A little while ago, the awesome author Joe Hill wrote this great post about his journaling habit. It inspired me. I too more or less stockpile notebooks and love the “blank slate” that comes with each new notebook. And I too like to write things down…but for some reason I’ve never done it with any particular structure. My average notebook is a cluttered mess of lists, half-written and abandoned lyrics, jotted down ideas, stuff I’m supposed to remember for work…and so on… Hill’s post provided me with some inspiration to organize my bullshit…so I went to Barnes & Noble and bought some Moleskine journals.
Much like Hill (whose post I’m assuming you’ve at least skimmed by now), I’m going to try dedicating one journal to a subject. The ones I bought were fairly small, so if I abandon them, I won’t feel like they were wasted. Here’s the list of stuff I’ve already started on…and credit where it’s due, I stole one or two of them right from Joe Hill.
My present journals (and what I’ve named them):
- The Mundane
This is for the boring day-to-day crap. I’ll just jot down the basic facts of the day. Probably no more than a paragraph or two, most days. Stuff like “Went to work. Missed lunch again, so had a large dinner consisting of blahblahblah then band practice and watching blahblah on TV before blah…” Not much of interest…but just a good habit and a good running log of what my life’s like.
- Top 5 Lists
I make top 5 lists all the time. They’re stupid. Stuff like “Top 5 Dream Jobs” or “Top 5 Favorite Books by Dead Guys.” Stuff like that…may as well put ’em all in one place. Might be kinda fun to look back on from time to time.
- Best 3 Things
This is one I stole right from Joe Hill. I’m going to write down the best three things that happened to me each day. This is actually the thing in Hill’s post that appealed to me most. Lately, I’ve been recognizing that I’ve been living with a lot of negativity in my life. I’ve been pretty pessimistic and just overall not very positive about anything. I’m working on changing that, and a journal that ONLY chronicles the good things about each day seemed like a wonderful idea to help with that.
- The Music or the Misery
Lists of what music I’ve listened to on any given day. I’ve already been keeping a running log of “Music to Work By,” which I’ve occasionally posted on the blog. So this seemed natural. I’m expanding it to include what I’ve listened to in the car or recreationally too, though…and I might make a note or two about WHY I’ve chosen a particular CD or artist. Like maybe “Best of Cyndi Lauper. — Bummed out. Needed to hear “Time After Time.” Stuff like that. (Journal name derived from the opening scene in the movie “High Fidelity,” which raises the question, “What came first: the music or the misery?”
- Reading Journal
A list of stuff I’m reading…books, comic books, magazines…whatever. Pretty straightforward. I’ll probably jot down a thought or two about the more interesting things.
…and I’m thinking maybe starting one for memories, one for dreams, one for stuff that’s on my mind, and maybe a prayer journal.
So I’m giving that a shot. I’m hoping it also helps to get some of the nonsense off my mind so I have a little bit less buzzing around my head that doesn’t belong on the blog(s), so I’ll end up writing here more too. And considering that I’ve now written for two nights in a row, who knows? Maybe it’s working! 🙂
I can’t seem to stop listening to Solomon Burke today—particularly the song “None of Us are Free.”