Although “I write in a journal” is perfectly good English, I prefer to use “journal” as a verb, as in, “I have already journaled today.”
And I have. Here’s my new journal:
It’s not brand new. I started it on 23 December. I prefer unlined pages and a binding that allows me to fold the pages back, so I have an easy surface to navigate. I can hold the journal on my lap or place it on an airplane seat tray and write in comfort.
I’m unhappy when I don’t have access to journals that make me smile. Lucky for me, moving back to Tucson gives me easy access to Antigone Books, where I used to buy Bandolier and then Rhino journals. Bandolier no longer makes their gorgeous bound books, and Rhino journals are now made in China. But I’ve found my replacement–journals from Ganapati Studios. Perfect.
Journaling is an art, a joy, a necessity. Susan Wittig Albert (author of the China Bayles’ mystery series) recently published An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days, her journal for 2008. Wittig Albert tells us at the start that she begins each new year with a new journal to also mark her birthday on 2 January.
Why bother to buy someone else’s journal? Because the writing is inspiring. We see Wittig Albert’s amazement as she discovers how certain areas of her life have become more urgent (paying more attention to the environment), we travel with her between New Mexico and Texas, we share in her deep reading as she adds quotations in the margins.
Journals are travel guides through a writer’s thinking and feeling journeys.
What kind of journal do you use? What utensils? What tickles your writing muscles?
And if you’ve ever resisted writing in a journal, check out an irreverent version in Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal.