Tonight I filled the last page of one of my writing journals — nothing fancy, just some notes I wanted to jot down. It’s a strange feeling because my journalling is all over the place.
I have several notebooks that I write in at different times and for various reasons. I’ll buy a new one and tell myself ‘this one is only for quick notes.’ Another one is only for free writing. I have a third that is solely dedicated to a novel I am working on, and I have two journals for prayer and Bible study.
I do this to be organized, but eventually all of these different journals become overwhelming. I have a hard time maintaining each notebook’s exclusivity for the long haul. My notes tend to get mixed up amongst them all.
I even have a bullet journal. Ah yes, the ever-popular bullet journal. I am supposed to keep this one with me at all times, update the table of contents and task lists, transfer notes to whatever specific journal they belong in. It turns out I am not very good at bullet journaling. But I am great at messy journaling!
The notebook I finished today began way back in…well, it was before my son was born and he’s in college now. So I have in front of me two decades of my thoughts from various phases of my life. My favorite part of messy journaling is reading through them years later. I often find snippets of stories I was working on. Sometimes they are trash, but sometimes they get a revival.
Prayers are always interspersed in my old notebooks along with Bible verses. And most fun, all of my frustrations are there, spilled onto the page in ink and pencil of various colors. This is the stuff I really like to read. It reminds me of all the stupid choices I’ve made and how much I’ve changed over the years.
And the very best part of perusing my old journals is reliving the parts of life that brought the most joy. This is how I know I am a writer. I just can’t not write everything down — everything about life whether it’s mine or someone else, fiction or fact — the ups and downs and everything in between.
So, to all the writers out there…keep on writing, even to the death!