Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Naked Journal

Do you gaze with delight or apprehension at the first blank page of a new journal? 

Do you fondle and covet the variety of journals while visiting a greeting card or book store?

At times, I find starting a new journal quite intimidating especially if selected pages are already inscribed with words of wisdom and inspirational quotes.  I have a Celtic Mandala Tree of Life journal that has remained untouched since I purchased it in early 2009.  The cover art and section pages are beautifully designed.  It seems like the crisp, lined pages deserve something better than weekly updates, mundane ponderings and the occasional scribbles of bad poetry. 

While running errands with my daughter yesterday, I was lured by the siren call of the journal display in a local Carlton Cards store.  I oohed and ahhed at the colourful, intricate cover designs offered by the "Paperblanks" selection.  "The journal as functional art" statement caught my fancy.   Carlton Cards was having a sale so I bought two!

Lately, I have found that starting a new journal is like beginning a new phase of a journey or fresh path in one's life.  Do you pause with cautious deliberation before expressing your next words or actions?  Do you jump in with glee, poised with your favourite pen and a mind ripe with ideas?

This morning I completed the pages of a cute little journal I started last autumn, just as we were entering the gray and brown days of November.  That journal helped me navigate thoughts and dreams through the dark, long winter and into the refreshing days of spring.  This morning I transcribed recent observations, accomplishments, social engagements and family outings in that beloved book.  The last page was reserved for a list of goals and dreams. 

I look forward to listing them again in a fresh, new journal.  I look forward to recording the progress of those goals and writing with joy after I realize some dreams. 

Who would have thought someone could dedicate a blog entry to the subject of paper journals?  With the increased use of computer keyboards, smart phones and tablets, I wonder if people will lose that special connection between inspirations of the mind, the hand sweeping with the ink of a pen onto the receptive, blank page.  Will our expanding digital world present different writing skill requirements for school children and eventually eliminate the need for cursive writing?  Although most people can learn to type and transcribe more quickly by using a keyboard, I find that a scary thought.

I will continue to supplement my digital, keyboard writing activities with those of the pen and paper journals.   As I shared with a group of art lovers over a month ago, writing is a form of expression and ongoing therapy and I don't plan on stopping any time soon.  Well, I am taking a bit of a break since releasing the novel and gathering strength to publish an electronic version. 

Of course, intimate contemplations will only be expressed through the loving caress of pen on paper.  Perhaps that special, untouched Tree of Life journal can some day receive final revisions of poetry or inspirational essays. 

Thank you for reading this far.  If you like my writing style, you may enjoy excerpts from my novel, "The Year of the Rabbit". 


  1. Hi TJO! Thanks for the kind words about Paperblanks! At Paperblanks HQ we definitely consider "ooh"ing and "ahh"ing at the sight of our designs to be a desirable (and appreciated!) response! :-)

  2. Hello, paperblanks! It's so nice of you to drop by, to read and comment in my "electronic" journal.

    Allow me to lead you into the rabbit hole, to read some excerpts from my novel :o^