Jenny Bhatt Recommends...

“The world is often too much with us in all its tumultuous glories and calamities. Its whirling, tumbling, and churning can lay waste to our cognitive energies. The only way for me to still and organize the inner chaos is through my journal, which I’ve maintained since my early teens. Like many, I read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl and, though my middle-class existence in 1980s Bombay was nothing like hers, I embraced the journal form like a long-lost friend. We’ve been inseparable since, despite dalliances with personal blogs and ever-present social media. In A Book of One’s Own: People and Their Diaries, Thomas Mallon describes seven kinds of diarists—chroniclers, travelers, pilgrims, creators, apologists, confessors, and prisoners. I embody all seven avatars. Beyond a place to relive, recreate, or reshape my experiences and impressions, my journal is a literary scrapbook of ideas, rants, pleasures, and struggles that, often several years later, surface in my professional writing. Over time I’ve become more purposeful with the thoughts I commit to language even in this private space. Writing daily about these three things always helps: 1. A specific thing I’m grateful for. 2. The day’s writing goals. 3. Another writer’s moving sentence or paragraph as a writing prompt. More than anything, the journal is where I dress and undress my soul.”
—Jenny Bhatt, author of Each of Us Killers (7.13 Books, 2020) 

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