You might have read Ronald Reagan or Anne Frank’s journal and though you might not have anything as important to say. You might believe that you’re not a genius like Leonardo or any of the other famous people out there who write in journals. That doesn’t matter, because journals are personal. They matter to you. Here are some ideas about how to make the most of your leather journal.
1. Leave the first few pages blank
Some experts advise that you should leave the first few pages blank to put a table of contents in your journal. While I agree that’s a possibility, I believe that you should leave the first few pages blank because it means that the journal still offers infinite possibilities. Blank pages are inspirational by what could fill them.
2. Tell the grammarian to take a hike
Are you writing your journal for yourself? When you come back to reread your writing, are you going to take off points for misspelling words or improper word choice? The language mistakes that you make in your journal make you better because you’re spending more time writing and less time correcting.
3. Pick the right pen and paper
You want something that perfectly suits your style, rather than something you’re not comfortable writing your most interesting thoughts in. Are you interested in creating your own font and using a dip pen to do it? How about the constant battle between lined and unlined paper? Make that decision, and remember that you’re not stuck with the decision for very long.
4. Make Your Journal Your Best Friend
Inspiration doesn’t wait, it strikes everywhere it can. If you’re not carrying your journal with you, you might lose it and scramble to collect snippets at the end of the day when you’re around your book once more. It’s easier to just keep it hanging out in your bag and scrawl in it when you want to.
5. Get Experimental
There’s nothing better than an experimental journal. You don’t have to stay with the same theme for all of your journaling, nor do you have to write down the happenings of the day every time. Maybe you’re feeling a little down and want to draw Celtic knotwork. Perhaps you want to put a little calligraphy in there. It’s all up to you!
6. Mix your Media
This feeds into the last suggestion of getting experimental. If you’re feeling it, take a tour with using pencils and gluing things. You might want to use some of the glitter glue that you have left over from the yuletide season. You might want to start making a journal for a loved one. It doesn’t matter, but, when you set your ‘rules’ to the wind, great things happen.
7. Ask yourself questions
We’ve found that it works better when we ask the five questions of who what when where and why for a journal. By having that thorough picture, we’re able to get a better understanding of what’s going on and it helps when we’re looking at the journal later on through eyes that have been there and seen that.
Journals are not necessarily high works of art, nor are they the lowest of the low. They are the personal culmination of experiences and thoughts, ideas, and things which matter to you. By looking back at your leather journal, you want to get an idea of where you were at the time. It doesn’t have to match up to the great journalists of history. It just has to matter to you. Develop a life-long journaling habit and let history decide whether your journals match the greats. We doubt the original authors of those journals were thinking about posterity at the time.