Monday, May 21, 2012

How to Select a Writing Journal




 A friend of mine was shopping for a journal. She was debating whether to purchase a school themed notebook or a pretty journal.  My recommendation for writers is to buy both. 


Each August, with the back to school sales, I buy about 20 spiral notebooks.  They are not attractive and are very inexpensive.  They’re great if you do any sort of writing exercises, (e.g.  Julia Cameron’s morning pages).  The cheap price and disposable feel gives me permission to write crap. Fortunately, my inner critic doesn't seem to mind if I write crap in a spiral notebook.   I can write garbage, filled with spelling errors and bad grammar...but it doesn't matter because I write.  Besides, I know that most of what is in these notebooks will never to be seen by anyone but me without major revisions.

I also have some beautiful journals.  Usually, these are on my nightstand.  My special journals give me a completely different feel when I pick them up.  It’s an instant message that something important is about to be written.   I have a floral covered cloth “gratitude” journal.   Its purpose is to remind me of the blessings in my life.  

What does your writing journal look like?  


Is it an old spiral notebook                            or                 is it a beautiful bound book?

                   

It's likely that what it looks like reflects how you approach your writing and what's written inside. 

Happy Writing,
Mary Jo 

14 comments:

  1. I've bought pretty journals and notebooks, too, and I find I write far more in notebooks than I ever do in pretty journals. I never seem to find much that I find appropriate to write in the pretty journals. That hasn't stopped me from buying them; I love pens, notebooks, pencils, crayons, water colors, glue, glitter, colored paper, and the like.

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    1. I have a whole stash of pens, crayons, acrylics, water colors...I don't use them very often but love having them around.

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  2. I've tried several times to journal, but always stop. Although, I just started a daily goal setting and to do spiral book that I HOPE I continue. Having your goals and needed actions front and center really matter.

    Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

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    1. I've used journals for my daily goal setting, but am presently experimenting with the note function on my laptop. Not sure if it will have the same impact for me.

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  3. I go for bound but plain journals when they're on special, and hoard a few for the coming year. Occasionally I'm given a journal as a gift and then it's always an attractive book. I find it almost impossible to decide what to write in the pretty ones. I can't bear to write stuff that's going to be thrown out, yet I can't keep them all either.

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    1. Shirley, I wonder what it is that encourages us to collect pretty journals that we can't seem to write in?

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  4. I'm not a journaler either, but I find I can write in the spiral-bound notebooks better that in pretty ones. I always feel like my handwriting is too sloppy and I don't want to "spoil" the pretty ones!

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    1. Heidi, it seems we have consensus that it's harder to write in pretty ones. Before laptops my stories were all in spiral-bound notebooks.

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  5. Karen, I'm like you. I should probably move on but I blame having a parent read my diary at age 13 and getting grounded for weeks for the intense angry writing it contained...I do keep trying but my writing time is so limited that when I sit to journal I tend to just begin working on a project. That said, my journal would have to be electronic. I've gotten to the point where I can't think well with a pen - need the comfort of the backspace perhaps. Maybe that's why I'm not a good journaler!

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    1. Hi Maggie, I'm starting to transition to electronic, especially since my handwriting has gotten worse over the years. I still use journals when I just have to let go of something or my gratitude journal.

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  6. I'm not a journaler. I use a spiral notebook for my novel writing so I can add or subtract as needed.

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  7. I use the 70 count college ruled spiral notebooks for most of my writing. I usually pick up a case of them when all the school supplies are on sale.

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  8. I love colour and buy pink, green and orange A4 hard cover notebooks which l use sporadically with great enthusiasm. But I never find time to go back over anything I've written there...all those world-shattering ideas wasted.

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    1. Annie, I don't review them very often either, but recently picked up a notebook from 5 years ago and found something to use.

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