What is Journalling?

‘The Journey’ book is a Christmas gift. I haven’t started it yet. The title is a gentle prod reminder of how to start one for 2023. To find oneself akin to Big Panda or Tiny Dragon? Or…both or neither. That will be an interesting journey to find out.

These collective photographs of stationery here are borne from recent Christmas gifts and additional still to start bullet and notebook journals from earlier this year. The beautiful blue and gold day to day diary to simply record daily ‘overall’ and highlight important dates. The rest are essential referrals. The weekly planner? What’s included apart from ‘Start decorating the living room’ for example? Well. You begin to read a book, write in the next day to continue. If you don’t continue then cross out and put it for next day. It just prods your conscience a little. If you give up on the book? Write a small reflection on why it didn’t grab the mind’s interest cells.

Why write things down? The thing is. As a ‘4 years down the line to becoming 70 years old in life’s journey’ I like to keep the ‘grey cells vibrant as they can possibly be’. I thought of how journalling is a straightforward process most of the time. 

Please tap on the photographs above to enlarge.

People often say ‘I wouldn’t know what to write’. Neither do I until a simple thought, idea, wished for, plucked out of the air statement, new lyric, naive poem, etc. is written down. Rather like the well known proverb states:

 ‘A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’. 

I suppose it’s simple observation, a presentation from outside influences, something lighthearted or profound occurring, a whimsy doodle thought or naive image that is that single step for the written expansion. Finding a newly bought or found vintage item, your joy or despair with a new fountain pen, piece of clothing, cooked meal, beverage, etc. Ask yourself the most simple of questions. ‘Why did it hit the mark? What does it compare with…? When does the particular herb/vegetable/plant get started? Which pen suits this purpose? Who is the most interesting…..? Which path to take of these two choices? How do I feel about…?’ The questions Why, What, When, Which, Who, How? 

This morning’s thought? I had my first triple bourbon yesterday. The first alcohol in a year. I thought do I have another today or wait until New Year’s Eve? Do I begin another dry January and continue dry for another year like this year? Do I single out special occasions to have a drink? I already have the answer really. Randomness is a cruel reality when it becomes a weekly expedition. Special occasions are small gifts given and enjoyed all the more for it. Like the Hobbits finding ‘Southfarthing Leaf’ pipe-weed in Saruman’s hidden stash of barrels after Treebeard brought down the wizard for destroying his forest. A pipe of tobacco to seal and reflect upon the battle success. 

Writing is singular and appropriate for it’s subject matter. This photograph above of cardiac information came from a decade or more ago. Existed in an ‘only just 4 pages begun’ handmade paper journal. I wanted the journal for other recent purpose so tore them out carefully. University was a base of numerous A4 handwritten notes in files. These plethora of said notes on cheap paper, scribbled downs of medical ‘this needs to be learnt’ entries alongside neater recordings that were used for future knowledge building for that period in my life. Too random and extensive for a simple neatly written handmade paper journal consideration. I hadn’t the time, in ward and training reality, to apply that ethos either. 

So. What does journaling, diary entries and doodling entail? It isn’t a Mind Dance of trying to begin. Actually searching and not knowing where to start. It can be a simple blog. A sentence. A paragraph. In itself that is what we all do here. They are equivalent to journal entries in their own right. Therefore we are all prone to ‘journal writing’ be it typed or written down. On the ether of internet land or housed in a Jack Daniels wooden box on a dining table. This blog today could well be a written by paper and pen entry. It won’t be though. Just purpose driven with some reflection explaining the planned ‘journey of considered writing downs’ for 2023.

The life journey?

‘So the story goes. To where? No one knows. Borne from? Well! Out of self promises. Not worn out wishes’.

You know? When I write or type this small observational above lyric down…..I mind or verbally sing the tune that I wrote for it and that it now permanently belongs to.


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