Finding Seeds in Your Journal

by Ruth Folit

I found the earliest journal of mine that I still have: a 5 by 7 inch spiral notebook with a dull tan cover; it cost 29ยข. The spiral is now rusty and the pages have yellowed. The first dated page is March 12, 1973, when I was in college. In September a new semester had just begun and I was writing journal entries about once or twice per week. I had written on September 7, 1973:

“thought about having a notebook–not only for school–but for entire semester–integrate school into my life–like a composition notebook for a month or so until I need a new one. Write journal, dreams, notes for classes, notes to myself, etc. Main problem is the order would be chronological, and therefore very hard to go back and find anything by the topic. But I like the idea. Maybe I can think of something.”

There it was almost thirty years ago: the seedling of LifeJournal. In my case, the seed lay dormant for about 25 years before it sprouted.

One could, perhaps, take a more active role in cultivating seedling ideas by re-reading journals and finding those frustrating situations that we all have during the course of a typical day. Inventors have a knack for turning irritations and imperfect scenarios into new tools that solve problems. You can facilitate the process by searching your journal: look for such words as “problem,” “frustrating,” and “irritation” or key words of your own. You will instantly find scenarios in need of “a better way.”