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Confessions of a Journal Junkie

December 31, 2017

It’s 2018, baby!


          We're about to embark on another trip around the sun.  I hear fireworks in the distance.  The world is brimming with fresh resolutions.  There will be world peace.  But what I'm most excited about is ...


... I get to start A NEW JOURNAL!!!


           I confess.  I'm a journal junkie.  I write down everything.  I love making lists.  I love dotting events on calendars.  I love tracking progress.  I LOVE JANUARY 1ST! 


          Anaïs Nin said, "We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection."  I couldn't agree more.  And in this journey as an author, these journals are my trusty steads. 



Kikki-K personal planner


           The chic modern girl’s version of the FiloFax.  Beautiful handmade leather covers with pockets on the inside.  Each design comes with its own unique dashboard of matching tabs, stickers, paperclips and decorations.


           They used to be my go-to planners, always in my bag and stuffed full of goodies, stemming from the idea that I can have everything pertaining to life and its workings clasped within one set of binding rings.  Alas, I have found that monogamy is best left to human relationships, and not to books.  Unfortunately, outgrew the ability to keep up with the hefty work-related notes I had to keep. 



          I started out with a medium-sized planner - a sophisticated mint that I could almost use as a clutch.  Last year, I upgraded to a bigger size as I decided I liked my plans writ large. 




          When I moved to a different journal format mid year, both planners were left on the shelf.  Looking ahead, I wondered which one I would revive.  Charmaine Clancy solved that problem with her 2018 inserts, which fit delectably into my large planner.




          The insert layout is functional and inviting.  It consists of a dated week view designed not to record coffee dates, classes or work, but your novel's plot and word count.  Each week is preceded by an overview with WIP (works in progress) and story ideas, a habits checklist, a marketing idea and a window for blog posts, to keep track of a growing social media presence.  I love the inclusion of a motivational quote on each spread, and a corner to record what we're reading. 


          Interestingly, there is a cleaning checklist, too.  Not immediately 'writerly', but how sensible.  Afterall, Marie Kondo didn't sell a gazillion copies of "The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up" for nothing.  And in Rick Rigsby's moving motivational speech, he spoke of the habit John Wooden, former UCLA basketball coach, had of taking out a broom to sweep the gym floors himself after practice.  "Make sure your servant's towel is larger than your ego," he said, and "Everyday of your life, find your broom."


          I thoroughly intend to use this to spearhead my writing practice in 2018.



      While on the subject, another planner layout I recommend is Michelle Worthington's.  I don't use it everyday, but I do pull it out whenever I feel the need to re-centre.  It's goals orientated and brings about a healthy dose of self-reflected.  You can find out more from Michelle via Share Your Story.



Hobonichi Techo


          This planner is perfect for the sort of work that I do.  Though not nearly as pretty as the Kikki-K's, it covers all bases in a no-nonsense graph paper format.  This Japanese company boasts of Tomoe River paper that does not permit the ink to bleed through and it can be used in a hundred different ways.


           It has a year view, monthly view, weekly view and a page a day.  Plenty of space for me to write out my schedule, appointments, patients' details, teaching notes, etc. 


          Aside from the numerics of the times and dates, the printing is almost entirely Japanese, a language that I am sadly not fluent in.  At the bottom of every page is a little vignette.  I recently discovered that with Google translate, a whole world of literature and human observation can be unveiled.




          See, secret poetry right from under my nose.



Pilot - A Diary for Writers 2018


          Finally, the writer's journal heard 'round the world.


        I was very excited about this, as I'm sure everyone was.  Black and white, wirebound, with lines for the day only wide enough for the smallest of scratches, BUT it lists down every competition and literary event for the year and prompts you with weekly goals accompanied by insights and advice from some writing greats. 


          Lots of practical advice regarding editing and submitting to publishers.


         There are pages to keep track of manuscript submissions, booked lent out and borrowed.


          So those are my 3 main 'writerly' journals.  Oh yes, I have more.  There is a family planner complete with wall calendar that I know no one else will look at, no matter how far in advance I try to plan and organise our lives.  (Just as well ... I hear that the idea of control is an illusion.). There is a wonderful Nature Journal that I received for Chrissie that I'd love to share with you in a separate blog post.  And of course, there is the writing-illustrating duo journals that I carry with me almost everywhere, a home for random thoughts and sketches.


          Also very important - use lots of washi tape and stickers!!!  And yes, IT IS OK to use your children's stickers!


          Stickers are a reward for a job well done.  In this respect, there is not much difference between my 2 year old daughter and I.  My favourite ones ... the yoga / gardening / exercise unicorns by Linserts by Linda on Etsy :)




           How about you?


          I'd love to hear of the journal concept that works for you.  BuJo?  Best Self Journal?  Morning pages? 


           Share in the comments.


           Now if you don't mind, I have to do 2018.







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