This is my notebook. It goes with me everywhere. You will find it inside my bag or tucked under my arm if I don't have my bag with me. I write in the car, outside on my front porch, in bed, at my kitchen table, at the local coffee shop, in parks, at the mall, at the doctors office . . . the list could go on and on. Writing has saved my life. I know that is a very bold statement, but it is true. I turn to the page almost every day as a way to release, work things out, dream and scheme. I am happy when I am alone with my notebook and a pen and even happier when I am sitting outside using these tools.
I have always been interested in the written word. When I was very young I found the card more intriguing than the birthday present. I would ride my bike or walk across town to spend hours at the library. And when I tried my hand at writing my own words I was in hook line and sinker. I would write for hours in my journal scribbling my own inner dialogue or jotting down quotes that made me smile and then stuffing that journal deep underneath my bed so no one could find it.
It was in my journal where I felt most at home for a long time. I was able to write down anything and was never once judged or laughed at. It was a private conversation between me and the page that no one else ever had to see unless I shared it. Having this space gave me an opportunity to work through a lot of the struggles that I encountered.
Once I began journaling I never stopped. It became a life line for me and is still a tool that I use today. My notebook is always with me there to catch any thought that pops up. It is a very personal space and one that I cherish. As I turn to the page to spill my heart and soul it continues to save me again and again.
You do not need to consider yourself a "writer" to reap the benefits of journaling. It is a very personal practice and I encourage you to give it a try. For the next few Wednesday's I invite you to join me here as I will be sharing different ways and tips to get you diving into your own daily personal writing practice.
First up: Choosing a Notebook
Choosing a notebook is a very personal choice. There are many out there to choose from and you are guaranteed to find one that suits you, however it may take some trial and error.
First begin by deciding if you want lined or unlined paper. I am a lined journal type of girl because without lines my writing becomes extremely slanted and I do not like the way that looks on the page. However, your journal process may included sketches or art along with your writing and the lines may feel constricting to you. If you aren't sure experiment with one and see how you like it. Keep in mind that your practice will evolve as you dig into it and what you were drawn to today may shift over time.
Next think about the size that feels good to you. When thinking about size take into consideration where you will be writing. If you are like me and will be tucking your notebook into your bag and carrying wherever you go a larger notebook may become to much. Take into account the size of bag you use and what notebook would fit nicely in there. Also think about what space you feel most comfortable writing on. Do you long for space to spread out in or is a small pocket size notebook just thing that pulls you in? Remember, if you aren't comfortable writing in it you will never use it.
Lastly consider how plain or fancy you want your notebook to be. Does a beautiful cover draw you in and make you feel like your writing is more intentional? If so go for it. You can find many stunning notebooks at the bookstore will all different types of paper feel to them. However, maybe writing in something so fancy feels intimidating. You may feel restricted to write in it because you do not want to mess up the beautiful book. If so go for something that feels more in your comfort zone. I am drawn immensely to beautiful notebooks but for my writing I use a composition notebook. I was drawn to composition notebooks because of their size, how easily they are to get, and their price point. I quickly write through notebooks and purchasing fancy ones just doesn't fit well with my budget. Plus they are no longer just the black and white marble covers that you remember as a child. Now you can find them with many different awesome options, plus they are all the same size so they stack nicely for me when I pull them all together.
Remember you have to do what feels right to you. It needs to be something that you are comfortable with and drawn to so that you want to write it in. Consider how the notebook and paper feels in your hand. Don't struggle to much with the decision because you can always get another one if what you choose doesn't work for you. See what you have around your house. There may even be a notebook that you haven't used or only used a couple of pages from tucked away somewhere. Pull that one out and begin there.
Are you ready, go ahead . . . find the notebook that works for you! Share below in the comments what your favorite notebook is. What you love may be just what someone else has been searching for.