journal used to be a simple logbook - a notation of daily activities littered with the word "then". We went to the mall, then watched a movie, then ate at Gerry's, then went home.

Whenever I wanted to write what I felt and struggled to find the right way to say it, I skipped writing about the thought. I stopped writing my journals 8 years ago and I used to write it in English.

I found it difficult to express certain events that would naturally come to me in my native language, Filipino. It never occurred to me to actually use it when writing my journal.

Recently, I started selective journaling (only choosing key life events) and used Tagalog when writing. I wrote 1780 words in 1 sitting! Talagang mas mabilis at madali sumulat sa sariling wika (It's indeed faster and easier to write in your native language). Since a journal contains a simple narrative of events that you intend to keep internally, it's best to let it flow freely using the language closest  to your heart - your Mother Tongue - with blatant disregard for any grammatical rule that exists.

Sticking to your own language when you write for yourself has its benefits. For Filipinos - we combine Tagalog and English most of the time. It's wrong in the academic sense, but it does allow you to tap on the strengths of both languages - the spontaneity of expressing in Tagalog and the power of the English's rich vocabulary.

If your journal ends up getting published one day, it can always be translated. Thanks to Google translator.

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