May 30, 2011

Lined or Unlined?

            I am a journaler. I like to write things down. I’m not sure why I like to write things down. I know a big part of it is that I forget things very easily, so I want to make my previous thoughts accessible to “future me”. I make lists, and journal about my daily devotions. I journal about experiences I have traveling and working. I draw diagrams and paste inspirational photos into my journals.
But here is my problem; I just said “journals”. I have four journals active right now. One is for my devotionals, one is for my travels, one is for my to-do lists and future goals, and my newest one is, in my current mindset, going to serve for all of the above functions, plus whatever I need it to be. I had one like this a few years ago, and I really loved it. I’m not sure how exactly it got phased out of my life, but it did. I found it the other day, and decided that would be the perfect place for my devotions. About three pages in, I realized I didn’t like how the journal held all my old brainstorms, and then it just skipped to my new breakthroughs. I also thought lines might be better.
Side-note: The fight between the lined journal and the unlined journal will forever be a struggle for me. I am a creative person who flourishes without guidelines. But, structure is always needed, to a degree. The lines keep me neat and tidy, while the absence of lines gives my brain the go-ahead to be creative. Once, I tried grid paper, thinking that would enable me to use lines, and also to reject them. That journal turned into my Financial Log. But, I digress.
Another is my “travels” journal. I got it as a gift from my sister for Christmas. It is one of those journals that is too pretty to write in. For a long time, I couldn’t think of anything that I knew I would be able to fill the piece of art with. Then, I broke the seal a few months ago when I tore out some stories I had dictated onto some notebook paper, and taped them inside. Still not a full commitment, since I can probably peel off the tape to reveal pristine paper.
And let’s not forget the landing pad for all lists, to-do’s, and a few math equations I still seem to have to write down on paper to figure out. This journal is the closest one I have to a pad of paper. Well, it actually is a pad of paper, with a more chic cover. If anyone needed to know anything about the type of person I am, they can simply look through the journal I have situated right next to my mouse pad.
Now I have purchased a journal that I have all intentions of making my only journal. At first, I had a problem with all of these things being in the same place, in such a scattered order. But, then I started to think about why I am writing in this journal. Is it for me? Is it for whomever reads it after I die (or drop it running through the airport)? Is it one day going to become the most famous autobiography of all time, making me billions of dollars after a world-renowned publisher sees me drop it as I run through the airport? The most likely scenario, given that I do not misplace it between now and then, is that I look through it later in life, and remember all the dreams and goals I had, along with the things I was learning and the experiences I was living through. If this is the case, it will probably be a lot easier on “future me” to keep all of those things in one place. Thus, yesterday I bought a new pen and a clean, lined journal. For some reason, I felt the impulse to copy things from my other half-hearted attempts into my new journal. I’ve spent the past hour rewriting all of my past ideas, and I feel like this journal is now properly “broken in”. Now, for some new material…