J is for Journals

A few of my favorite upcycled journals from Etsy.

A few of my favorite upcycled journals from Etsy.

I started collecting journals before I actually started writing in them.

I kept a diary as a kid, faithfully recording the events of my day, until I stopped for no real reason when I was in my early 20s. Life got in the way, maybe.

Being a writer, I wanted to go back to journaling, so I’m not really sure why it took me so long to do it. I found really pretty upcycled journals on Easy, and I bought several of them, but I didn’t write in them. I put them on a shelf and left them there.

When I did start journaling again, I got myself a plain, spiral bound notebook, not wanting to write in a pretty journal. I’m not sure why I thought I shouldn’t scribble my thoughts in something nice, but I didn’t want to “ruin it.” I didn’t write much in my plain notebook, and journaling became something I made myself do because I think writers and therapists “should” keep a journal, instead of something I actually wanted to do. I kept trying to start a journaling habit, but it just didn’t stick.

Then one day, a friend of mine showed me a notebook he keeps with his favorite quotes. I loved the idea. I had done something similar as a kid, writing in quotes and my favorite bits of poetry or prose. For years, I’d been collecting quotes in my email, where they’d sit in the dark to never see the light of day again. Without hesitating, I grabbed one of my nice journals off the shelf, and started putting quotes into it. The blank pages were no longer waiting for words.

It felt right to fill those blank pages; my journals were finally fulfilling their purpose. While I still don’t have a journaling habit, I do journal pretty regularly now. Sometimes I write several times a day, and sometimes once a week. It just depends on how much I have to say. At this point, my journaling is often kind of like thinking on paper. I just write stuff down and afterward see what it was I had to say.

What’s the point of having something and not using it for it’s intended purpose? Honestly, I think it’s a little sad that I let those journals sit empty for as long as I did. So, I say: use that pretty journal, light the decorative candle, drink out of your crystal goblet. In my mind, things are meant to be enjoyed.

And besides, when I fill that pretty journal, that means I can go on Etsy to buy a new one. Right?

12 comments on “J is for Journals

  1. A. Catherine Noon says:

    I like your reasoning! Enjoy your journaling!

    Visiting you back from the Writer’s Retreat, #1,654 on the A-Z Challenge. Happy blogging!

  2. Patricia says:

    I can’t seem to journal. I have started many then end up tossing them. I guess my blogs are my journals.

    • doreeweller says:

      Yeah, I feel that way about my blogs sometimes too. And I started many and then stopped as well. I think it’s something that works better at some points in your life than others. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. lovetotrav says:

    I have done the same, so many times. My prettiest journals sit empty for that very reason of not wanting to mess them up. A bit nutty. I love the idea of a place to store quotes. May get to that. Happy journaling, Cheryl

  4. Awesome choice for J and so true. I considered using journaling as my J word because I’ve done it since I was 17 and have found it to be critical in the way I process my emotions and life in general. I have boxes of those pretty journals, all filled up! Since I’ve started taking writing more seriously, I’ve found a style of small, spiral notebook that I like and that’s all I write in. I buy them 3 or 4 at a time so that I always have the next one waiting when I fill one, which only takes a couple months. It fits in my purse and I have a notebook with me at all times. I love your last line there about using up your things for their intended purposes. I don’t believe in having stuff boxed up or set aside that you don’t use!

  5. Awesome post! I started writing a journal daily a la the Julia Cameron Writer’s Way creativity workshop. She advises three pages first thing in the morning to clear your head for the day. Many friends write whenever they can, which I think is still very productive. I have a fun anecdote to share about my mother giving me an unused diary from her youth. She’d written the date and nothing else. I soon filled it with details of my life that got reread over a decade later and sparked my interesting in writing fiction. ~grin~ Now I want to find journals for sale as you mention. That sounds like some fun shopping. Right now I just use plain spiral bound notebooks decorated with cute felt stickers.

  6. I’ve never journaled in a journal. My blog has become my journal. I wold have loved to have seen my mother’s diary (she died when I was 12) to get to know her on an adult to adult basis, but, as far as I know, she never kept one. It would be long gone if she had kept one.

  7. I’ve never thought of using a journal for quotes before–thanks for the idea!

  8. […] J is for Journals–  All about how I love journals but until recently, didn’t really write in them. […]

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