Do you think there's a correlation between letter-writing and journal-keeping? I don't know. I find myself doing both a lot these days, although the two activities didn't develop at the same rate. Or at the same time.
I've always kept a "journal" for doodling in - for writing down ideas, sketching, copying down quotes I like, or entire poems, even - but I've stayed away from any specific day-to-day entries because, like many other people, I don't consider my day-to-day life all that interesting.
That changed when I started Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way."
For those of you who don't know, "The Artist's Way" is a book, that details a 12-week programme of "Creative Recovery." It's a very nice book, but I'll leave the review for another time. What's relevant is that the book introduced me to the concept of "morning pages" - three pages of stream-of-thought, written in long-hand, preferably first thing in the morning. I've been doing them diligently for 4 months now, and I have to say, I don't see myself stopping anytime soon.
Here's why: The morning pages allow me to get whatever rubbish's been floating around my head the previous day, so that I can start my new day with a clean(er) slate.
Now, obviously this doesn't always work, mostly on days when I haven't gotten much sleep or the coffee hasn't kicked in. But that's okay! The beauty of the morning pages is that they're not meant to be perfect, or interesting, or particularly insightghtful. No-one but you will see them anyway.
Obviously, with me writing every morning, I'm quickly filling out my journals. From left to right: A5 Soft Cover Sketchbook from Ryman's Stationary (£4.99), Hummingbird Journal from Peter Pauper Press (£5.72), and two presents from dear friends of mine, one from Paperchase and another from the US (not sure where because it has no ID whatsoever.) And I've been loving ALL OF THESE! Oddly enough, the Hummingbird journal annoys me most, despite being arguably the prettiest of the bunch, and it's for a weird reason - the spine doesn't bend enough.
I know. I know.
But here's the thing, I don't like having to bear down on my notebook to keep the pages from slipping and sliding as I write. Which means that pretty much all the other three win out for me. The Paperchase is easily the best one of the bunch, as it has a double spine that bends on the inside, but stays the same on the outside (CREASE-LESS! YES!) but I quite love the other ones as well.
Do you have a favourite journo company? Which one is it? I have a wishlist from Peter Pauper Press as long as my arm, but I want to try out different ones if you have a good suggestion.