Why I'm Writing Things Down
...and why you should too!
Growing up in the '90s, I had this super cool (well, I thought it was cool) diary that had a voice-activated lock. After setting a password by speaking into the diary, the lock would only open if it recognized your voice—not your brother's, not your mother's—just yours. Sometimes it worked. Like many things in the '90s, the idea of it was cooler than the reality. But the real treasure of it was that it made me actually want to journal my thoughts and ideas.
Somewhere along the way, I switched back to regular ol' pen and paper. And then somewhere further down the line, I stopped journaling altogether.
Until this year.
In early March, I came across a "one line a day" journal. I thought, Just one line a day? Surely I can manage that! So on March 10, 2020, I wrote my first entry:
Day one! Excited to give this a try. Lunch with Drew at Bridge, went to Pop of Color and Bookery. Grocery shopping after work—all sold out of TP! Everyone is prepping for Coronavirus.
Okay, so it's not the most cerebral thing I've ever written. But it's a slice in time—a tiny window into a day I can only see from an ever-expanding distance. I'll admit that most of my entries are boring accounts of what I did that day, but there are more than a few pivotal moments scattered throughout. And every short entry written before bed allows me to look back on my day objectively, let things go, and prepare for tomorrow.
There's no wrong way to journal—list what you did during the day; write what you ate, who you talked to, what you were feeling; craft up a poem, part of a novel you've been dreaming of putting on paper; give the day a rating out of ten or make plans for tomorrow. You can write down your thoughts on your phone, in a Word doc, in a hand-sewn notebook, or on a plain old piece of printer paper. It really doesn't matter how or where you do it—just that you do.
Give it a try! Shoot me an email and tell me how it goes. If you're not sure where to start, I've put together a few suggestions below. And above all else, don't forget to document the really important stuff—like this nugget I wrote on August 14:
Gave Finny a bath today. Made lemon pepper pasta + tofu for dinner that was comically lemony. So sour. Almost too painful to eat. Oops. Will use less next time!
Kickstart Your Journaling Habit
by Suade If you're like me and want to start slow, this journal is for you. Each day has its own page with space for five short entries. Record a few lines every day and then start from the beginning again on January first. A really great way to reflect on your past and present!
If you don't find a blank page intimidating, try one of these notebook sets. Available in five patterns, each set includes one lined and one blank notebook. These feel great in your hands and really are a high quality way to journal.
by Inklings Paperie
Every time you start or finish a book, pull out this journal! Each page has a spot to record the title, author, genre, date started and finished, your rating, and any other notes you want to jot down. It makes giving book recommendations effortless!
Here's Finny after the bath I mentioned in my journal. Right after this photo was taken, he got the zoomies and ran laps around the house.