Why Judy Blume shredded her notebooks

The trailblazing author opens up about her legacy and her advice to parents and teens.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Rachel Paula Abrahamson

Judy Blume considers herself an open book. But a few years ago, the trailblazing author of "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," destroyed a collection of her private journals.

“These notebooks were shredded under my supervision,” Blume, 82, revealed on Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times podcast “Sugar Calling.”

Blume, who has been married to writer George Cooper since 1987, said she wrote about their relationship. She also vented about motherhood. (She shares two grown children with her ex-husband.)

Judy Blume has revealed that she shredded a collection of her private notebooks.

“I thought, ‘I don’t want to die with these notebooks out there. I don’t want anyone I love — my kids, my husband — I don’t want them to read this,” Blume explained. “While some of it may have been about them, (it) was really for me and I didn’t feel it belonged out there in the world. This is who I was at a moment in time.”

The papers served their purpose and helped Blume work through her emotions. Now, Blume is encouraging teens to use writing as an outlet for their thoughts during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Acknowledge your feelings. You don’t have to discuss it with your parents,” the Key West, Florida-based novelist said. “Through the hardest times — I never wrote about the happy times — but through the hardest times, I would just write stuff down.”

Sometimes Blume would just scribble a word such as “Annoyed” or “Lonely” and decorate it with doodles.

"All the the things they may be feeling, jot it down," she advised.

“Someday when this ends, and it will end, they will have this so they can remember,” Blume said. “They never have to share it. I think that’s the most important thing. It’s theirs, it’s private. It’s off limits.”