So! How serious are you about journaling? Have you ever taken the time to think about the tools you use for this craft?
For example, what kind of journal do you prefer? There are a blue million choices these days since journaling has become a trendy thing to do. Hard cover or soft cover? While hard-covered designer journals can be written in anywhere without being at a desk or table, soft-covered journals aren’t as bulky and tend to lay flatter.
Does size matter? Some people can write on anything. Ernest Hemingway wrote in moleskin journals, on napkins, and anything else he could find. Though 8″ x 10″ pages seem to be pretty common, a lot of folks prefer a 5″ x 7″. Some folks even like loose-leaf binders so they can include large envelopes for holding special keepsakes. Oh yes, and then there’s to be lined or not to be lined! And the computer has become a really viable option for some people. After all, blogs are journals, too, of a sort.
For myself I love Top Flight’s Silverpoint top-bound spiral notebook. It lays flat and the wire doesn’t get in the way no matter how or where I’m writing. And though it’s soft-cover, it has a fairly thick cardboard back on it that makes writing most anywhere easy, even on my lap. The paper is lined. Otherwise my writing tends to slant right off the bloomin’ page!
There are all different kinds of papers, too. Parchment, handmade, plain white, or colored. Acid-free paper will hold up the best, but it’s expensive. I have friends who’ve sent me handmade journals from Australia, England, and Germany. The cover of one of them is made out of an actual leaf. But they’re too darn pretty to write in. The minute I put anything in them I feel they are spoiled! And that hand-made paper is a pain in the butt to write on.
Lastly, what do you write with? Pen, pencils, colored pencils, crayons, markers… People use colors for a lot of different things. To make quotes stand out. To talk about dreams they had. To draw when the urge hits them. That’s one thing I don’t worry about. The most I can do is cut and paste!!! In fact, my sister gave me a birthday card today I’ve GOT to scan and show on here. It’s going right in my journal!!! But you can still be creative, even if you’re not an artist. I LOVE using stickers. I have special stickers to affix next to special topics. Like keys for entries that are Aha! moments. Ballet slippers for childhood struggles. Dragonflies for flights of fancy.
But whatever type of writing tool you use, it ought to fit comfortably in your hand so it feels like a part of you. (That’s just a fancy I have.) My favorite pens to write with are the Pentel R.S.V.P. finepoint pens. They come in several colors. They feel smooth and light in my hand. And the rubber grip on the bottom keeps my fingers from cramping when I’m on a roll. The only problem I’ve run into with them is that the smooth coating on the Silverpoint tablets can be waxy and sometimes clogs them up. But I love them so much I’m willing to throw them away half-used and buy more.
I do have several kinds of journals. What you want your journal to be will dictate, to a large extent, what tools you will buy.
So let me ask you today, what kind of journal style do you prefer? What do you like to write with? And what do you want your journal to be? Do you have special journals for special subjects? Oh, and here’s one! Have you NAMED your journal? (I have. It’s called Moodlings.. 😀 )
“What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through.”
— Virginia Woolf
“My pen is my harp and my lyre.”
— Judah Ha-Levi