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For my birthday last week I was given, among other shiny things, a lovely new paper journal. It was a gift from the Nicest Person on the Internet and it is fantabulous and has my initials on it, so it is special and mine.

Here, let’s start the pictures rolling on this blog already. The kittens will be mad that they weren’t first, but they’ll get over it.

The E.J.M. is hard to read because it’s shiny and gold. I love the contrast of the dark binding and gold embossing with the busy purple swirls. Like it’s a nice proper book with a crazy side.

I have a weird complex about blank books. I love them. I spend a fair amount of time in bookstores pawing through the section with journals and sketchbooks and datebooks. I love the crispness of blank pages and still creaky bindings. I have a collection of them, acquired over several years, ones I’ve bought myself and others that have been gifted to me. 

Several of them are still blank.

I get very intimidated by the possibilities of a blank journal. I can write anything in it so I end up writing nothing. I feel better about writing in journals that are cheap or boring. The pretty ones are the most intimidating, of course. I worry that my handwriting is not pretty enough to fill it, that I’ll use the wrong type of pen. And worse, that I’ll fill in a few pages and then abandon it. 

I can count the journals I’ve filled on one hand. I wonder if I have a short attention span.

The thing is, I really like journalling on paper. I find typing easier, but I like putting ink on blank paper. I like not having to follow the lines. (I always prefer unlined journals to lined ones.) I write in little blocks or swirly lines and I draw little things in between sentences. I am always critical, perhaps too critical, of how the page looks covered in ink. 

Does it matter? No one is judging it save for myself. 

I like art journals as a concept, pretty pages of color and collage mixed with words and thoughts. I don’t have the patience for it, I think. Maybe someday, with the right journal and the proper supplies. For now I just admire the work of others.

I think I worry too much about purpose. Purpose and cohesion. I think of each journal as a whole rather than taking it page by page. Maybe that’s why blogging seems easier. It creates its own whole and I can’t see the infinity of blank pages ahead. Any entry could be the last page. And any entry can be deleted. It’s a nice kind of freedom. 

A paper journal has a permanence to it. Maybe that’s why I find them so appealing in their blank state: permanence and possibility with a pretty cover. 

 

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