Happy New Year!
Begin a Journal Habit in 2011.
"Imaginative writing assumes that you will play before you work, dance before performing, doodle before fiddling with, fantasize before forming."
- Janet Burroway
Over the years I have tried a variety of techniques for recording ideas and vignettes. I've used loose leaf binders, spiral notebooks and fancy journals.At one time I had five or six notebooks going for freeflow wordling, ideas, stories, references and quotations. What a challenge it became to find anything when I wanted it.
I have finally settled on one journal with a fancy cover that records it all: ideas, notions, creativity, letters, references, photos, reminders and starts, writes and wrongs. When one is complete, I begin another. A system to keep track of entries has helped the process.
For me, a fountain pen provides pleasure and nudges creativity more than fingers tapping on the computer keys. A pen pony's scent and flow across the page creates rhythm and energy that feels like meditation. Use of colored ink also enthuses my writer's mind.
I keep a full stable of fountain pens filled with green, turquoise, yellow and magenta inks. I also employ red, rose-scented ink. Some barrels feel feisty to my touch like Thoroughbreds. Others create the syncopated rise of a Missouri Fox Trotter. I have quarter horses and a Morgan or two that move my words with a pleasing gait. My Arabians kick up their hooves on cold mornings. The sound of ink flow on pages stimulates my imagination.
How to keep track of everything?
At the back of the journal, I save several pages for an index. I write letters of the alphabet along the left side with ample room beneath each. After I write entries, I record them for reference by page number in the journal. For example: If I have a quotation by Rumi, it goes across from R. I also will cross-reference the subject matter under other letters. This becomes a reminder of areas I can refer to later.
At the end of December, I go through indexes of the journals of the year. I discover ideas to use to begin the New Year.
If you haven't relied on journals, make 2011 the year to begin. Start with a fresh page tomorrow. Find a quote that appeals and write to the end of the page.
I encourage you to discover your own stable of ponies to exercise daily in a fancy journal.
Share a journaling technique with us!