I don’t recall to what extent I’ve discussed my journaling on the blog, but I would love to discuss it now. It is one of the main things that I do for myself everyday that keeps me sane. It is also something that can be a red flag if I start doing it too much. I am pretty private about it, so I have to mostly monitor it on my own, but I have been known to journal for 12+ hours at a time when I am manic.
I can’t say how deeply journaling effects my wellness. I make a habit of writing, on average, between 2 – 4 hours a day. I suppose that may that sound like a lot, but it is what I have come to value. If I am not able to write because I am somehow without my journal, then I will literally write on scraps of paper until I am reconnected with my book.
I seriously recommend that everyone try their hand at journaling, whether they are mentally well or not, because I don’t care how “well” you are.. we all have stuff to work out.
If you are going to journal, you need journaling supplies, and these are extremely important. This is where this post gets awesome, folks, because I’ve been journaling since I was 14yrs old and therefore I am in the know about all of your necessities.
The first thing that you absolutely must get, obviously, is your book. There are several ways you can go on this and it really depends on what kind of journal you intend to keep. For instance, if you think that you’d like to keep an art journal, then it will likely involve you adding different materials to your book. For this purpose, you will want to get a journal with lots of room to grow.
I think art journals are extra special and therefore deserving of something handmade, like any of these hand bound books that I found on Etsy.
Any of these would be fantastic options for creating an art journal that you could keep forever as a keepsake of a flash of time in your life. You can lock away times that you want to forget or cherish times that you want to remember. That’s why journals are a wonderful thing!
Personally, I don’t reread any of my journals. I used to actually burn them in a very ritualistic way out on the porch of my parent’s house in the middle of the night while I was sneaking cigarettes. I suppose I keep them on the off chance that I may want to reread them one day. Maybe I would turn them into a book or something? Maybe that’s too grand of a vision for myself.. but they’ll be there for me when I need them one day.
I don’t keep an art journal, although I’ve always wanted to.
I keep a written journal and, as I’ve mentioned, I live for it. At the beginning, I found it very difficult to be consistent and found myself only writing once a week and maybe even once a month. When you aren’t consistent, it can be very difficult to pick up where you’ve left off and you might find yourself waning in your schedule until it falls off completely.
I would recommend you start by making small, baby step commitments while you try journaling on for size. You absolutely don’t have to dive into a multi hour schedule.. and you shouldn’t! Trust me, it’s way too much pressure from the get-go. I would kindly suggest that you actually start by setting time limits vs time goals. It will keep you from blowing your load at the beginning.
I will fill you in on the tools of my journaling trade. I go with very tried and true supplies and I absolutely swear by them.
I go with the very classic Moleskine, hardcover 5×8.5 ruled journal.. sometimes plain when I’m feeling adventurous. I buy mine from Amazon, but they are also available at Indigo Books if you want to go to a store IRL to buy one.
The next tool is the one that I am absolutely most picky about and it took me about a billion years to find the perfect fit for me before I found the one that I love most. That is your writing utensil. You need it for an art journal (probably) and you absolutely need it for your written journal.
There are many key things that you are going to want to consider.. will it bleed through your paper, how long will it last, does it rub off on your hands? These may sound like teensy issues, but when you are spending a significant amount of time with your journal, then you will want your writing utensil to be perfect.
After so much trial and error and many years of throwing out pens after a week of use, I have found the Uni-Ball VISION rollerball fine 0.7mm in black. I am in love with this pen!! It is fucking amazing. It works perfectly with my trusty Moleskine, meaning that it doesn’t bleed through the paper and it dries quickly, so it doesn’t rub off on your hands.. a major problem with pencils and regular ink pens.
That pretty well rounds out my journaling toolbox. I hope that you will find this post both informational and inspirational and perhaps it will even get you writing yourself!
I haven’t personally read this book, so I can’t vouch for it, but if you are interested in some writing prompts, then you want to give it a try. Let me know what you think of it, if you give it a try!