Friday, 31 May 2013

My entire notebook collection

At the age of 8 my dad gave me his little pocket planner, which had about 4 lines per day to write in appointments. I used this for all of about 8 weeks on and off before I dropped it down the back of the heater and lost it, or my little sister hid it under the sofa so she could read it at her own free will (something she did a LOT over my childhood years). But that one little planner is one I shall never forget as it started my passion for journalling, a passion I still have 16 years later.

I was always a fan of writing, right from the moment I could actually write. I was very quiet and shy as a child, I preferred to read over watching TV, preferred to write over learning to ride a bike (though now I wish I had attempted bike riding when everyone else did!). My mum banned me from going to the library as she said I ended up OBSESSED with reading (I still remember staying up til 2am trying desperately to finish a book so I could find out who the killer was, or if the boy and girl got married, whatever the genre, I read it all. And I remember dreading hearing those footsteps approaching my room because it meant my mum was coming to tell me off in the usual way of: "It's past midnight, why are you still reading? You'll ruin your eyesight!" She was right of course, I can't see anything without my glasses/contacts now!) Reading and writing seemed to go naturally hand in hand and I was always doing one or the other.

Throughout my early teen years I'd journal away A LOT. I didn't want to write anything down that could be incriminating because my siblings would love a jolly good flick through my notebooks for a good laugh. And I'd write about EVERYTHING, especially when I was angry, which always made me feel better afterwards (it was like cheap therapy!) but make me less than pleased when I'd re-read weeks or months later. That's not to say I was a tearaway or horrible teenager because I wasn't. But I was so used to being good that every little bad thing I did, no matter how small, made me feel guilty when writing it down. For example if I ever used a bad word (e.g. "Man, I had such a s*** day") that would play on my mind. It sounds totally over the top now - a lot of teens use language like that all the time nowadays and I wasn't using language like that out loud - only in my journal when I'd spew out all my emotions. But to me seeing my thoughts written on the page that presented me in an unflattering light was off putting. I never vocalised my opinions but seeing them written made me want to stop writing about my thoughts and feelings. I was also the type of person that wrote down everything my friends said, and some of them were going through trying times and I felt extra guilty writing about their lives.

Don't I sound like a right misery guts! It's not like I was the epitome of the emo child. I was happy, especially during the holidays and I wrote about all those pleasant events during summers and christmases too. But there's just something about journalling that makes you feel more compelled to free write when you are depressed or angry. I know I'm not alone in that!

I stopped journalling at the age of around 16/17 when I was in sixth form. I think by then most teens start to mature a little, and I got busier with school work and I think I just became more happy in myself. So journalling fizzled out gradually, I didn't feel the need to write about my misery when I wasn't so miserable and I didn't write about the happy events because they were always shared with other people and the older I got the less inclined I felt to mention our shared conversations and their views.  I was surrounded by SO MUCH JUICY GOSSIP and wanted to write about it all but I guess I just couldn't stand the idea of people finding my diaries and learning about others' lives in the process, things that people might have only intended to share with me.

In the last couple of years I've started it up again and I now write with renewed passion. I try not to write about things that annoy or depress me too much, because I'd prefer to read back on and reminisce about positive memories rather than the ones that are ANGSTY like many of my teenage ramblings.

I also keep notebooks for various reasons. I have a weight loss journal which I started a year ago to track my weight loss - yeah that doesn't get used much 0_o.

I've got a dream diary, a book journal (logging books I've read, kept one on and off since the age of 10 when my sister forced me to, glad she did as it's a hoot looking back on my childhood critiques), an ailments notebook (where I write down illnesses I get, their duration, symptoms etc.),  a free writing book (where I am as messy as I want to be and write whatever comes to mind), an inspiration book (sticking in images that are inspiring. Usually they are of fluffy clouds or landscapes, which sounds really dull but I like them), a quotes book (copying inspirational/funny/intelligent famous quotes) and my own writing book, where I stick in images as inspiration and then write a passage accompanying it, like in novel/story telling format.
Sometimes I make random notes to myself. They usually don't mean anything (e.g. I am NOT  a bikini wearer) but I like to write whatever comes into my head.
That's some of the nonsense I write. The above is me complaining about my 12 year old cousin who said she doesn't want to write letters anymore as her hand hurts after 5 minutes of writing. But she is very happy to type page long emails. I showed her my handwritten rant above and she thought it was hilarious. Since then I've given her a notebook to practice her writing and she has been writing some very witty anecdotes about her life.
So here is my collection. I'd say about a quarter of these are in use currently and by the end of the year I'll have used up maybe a full third to half of the whole collection. I just love notebooks and stationery and I know my friends will read this and say: "Come on now, no need to reveal your geeky side to the world" but pretty notebooks really make me happy.

I use all kinds of brands but my favourite types in particular are those A5 in size with plain pages so I can add drawings or stickers where I want to.

I'm not a child or teenager anymore and I've always felt journalling was something I'd grow out of, and I did, but it's like I grew back into it.

Adding stickers, I'll admit, it's a little immature, but I love the Korean emoticon type ones, they just convey so well what I want to express sometimes.

I find the experience of writing cathartic and reflective, and when I choose to write for ten minutes over watching trash TV or YouTube-ing I always feel like I've done something more positive with my time, even if I haven't really. There's just something about writing that I feel makes me a better person, because I end up self-evaluating and analysing my own actions more. It all sounds a little contrived, I know, but the notebook lover will know exactly what I mean. Life without writing - I just can't imagine it.


  1. This collection is definitely my style!

    So. jealous. :)

    I share some of your brand preferences: Moleskine and Paperblanks in particular. I have those Paperblanks Intricate Inlays journal.

    I’ve been drooling over those Peter Pauper Press Antique Monogram and Asian Art Journal that you have.

    I have that Q&A a Day journal... it's fun, isn't it? Have you found any other Q&A a day type journals? I've gotten into "about me" questionaire journals this year.

    What pattern is that dark teal Peter Pauper Press elastic smaller journal?

    And what is that blue journal with yellow elastic? Cute!

  2. P.S. - I love adding in stickers too.

  3. I've got a Jane Austen 5 year journal ... it's not a Q+A journal but it does provide nice writing prompts!

    Not sure which dark blue Peter Pauper you mean but the blue book with yellow band is a Leuchtturm1917!

  4. I totally understand the feeling behind writing a journal and the trepidation that accompanies the act sometimes! What you wrote about your writing experiences and the feelings behind them almost mirrors what I felt and did during my own teenage years.

    I am so glad I'm not the only one who feels that putting pen to paper shall always have a special place in the hearts of writers!


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