The value of a Literary Journal

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What is a Literary Journal?
There are many types of writing journals. Most people think a Literary Journal is a publication of literary works or commentary on literary works from many different authors,  similar to a Medical Journal or a Legal Journal.  However, the Literary Journal I am referring to is a journal of ones own writings, created by the notes taken  about books, articles, classes, lectures, or magazines. It is a compilation of thoughts on more secular, scholarly subjects. A Literary Journal should be easy to use and organized in such a way that revisiting the information you have written is not difficult.

Why would anyone want to keep a Literary Journal?
Reading is a favorite pastime for many people all over the world.  Some read merely for entertainment and pleasure and have no interest in writing anything down about the things they read.  However, books are powerful things; they have the power to change lives.  It has been said that many a revolution began with a book, ie. Meinkampf, The Communist Manifesto, The printing of the Bible, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and others. There are many who for various reasons would like to take notes, write brief reports, disagree, copy down quotable phrases, and in some way continue to expand their minds and their understanding of the world and the people who have lived in it.  The best way to do that is to write down thoughts about books they have read, classes they take, or even movies they watch.  Writing cements thought in a way no other activity does. Personal value systems are created and reviewed as thoughts and opinions are recorded.  It is a way to understand ourselves at a much deeper level.  It gives us a chance to have our own conversation with various authors and teachers.

How do you use a Literary Journal?
One way of using a literary journal is to keep track of all the books, articles, and magazines you have read by creating a list of them in the front part of the journal.  Index that list by using A-Z tabs where you keep any notes taken from those readings.  Cataloging your studies this way makes it easy to find them again.  Next keep all your quotes according to topic in another section of A-Z tabs.  Always reference where you found your quotes.  By keeping quotes together according to topic you develop a deep broad understanding of that topic. For those who like to build vocabulary, a section for vocabulary words is suggested.  As new words are recorded along with their definitions, information is more securely locked in the mind.

A Literary Journal is an excellent tool for expanding knowledge and understanding, preserving great quotes, maintaining a sharp, healthy mind, and it  becomes a tool for mentoring through the generations.  Its value is priceless.

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