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Starting a New Journal

starting a new journalThis week I am starting a new journal.

As many of my followers will know, I am a bookbinder.  I bind journals, artist books, cookery books, biographies for self publishers and notebooks of all kinds.  In my own work at Blazing Rebel I love making notebooks small enough to put in your pocket, ready to capture your every thought.  This week I have been going back to basics.  Why carry a notebook?

starting a new journalThe “think book”

For as long as I can remember I have kept a diary, on and off.  Admittedly more off than on in recent years!

When I was younger the inspiration came from a visit to our primary school from Scottish Sculptor George Wyllie.  On that day he encouraged us to build sculptures out of junk.  These we then displayed in the cavernous entrance hall of Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow like we were real artists!  His enthusiasm for finding something special in even the most mundane object or task was infectious.  But what I remember most was being given a cheap, spiral bound reporter’s notebook which was to be our “think book”.  Wyllie himself carried a “think book” with him everyday.  When he showed us the black pen scrawls and cartoonish doodles inside I was hooked on this concept.

For a long time I kept a “think book”.  It was more like a diary when I was younger.  It soon developed into a diary come scrapbook containing ticket stubs, postcards and leaflets I found interesting or pretty.  I was particularly fond of doing this on family holidays.  It was a collection of my own little world.

Through Art School I found it easy to keep a kind of journal.  New and exciting things were happening all around me and it was a companion of sorts to the endless sketchbooks our tutors were encouraging us to produce.  It’s like showing your working in a maths exam.  The finished work doesn’t mean anything without the collection of research, numerous drawings and test pieces produced beforehand.  My journal explored the same thought, it was the workings behind who I was and hoped to become.

Keeping a Planner isn’t the Same

The frista page in my new journal

Starting bright with the first page of my new journal

In more recent years I have kept more of a planner style notebook.  I enjoy Bullet Journaling as well as more structured calendar based methods.  Keeping track of appointments and projects and organising a great many to-do lists!

I continue to keep a planner, to help me be productive and maintain order in my personal and working life.  At the moment I am exploring how and what I use to plan my day.  I am experimenting with some ideas for new planner-style products which I hope to be able to share very soon!

But planning isn’t enough for me anymore.  I no longer want to record snippets of my day in my bullet journal.  In starting a new journal I want to return to my “think book”.

This week I have dug out a plain looking but thick book from my stash of unused notebooks.  I have even worked up the bravery to put my thoughts down on the page!  Remembering that this book is only for me.  It is to help me record my own little world.  To encourage me to think and see things better.

It is my hope to turn writing in my notebook into a daily habit and notice the changes, if any, in myself and my life through the process.

I would love to know if anyone else is an avid daily journaler?  Tips and prompts would be most welcome!  Are you interested in starting a new journal with me?  Grab your notebook, a pen and come join me!

  1. Miriam says:

    Really interesting about your think book! I started bullet journaling a couple of years ago and sometimes manage to do without it which is a nice surprise, and other times I find it helps enormously in planning. There’s a sort of intrigue about artists and their sketchbooks, an insight into an unknown creative world, but my sketchbooks and bullet journal are quite mundane and not the most creative or intriguing, but it sort of functions as a tool – I use it when I need to and not when I don’t! Sometimes life flows on by without the need to write it all down or plan everything out, but I find it really useful when it comes to business planning…
    I heard a saying (I think it was in The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy) that whatever you track, you will improve! So tracking our lives, work, hobbies, interests, food, no doubt all helps us to be the person we want to be in any of those areas!

  2. […] you’d like to go back to the beginning of my journey you can start here and you can find a few other articles about my experience with writing in my […]

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