Journal Friday: Taking Stock

I’ve been sitting in the garden today, enjoying the surreally mild February weather, and writing in my diary.  Taking stock.

This is the 8th week of 2014 and I have written virtually nothing apart from blog posts – and they have been rare enough.  I have been very ill, and getting over it has been a long struggle.  We are in the middle of a major life transformation as we care for elders who are coming to the ends of their lives, which requires a lot of travelling and worry.  This year has not been so much about ‘Dare’ so far, as about ‘Coping’.  And as usual, when things are difficult, creativity gets a back seat.

Now I’m feeling much better.  My brain is starting to work again.  I am still in ‘Bear Time’, though, contemplating how to navigate the coming choppy waters, and how this time of resting has helped me.  I want to take that lesson forward.  ‘Daring to rest’ seems appropriate.

I was working in my writer’s notebook yesterday.  Just jotting a few notes.  My poor notebook is getting battered.  Its been carried about in my handbag since September, when I was first trying to get back into keeping a proper writers notebook.  Its been sadly neglected lately, and as I scan the pages, I can see the entries are distinctly intermittent.  It turns out that keeping a notebook has been a really difficult habit to cultivate for me.  I think this is because:

  • I tend to keep ideas in my head (not a very effective way of recording them as they tend to drift into obscurity and get forgotten.
  • I tend to get caught up in the ‘thinking’ mode of trying to organise my ideas by keeping different notebooks for different projects, which means I never have the right notebook on me when I have an idea for that particular project.
  • I worry about the idea of having one notebook for everything, which is the obvious solution.  How will I find anything?  How can I combine my planner pages, my blog ideas and my writing ideas when tabbed sections just put me off?

My old notebook is pretty much full, now. That, at least, feels like an achievement.  Now, as I settle back into my writing groove, I need to get a new one and start using it.  A single notebook for all my ideas and projects.  I wrote long and hard about this in my journal, exploring every possibility, and the only way of dealing with it that I can see is precisely this:  to keep one notebook and to write everything in it, from writing exercises to jotting down quotes and sticking in cuttings.  To keep it by chronological not subject order.  It will be a record of my thoughts as they come to me.n  I’ll try to organise it as much as I can by using different colour pens for different areas of my life, but thats about it.

Now all I have to do it find the perfect notebook.  And that, as we stationery addicts know, is a lifetime’s search!

How do you organise your journals, your writers notebooks or sketchbooks?  Do you go by project or by time?  What format do you use?  Are you a Moleskine addict or a cheap exercise book fan?  Please share your ideas and tips with me in the comments section, I would love to hear from you.

Happy Journalling,

EF

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