“She needs a new journal. The one she has is problematic. To get to the present, she needs to page through the past, and when she does, she remembers things, and her new journal entries become, for the most part, reactions to the days she regrets, wants to correct, rewrite.”
― Dave Eggers, How the Water Feels to the Fishes
I have started writing in my physical journal on a daily basis again. For decades, I wrote every day into the computer, and published a lot (most? maybe, maybe not) on my Online Journal (these were days before the appalling word blog was invented). Then, when my kids were in high school, I had to stop the online thing – too many people were reading it and giving me shit.
So I went to the Moleskine. This was about the time my addiction to fountain pens started, so it was a good pair. I wrote every day in my Moleskine, at least a page, sometimes more, sometimes many more. I have a stack of journals I filled and go back and look at them sometimes.
Then I started to blog again (2011) and my daily scribbling fell off. I still wrote in journals, but not on a quotidian basis. I experimented with bullet journalling and planning and other techniques. But something was missing.
The other day, driving home from work, I was listening to a podcast – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Plannerverse – and the guy was talking about how he used his planner for planning… but he kept a hardbound journal to write in every day, to keep a record of what he was doing and how he was feeling.
And that resonated with me. I dug through my Moleskines and found one that was only a third full. The last dates in it were about ten years ago – toward the end they were getting irregular and gaps were appearing – I could tell I was on the way to stopping, only writing on through habit and inertia.
So now I’ve started back. I never realized how much I missed this. I have a small zippered pouch with a selection of pocket fountain pens (Kaweco Sport, Pilot Prera, Pilot Kakuno) that I can carry when I leave the house (usually on my bike) and I can stop and scribble somewhere. I have my grail pens (Sheaffer PFM, Lamy 2000, Parker “51”, Eversharp Skyline) and I love writing with them at my desk.
It is so odd to look at the ten+ years old entries in the same book I’m still scribbling in. So much has changed, so much is still the same.
We’ll see how many years I can keep this up now. How many do I have left?