If you’ve been a writer since before you could understand the concept of story-telling, then you likely had diaries or journals over the years, notebooks you’d keep random notes in.
For a time I had diaries until some folks in my family read them. I did my best to hide them from folks, but even when it was deeply personal, it seemed my feelings were not allowed to exist. I was mocked for my private notations and even had a parent tell me that what I was writing was “wrong.”
Forever after, to keep things private, I would write poetry which offered metaphor for my emotional healing in a way that still encouraged a creative spirit inside me to experiment and play with words. It was then that another guardian told me that I should never use the word “hopeless” because nothing is ever truly hopeless. The irony of the lecture was lost on them.
For some folks like myself, writing is a way of life and I cannot remember a time before words helped me express who I was but…
If it doesn’t come naturally to you and you’re trying to pick it up as a creative outlet or to finally finish that book you’ve been wanting to write, then the number one tool you will have to pick up, get used to, and adapt to your needs is a Notebook.
Here are some general reasons I keep a notebook around at all times:
- It provides a safe space to express things that I may not feel comfortable saying aloud. Sometimes we don’t even believe a thing, but if we can write about it in a natural thought-filled way, or hey-a fictional way, then we learn how to adapt our feelings or thinking similarly. Journaling acts like prayer or meditation does for those who think in words. It helps focus the mind and personalize the telling.
- Creating new things is a thrill for me. For some, the wide expanse of a perfect page is really intimidating. Same for blank word processing programs or applications. The blank page is scary. But wreck it. Wreck it hard! Remember, there’s hundreds more pages behind that one and on a computer, there’s an infinite potential. Fill that Ram, Notebook, or Audio Banks.
(See: Cool books you should read!)
- Later you can use your previous journals like time capsules to review how things affected you, what you thought, or to re-examine old creative ideas or previously discarded or waylaid ideas.
- It serves as mild therapy whether you mean it to or not.
- Perspective is easily gained when your own words are staring you back in the face.
- Revenge is sweet when you can forever encapsulate someone horrible as their caricature within your writing. Aka, it’s cathartic. Even Chaucer, arguably Old English’s first novelist, did this to his gambling debt-holders.
- It’s a great place to keep all my ideas so that when I cannot think of something to write, I have a stock-pile of ideas that came from my own brain and are often ideas I want to explore but I have to prioritize other things first and I’m prone to forgetting.
- There is endless possibilities and varieties to writing, the tools and routines you can have, and the results you can garner. Writing in a notebook is as old as the craft of writing. Why don’t you join us fellow diarists and start by writing anything down today. Could even be a grocery list, just jot it down!
- Then, repeat again tomorrow. Write down anything you think you need to see later or that you’re scared to lose or forget.
Journaling, writing, or diary writing is not the same for everyone. I want to share more about it in the future for fun and what I’ve learned writing all this time.
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