Today’s topic, Journals, isn’t a strange thing in and of itself. Journals are fairly common place to many.
What is strange is my complete inability to stop collecting them.
Like many writers, I have dozens and dozens of journals full of scribblings, notes, plots, and even whole scenes and stories. I have large journals, small journals, and every size in between. I have journals I purchased on trips, journals people gave me as gifts, and many many journals emblazoned with my very favorite Disney character.
And those are the completely filled in and used journals.
I also have a box. It’s a standard paper box. The kind every office gets delivered with the paper for their copiers and printers. This box isn’t full of reams of paper though. It’s full of journals. Blank, pristine, never before used journals.
I haven’t started a new journal in years.
I don’t think I’ll filled more than one journal (by which I mean written on all the pages) in a decade or more.
I have banned myself from purchasing any new journals without some extreme significance (a once in a life time trip, or a limited edition).
And still I have far too many journals than I could possibly use up. With all the advances in technology, I can take notes on my phone, even write whole paragraphs. I have my laptop with me almost everywhere, so it’s easier to reach for it than a journal and pen.
In short, I have almost stopped using my journals, and yet I still seem to accumulate more of them. I think it might be a touch compulsive of me.
I have found one thing that helps me fill some of them up. I keep a gratitude journal. I don’t really think of this as a journal in the traditional sense. What it consists of is a daily entry made right before I go to bed with three items I’m grateful for. It might be a great meal, a new job, a breakthrough in my writing, the great weather, or just living with my husband. But every day I find three things I’m grateful for and write them down.
It’s an idea I got from a professor I worked with during grad school. She assigned the idea to her class and shared an article about the research study that suggested keeping one could improve your wellbeing. I find it to be effective. I go to sleep focusing on the good things about my day and it makes it easier not to stress about everything else.
I’m still never going to run out of journals. Even using a minimum of three lines a day, every day, I have far too many of them still.
Oh well. If I have to collect something, at least I’m collecting something useful.
Is there something you find yourself collecting all the time? Is it useful? Decorative? Or maybe a little silly?