I am not much for journaling. I’ve always liked the idea of it, and I have tried multiple times to pick up the habit. I usually begin with a fancy notebook. In fact, the idea probably first took on some romanticism for me when I first saw a Moleskines notebook in a Waldenbooks display (hopefully some of you remember Waldenbooks…or even bookstores at all).
This was the late nineties and they were brand new, advertising themselves as being the the “legendary notebook” of Hemingway. Hey I read all the time, maybe I can be a great author too! And this notebook will be the start! Well, I couldn’t afford a Moleskine, but I did grab the closest thing I could find at home and began journalling right away.
I made it one day.
Always the optimist, I tried again many times in the intervening years. In my basement recently, I even found a nice sewn-binding notebook from my college years. It had only a single entry in it, and that entry was about how this would be the time journaling would stick.
When I began my journey of self-improvement, I decided I needed to keep better track of the things I was reading. I didn’t want to take notes per se, just capture big points so I could trace my learning process someday in the future. Instead of getting a fancy notebook I would be afraid to write in, however, I grabbed a Doane Utility Notebook that was handy (I’ve been a grid+lines convert for a very long time) and started writing a few words about what I was reading that day.
Soon, I was also adding brief summaries of my days. Then I was capturing ideas and even, perish the thought, writing about my feelings. Without noticing it, I had finally picked up journaling. By starting small, I built up a habit that was easy to maintain, and now I find I really like getting things out of my head and onto paper.
It looks like I will never be a great author, but maybe I can someday be a really good journaler, like JD.