2024-01-26 - Journaling
An actual page from my journal
I’ve included, without edits, this morning’s page from my journal. Until the final few lines, it was exactly that, just me writing, freeform. Right at the end, I thought, “You should publish this on Substack.” I have a few notes about what prompted it and some other thoughts at the end. I hope to the God I don’t believe in that it does not bore you…. too much.
2024-01-26 - journaling
It’s been three months since I journaled.
That’s not three months since I wrote in my substack or updated social media. Journaling specifically in this, my journal.
Let me explain. I have some physical journals and notepads but last year I started journaling in a Google document named, “Matthew Moran Journal”. In it, I have a table of contents at the top, using Google’s automatic document heading feature.
I insert a blank page at the top - actually, the second page as the table of contents in the first page. I use a Heading 1 style to enter the date in the form: yyyy-mm-dd. After I’m done journaling, I go back to that heading and add a “-” and then a few topic key words.
So, for instance, I may write:
2024-01-26 - journaling, annoyed, practicing guitar1
When you update the table of contents, because you used a document heading style, Google docs automatically adds the heading at the top of the table of contents. These are all clickable links, plus the document is searchable. This makes finding something I journal about much easier than going through a written page.
Yes, it loses the romantic element of these books that later generations may find and ponder to determine what I was thinking about as I wrote my journals. But, to be honest, when I am dead and gone, I won’t care one iota what future generations think about what I was thinking.
Second truth: I’m not notable enough to have a collection of writings in a museum. I mean, there is still time, so maybe I write or do something transformative enough to warrant a collection of my writing in a museum. Even then, the Google document is a far better method for storing my writing anyway.
If a future generation finds this and wants it reflected as hand-written, please note, I write in all-caps, printed. I cannot write cursive effectively, so I avoid it. And my writing is sloppy and inconsistent. For capitalized words, I sometimes make the first letter a larger capital letter. But, again, I do this inconsistently. So, much of the time, the only way you know something should be capitalized is that it starts a sentence. You may also know if it is obviously a name.
Now, I’ve written an entire page in my journal explaining my inconsistent journaling technique for a future generation that won’t give a damn!
Also, I didn’t even get to the topic I was initially thinking about.2
I suppose, at its core, this is what a journal is supposed to be.
This was all prompted by me opening my journal document and seeing that the last entry was: 2023-10-26, exactly three months ago. And so, I wrote, “It’s been three months since I journaled.”
The rest of it happened organically.
As I reflect on my prior entries, I see that I’ve updated this journal about three times a month. But, again, it is so inconsistent. I have a few months where I have 5 or 6 entries and I skip a few months.
Also, I have periods where I wrote in a physical journal. God help the museum curator who wants to create a cogent timeline of my daily thoughts.
I found a journal I wrote back in 2008, when I went through my divorce. It was cringey and painful to read. I’ve kept it but honestly, I’ve almost thrown it out a few times. I think my songs may be a better journal.
What I do find interesting is that my previous journal entry was titled:
2023-10-26 - Time and Producing Music plus
That is interesting to me. It dovetails with some of what I’ve written about on Substack. This entire journey of learning better music production started, approximately, two weeks prior to the post referenced above.
I wrote about producing “Love Has Flown” on October 17th. I still haven’t released the song. Yesterday, Deb made a graphic to include with the final version, which I output (rendered) two days ago.3
I guess I’ll write a little bit about that below.
That’s it… that’s a journal entry. Re-reading it.. ughh.. I’m struck with, why publish it at all? Even more so, why write it at all‽ (another interrobang)
It’s self-absorbed. Why was I writing in my journal, explaining how I journal? I know how I use heading styles and table of contents. But, now you know why and how I do as well.
I have a few footnotes. I didn’t want to add anything to the journal entry itself. It is context added to meaninglessness. How meta is that?
Anyway, a few updates:
I rendered my final version of Love Has Flown. Deb made a graphic that will upload with the song release. I’ve included her graphic and a few others below. The song will appear on streaming services soon after. We’ll write about that fiasco in a future Substack.
In listening to it, I’m struck with how much better the production is than anything I’ve done previously. I’m also struck with how badly I want to re-record the entire thing and start over. A recording engineer who has provided some critique and guidance has told me to “Give it a rest and move on.”
Another engineer said that John Lennon used to say that he was embarrassed with early Beatles records and wanted to re-record them all. So I said, “Are you saying I’m like John Lennon?” - he said, “Nope! I’m not saying that at all.”
Oh well, it was worth a try.
I’m playing a show on February 24th.
Facebook event link
I’m producing two more songs right now, The Coward and The Fool and Marie. Both are pretty close to done. Marie will be first and then we’re making a music video. That should be fun/interesting‽ (really Matt?)
I committed to writing at least one song per month. I wrote two stanzas and the music for a new song yesterday morning. I will finish it before the weekend is over.
That’s it for now.
Thanks again for joining me on this journey!
With Love and Gratitude!
January 26, 2024
That was an example. I wasn’t annoyed this morning and I haven’t practiced guitar. Maybe that made up title is Freudian and I am preemptively annoyed that I have not practiced enough guitar.
The topic I wanted to journal, and then write about on Substack was: Stoicism, Religion, Politics. Imma do it soon and see how many subscribers I lose.
This paragraph is where I began thinking I would publish this on Substack.