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  • Writer's pictureJulie B Jacobsen

Author in Training

When I was very young, I played secretary on my Lou Lou’s typewriter pretending to be Mary Tyler Moore. It was fun to jam the little arms of letters together, then one-at-a-time release them back into position. I then grew a little and read, “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret” like a million times, which led me to start a diary. Then I grew a bit more and wrote a play for my 6th grade class. It was a romance between toys, a mash up of Babes in Toyland and the climax of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A few years after that, I sat 2nd chair flute to an older girl who was valedictorian of her class. This smart and talented friend gave me life changing advice: “Take a lot of notes, Julie. You can always get more paper.”

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Being a writer is one thing, being an author is altogether different. The former I can claim with confidence, the latter is something I'm learning to do. Semantics are important in this case because in my struggles to learn how to author a book, I often accuse myself of not being a writer. Based on evidence, that is a lie.

Keep in mind, there are other journals I’ve kept for studies, teaching, as gifts to my children, etc. But this stack is straight up conversations with God.

The most accurate thing I can say about myself is that I am an author in training. And with memoir writing, my journals have been an invaluable resource. For instance, early on, there was a date I wanted to confirm. This led me to a trunk at the foot of my bed where I store old journals. It was there I found not only my answer but also a red folder. The folder contains stray thoughts scribbled on random pieces of paper, some dating as far back as 1979, a fact sure to make my mother proud. And inside the red folder I found this:

Wow. It was 30 years ago when I first had the idea to write a book! And what a gift to find that folder at just the right time, now that I’m slogging my way through the process.

My journals contain the archaeological evidence that the events of my life really happened. No, I’m not crazy. I didn’t imagine these things. See? God is good! I’ve got it in writing!

These journals are my altar of remembrance, a place to point my children to and say, “God HAS been faithful, and he will be again!” And remembering regenerates my faith. Put another way: I am full of faith, because God is faithful.

Take time to remember, my friends, not only hard times, but the way you made it through. I believe you can find God's goodness there. Train your eyes for it. Better still, I hope you'll write it down.


A hardcover Leuchtturm 1917 journal, size A5, with dotted grid pages.

[See my About page for drawing details]

I’ve been using the Leuchtturm for a few years now. I love how it lays flat when open and with the dotted grid can be used in either vertical or horizontal positions. Most of all, I love the numbered pages and the table of contents to fill out in the front. I wish all my journals had this feature!

Here at the blog, I plan to introduce you to some of my favorite books, tools, and teachers. With every post, all mailing list members will be put into a drawing to win one of my favorite things for themselves. I think there are only 7 of you right now, so your chances are pretty good! Consider it my gift to you, my faithful subscribers. When there is news to share or products to consider from the world of Julie B. Jacobsen, you will be the first to know!

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