One of my little quirks in regard to blank books is if I started writing on a particular theme in a given book, I only ever want to put that theme in that book. This sort of is an issue because more often than not, I end up having lots of books that have the majority of the pages empty vs. the majority of the pages full.
I bring it up because I spent half an hour arguing with myself in a paper journal.
Before I moved in with James, I had two active paper journals. One was a stream of conscious journal that I carried around in my purse and barely ever wrote in to the point where it just sorta became dead weight and I stopped carrying it around anymore. The other was a journal that I started during a particularly difficult period in my relationship with him where I wrote down things that I’d like to tell him but felt that I couldn’t… a long stream of conscious letter to James, basically.
When James and I decided to take it from casual to serious and I stopped sleeping at my own apartment, the letters to James journal made the move to his apartment and the stream of conscious journal got left behind… and then once I was settled in here, I rarely had the urge to use the letters journal because the main reason I started that journal was to cope with the insecurity that goes along with being in a casual relationship. When things got committed, there were fears that got dispelled and topics that would have originally been things I only wrote about for myself became everyday conversation topics… and you know, that’s fantastic.
Except for now I have this book that’s about a quarter full of ramblings to James that he probably won’t be allowed to read any of for at least another decade or two… and I feel like it’s sort of a waste to just abandon the book because you know… I paid money for that book. I should write in it and it shouldn’t matter if I started it off one way and finished it another. It’s not like old man James is going to sit there and judge me for it. If I went in the other room right now and asked him what he thought, he’d probably say something along the lines of “For godsakes woman! It doesn’t matter! Just write in the damn book!”
I started thinking about this because I started reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and the big element of the course that the book is teaching is morning pages… three handwritten pages of stream of conscious every morning… plus what seems like a billion writing exercises each chapter. I’m desperately in need of some writing space because I’d like to make a stab at those writing exercises.
I think the truth of the matter is I’m just scared and making excuses. It’s easy to be all, “Well, I can’t start doing the writing exercises until I buy a new journal,” and then argue with myself that I shouldn’t buy a new journal right now because it’s an extraneous expense and I have plenty of perfectly good journals at my apartment that will be moved here soon, then turn around and tell myself that I can’t write in the perfectly good journal that I already have right here.
Excuses, excuses, excuses.
So, I think I will give myself permission to write whatever I want, however I want in that book. Fuck it. I’m going to write the shit out of that book. There’s really no good reason why these little rules exist that I’ve made up in my head about the right way to journal. It’s not about perfection at the journaling stage. It’s just about doing it.