New Journal Time

I recently backed a Kickstarter for a journal aimed at enhancing the experience of writing – or at least help provide a means of organisation for notes – it’s called a PageOne, and my Kickstarter reward arrived yesterday.

Now, it may not seem to be a great or groundbreaking idea, but I found enough in the idea to put my money into – the lined journal is broken up into sections for character thumbnails, scenes, plot, research, things like that and puts me in mind of a fully bound organiser. Indeed, there are spaces for tracking submissions and other interactions, making this as much a paper-based project management tool as a creative canvas.

In software terms I’ve done similar with Scrivener, OneNote, and other online apps, but there’s something wonderfully visceral and reassuring about the heft of a journal – quite aside from not needing batteries or screens to use it.

My creative process always starts on paper anyway. I’ve tried with varying degrees of success to create from scratch digitally – and the short stories on this site are a good set of examples.

I’m more comfortable writing longhand on paper and then using the transcription process to perform a basic first edit and tidy of spelling and grammar.

The book itself is robust, with a leather-style cover as shown in the image above, and feels like the template of a classic Moleskine journal. The paper is good quality, and the printing, binding, and heft all tick the right boxes for me.

As an inveterate doodler and sketcher, it gives me the flexibility to indulge that side as part of the creative process while working through scenes – hence another reason for the many sketchpads and drawing filled journals stacked in my flat. The next time these pages appear online, they’ll be a mix of text and art.

That Damned Journal

A while ago I wrote about a journal I had rediscovered, which was full of the ramblings and diary entries that I had made in the early stages of a very bad time for me.

Depression had me firmly in its grip, which was a bit of a bugger, and dipping back into the journal has reminded me that I ranged in this journal from delusional meanderings to deathly dull recitations of each day’s minutiae. 

If it were just daily minutiae, or just delusional rantings it somehow would be better. The problem is that they feed off each other in this journal, and it is painful to read. I’m not going to unbox all the fun and games from that period again here. The people who were there at the time will no doubt thank me for that.

I did put the book to one side for a while to see if my visceral distaste for it became less overwhelming, but it hasn’t worked. I picked it up this weekend and just felt revulsion as I re-read it. That was… unexpected.

It’s a window on a version of myself that was very flawed and very ill. It’s part of my history, but at this point it now feels counterproductive to keep looking back at it. If anything it’s a painful marker that evokes shame and remorse and I don’t need it any more.

So I’m going to destroy it. The journal cover is lovely, and I may try to get a fresh replacement for it some time, but I need to let go of this remnant now. I haven’t decided how I’m going to destroy it yet – but I suspect fire and a toast with select company may be involved