The funny thing about writing is that it’s a solitary thing.
Have you ever tried writing anything together with three other people?
It turns into a bit of a mess.
Like those stories you used to do as a kid, where the first person would write a sentence at the top of the page, hide it by folding the page down and pass it to the next person who’d write the next sentence, and so on.
The end result was, of course, nowhere near as exciting as the idea of it.
And so it is with journaling: it’s best done alone.
It’s hard to let your barriers down and allow for the unfiltered feelings and thoughts flow onto the page if you’re constantly being interrupted.
“Mom, did you see this? Mom, this is inside out. Mom, can you help me with this? Mom, I’m hungry. Mom, I don’t want an apple. Mom, where’s dad? Mom, do I have time to colour?” – and that’s just one example.
Add to that two cats vying for attention or asking for food and a husband looking for his phone, and I can kiss any coherent thought goodbye.
So, you take it where you can. Because journaling is YOU time.
Some people like to carve out a specific place to do it, like a little nook that they decorate with comfy cushions, pretty rocks and houseplants.
I think it was Stephen King who said he used to lock himself in the laundry room, balance the laptop on his knees and blast heavy metal on his headphones.
For me, I can do it anywhere I can sit down at a table, but I always write with my Parker fountain pen and a notebook (of which I have several).
Maybe it’s a bit Old Skool.
But I can focus so much better on being present when there’s nothing digital around. And I’ve spent far too long breaking in my fountain pens to not use them.
I have two because it’s annoying when you run out of ink mid-thought.
They also give me peace of mind in another way: refillable pens are eco-friendly.
If I was using plastic, single-use pens I’d have a heart attack over how much plastic waste I’d be producing every year because I write a lot.
My Parkers – one midnight blue and one dusty pink – are all aluminium, which means if they ever break, they’re fully recyclable.
But by far, the biggest charm of the fountain pen, is that the more you write with it, the more the nib wears down specifically to your writing style.
After having my own fountain pen, the feel of anything else just isn’t enough.
So, for me, my fountain pens are really the thing that creates the journaling bubble for me in the time-space continuum.
They’re like old friends, they fit into my hand and, more; they know how I like to write.
I also prefer writing on heavier paper (think proper notebooks) but I’m currently burning through a notebook with poor quality paper simply because I’ve bought it at some point and I don’t want to waste it.
Another thing that’s important to me is the notebook itself.
Some people prefer nice hardcovers, but I always feel like they’re too nice for me to write in.
That’s why I like spiral notebooks because I don’t feel guilty about using them. They feel like they were made to be used.
I’ve got some great spiral notebooks in my shop. They’re big enough and have super pretty covers, wink, wink.
What about you?
What defines the boundaries to your scribing sanctuary?
Is it a place or a feeling? Or a pen or a notebook?
- Describe something beautiful you saw this week.
- Name something in your home that you truly treasure. Describe why.
- List three things you did well today.