My love of documenting my life started with a Fisher Price camera and a $1 photo album from AC Moore. (Does anyone else remember these cameras? I thought I was hot.stuff. rockin' my own camera.)
Later I moved into journaling and scrapbooking. As I got older, I vacillated between writing daily and letting months pass without touching my journal. Journaling was a source of pressure/stress for me because I wanted to fill the full page for each entry (not wanting to waste paper, you know - a top concern in any typical ten-year-old's mind) and each entry had to contain some earth-shattering event. Sometimes a day would go by where nothing "good enough" would happen or I just couldn't muster the willpower to write for the 20 minutes it would take to fill that page. So I'd skip it. And one day would turn in to two, then four, and on and on, until I hadn't written for months.
The other monkey on my back was that while I wanted to write about certain things, sometimes I was too worried about what other people would think to put it down on paper. (I sound like a teenager writing that, but I'm sure everyone has a story or thoughts they'd prefer to keep quiet ;) ). The possibility of friends or family reading my private stash made me feel so uneasy - because maybe they wouldn't understand what I was going through or might use it against me (at the worst possible moment!) (oh boy. dramatic much?).
Gradually, I started to care a little less about how others would perceive my writing - probably just a result of getting older. But this is how I frame it in my mind: I am so happy while I'm documenting and later, reliving the moments looking through all my stuff. That matters more than wasting time worrying about what ifs. Yes, of course there are people who disagree with me, dislike me, etc., but I can't please everyone. And it's highly unlikely those people are going to sit down for a 5 hour session digging through all my junk for juicy secrets :)
This is not to say that I'm so confident that I shout about my journals/scrapbooks/blog from the mountaintops (well, until just now, I guess). Many people who know me haven't poured through my albums (and I'd probably be a little embarrassed if they did). The albums are mostly for me, plain and simple. And while wondering what other people are thinking is a normal part of life (and sometimes I still second guess what I'm writing out of fear of the wrong person reading it), I'm glad it doesn't hold the power over my actions that it once did.
Check back tomorrow for the second half - how I actually do the dang thing. I found a system that overcomes my lack-of-time time issues and this-is-not-cool-enough doubts so I can focus on the fun part :)