Welcome to Thirty-Five Years Ago

Journals on shelfMy name is Jodie Toohey, and I’ve been keeping diaries/journals since I was a little over eleven years old. (Let’s see, I was born on November 16, 1973, and I started on December 31, 1984, so yep, eleven years and about a month and a half years old.) My first diary was a red and white checked about four-inch by five-inch, hardcover little book with a tiny lock and key I purchased on the clearance rack at Target. I have dozens of notebooks and fancier journals I’ve written in nearly continuously since then.

I have considered sharing my journal entries to the day some x amount of years later, but I know that nobody really wants to read that crap and I highly doubt I have the stamina and dedication to keep the practice up. I do, however, think keeping diaries/journals is very important as well as perhaps digitizing those entries if they aren’t already. One reason is to simply preserve what you’ve written over the years, to have a record of it for your own use and future research should you decide to write a memoir or get famous and someone wants to write your biography. As a historical fiction author, personal accounts like those in journals are gold for period research.

The reason this information is gold for historic researchers is because every person’s experience is different, they can never be the same, and this fact leads to the ability to create engaging stories, even if it’s on a topic, event, or period in history covered already. Think about it, and forewarning, this could give you a creepy feeling: Even if you stand right next to someone and see the exact same thing, the experiences will not be exactly the same. First, your points-of-view are at slightly different angles. You cannot put your eyeballs inside another person’s eyeballs. Second, all of the experiences each of you have had up to that moment with all of those varying perspectives, with all of the personal thoughts you had about those varying perspectives, will impact your experience even in the slightest of ways. My journal/diary writings are my experience; it may be skewed slightly or a whole lot by other things I’ve experienced and the thoughts I’ve had. But they still don’t tell the whole story. Often they only tell about my thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings, etc. at that moment in time. And I didn’t write them in real-time. So they are still flawed, but they are better than nothing.

I am very interested in helping people tell their personal stories. Which is why I started Legacy Book Press. And to encourage you to tell your story, I want to endeavor to tell mine and/or provide (hopefully) helpful posts about how to go about telling your story. If you're looking for some consistent posting schedule ("editorial calendar" if you like jargon), you best keep looking as this will not be that. It will be very much a when the mood strikes me kind of schedule. But if you have a question in the meantime, don't hesitate to contact me or email me at jodie@legacybookpress.com.