A journal is a very private thing. How could we ever write openly and honestly to get to know ourselves if we have to worry about someone else reading it – a parent, a sibling, or a roommate. I am very fortunate to live alone with a husband who respects my privacy, but I didn’t always have such luxury when I was a child with a snooping mother.
First and foremost, if it is an option I would recommend speaking to the person you share your life with about your journal and expectations of privacy. Be clear that it isn’t about the other person, that it is about you and your private thoughts and feelings.
However, this post isn’t about communicating to your friends and loved ones about your journaling hobby, but what to do when a request for privacy isn’t a possibility.
• Keep a decoy journal out in the open so that if anyone becomes curious to sneak a peek, they will get all the boring day to day nonsense and not the juicy details.
• Keep your journal on your person- in your purse or backpack. Keep your journal in your car trunk or glove box, or your school or work locker.
• Buy a small lock box from somewhere like Walmart- keys are much easier to hide than journals. If money is not an issue, invest in a small safe for a bit more than a hundred dollars to store not only your current journal but also your filled journal collection. You can get one that has a code instead of a key, so you don’t even have to worry about anyone stealing it.
• Do you have a food that only you eat in the pantry? Keep your journal in your Lucky Charms box if you know that no one will be wanting to eat your sugary guilty pleasure.
• Buy a hardcover book from Goodwill with a dust jacket that is close in size to your journal. Put the dust jacket on your journal and put it on your bookshelf. If you want to attempt this project on hard-mode, carve out the pages of a book bigger than your journal and keep your journal inside of the actual book cover. Or, if you feel confident enough that no one will peruse your bookshelf, just keep your journal up there without even hiding it. It may blend in well enough to not attract attention.
• Hide your journal under a bunch of random nonsense in a drawer in your bedroom. Under old tax documents and all of your extra electronic cords and the sort of things that no one would want to rummage through.
• You know that purse or backpack in the back of your closet you no longer use? That would be a perfect place to hide a journal. You could hide it in a coat pocket hanging from a hook. Inside of a shoe box with the shoes on top. Or maybe in a box of Christmas ornaments that you can easily get to- as long as you have a back of plan for December!
• Use some packing tape to affix a large sandwich bag under your desk keeping the zip top open. Slip your journal into the bag when you’re done writing in it and zip closed.
• Don’t tell anyone you keep a journal. Write in private. If nobody knows that you keep a journal, no one will become curious about what you write in it.
If all else fails and you still want to keep a journal, I recommend going digital and keeping your journal in a google document with a difficult password. This isn’t quite the same as writing slowly with a pen and feeling the words but you can still include things like musings, quotes, and digital artwork.