How I Pick the Perfect Writing Journal

I was at Walmart the other day and decided to get my future journal. (I journal about my life as I feel the need to). I prefer smaller notebooks and fill them in 3 to 5 months.

This time I decided to get a larger notebook because I really love the flowery design. I love flowery designs.

I’ve found that I prefer dot ruled paper over lined, and this notebook has dots instead of lines. For now it will be there waiting until I’m ready to start writing in it which I predict will be in a month.

I’m not a fan of spiral bound notebooks though. I have found that I prefer journals with “exposed bindings” because they feel comfortable to write in.

The journal below probably remains one of my favorite journals of all time. (I’ve included screenshots of a couple of journals because I shredded them last year.)

This one was a birthday gift from B&N

I don’t think about getting one of these again even though I love the cover. Just like what I wrote in this journal, the journal itself became part of my past.

As I’ve continued journaling throughout the years, I know what works and doesn’t work for me in a writing journal.

#1. The journal’s cover has to keep me inspired.

The journal below always amazed me. It’s earthy. It’s feminine. It has warm tones. I see movement without movement. Do you get notebooks based on their covers?

I believe I got this one at Target

#2. The journal has to have a moderate number of pages. Not too little, not too many.

I want to document a period of my life. But I also don’t want to record a whole year in it. Knowing myself, I know that I’ll get bored of the journal and want to get a new one eventually, and I don’t like to leave journals half used. Also, as I’m constantly changing I feel that the new me always needs a new journal 🙂

#3. The journal has to feel comfortable to write in.

The journal has to have binding flexibility. I’m not a happy camper when I invest in a journal that I find myself uncomfortable writing in.

Join the conversation:

How do you choose journals or notebooks?

How I’m Letting Go

I am burning my journals. I’m lying. I’m actually going to shred them because I don’t have a backyard to burn them in.

I thought I’d never do it. Shred the 12 years worth of notebooks and journals I’ve been lugging. They’re full of poems, pages with tear marks, to-do lists, magazine cut outs, goals, etc.

I had been very indecisive about whether or not I should burn the journals. So I asked the universe what I should do. 

Since I hope to one day publish a book or more, with my writer ego comes the idea that I will publish diaries or write a memoir, even if they are published after I die.

However, since I’m moving next summer, I keep asking myself if I really want to take a heavy box of journals with me. When I think of the move, I don’t like the idea of carrying heavy things. I want to feel light. 

I found Danielle LaPorte’s post  “Burn Your Journals. Maybe.” about letting go and burning her journals. Even though I love reading journals & memoirs, this set of journals as a whole doesn’t bring me joy.

In the post, I found the following sentences: “History is malleable because memory is subjective.” Maybe I’ll write about the same things again, but maybe with new details or from another perspective.

I will keep writing whether or not those journals exist. And if I accumulate more journals, I just might burn them again

What’s your process for letting go?

Dear Writer with Frustration, Inspiration, & Passion

Dear writer,

I’m with you. Like you I’m waiting for my breakthrough.

Out of frustration and out of inspiration I write here.

First, because even when literary journals or magazines have rejected my works, I refuse to believe that my writing isn’t worth publishing. Second, because Etty Hillesum, a not-so-well-known writer died too young and with her died her dream of becoming an established author. (Eight of her diaries were published in one book, but that doesn’t mean that’s all the writing she had to offer the world.)

I can’t let others write my story. Not anymore. To be honest, I don’t even know that my story is being told.

It has become too dangerous to wait until literary journals or magazines give my work approval. I can assure you that my story like your story is the story someone else is looking for right at this moment.

Lately, I’ve been writing with a combination of more urgency, more purpose, and more transparency.

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