Posted in Of Psyche

Of Journaling

Readers, today I ask you a very urgent question. You must undergo great philosophical stress and tell me,

Should I buy this 5 Year Journal


Or this


C’mon, what good is a social media presence if I cannot ask the great invested-yet-unknown to tell me which diary I should buy? Of course, it isn’t any old diary. A while back, I wrote an essay called Of Writing Diaries, where I told you I haven’t been good with writing one this year. I’ve been writing a diary regularly since I was ten years old. I have a chronicle of my daily moaning, uh, life for seventeen years. I have lost or destroyed many of these chronicles over the years, but it seems to have become a habit that is as regular as something in between brushing my hair (I prefer a bed head look 24*7) and brushing my teeth (A+ from my dentist).

I’ve never been a fan of expensive stationery. I’ve considered writing a book blog of sorts, but my lack of interest in the presentation of books, pens, notebooks etc runs too deep to make a blog a complete experience for book lovers. I just can’ be bothered about it. I’ve written in cheap notebooks, scraps of paper, behind receipts etc. I just put them altogether in files so I hardly ever lose them, unless I want to. My philosophy with books, or for that matter music, films etc is the same. I don’t care what form it is on, or whether I possess it or not, as long as I get to consume it voraciously.

I am often surprised by the sort of things I do end up saving. I have a blank cassette from years ago that I do not have the means to play back and listen to what I recorded. I discovered these very poppy lyrics I wrote as a teenager on scraps of paper that probably had tunes to go with them. I have very few things from my younger years, and I will do my best to hold on to them.

Thus, the idea of keeping a five year journal intrigues me, for that retro value. I am 27 now. If I keep at it, I’ll be writing it till I am 32, in which time I hope to have seen some significant and interesting changes in my life. The above two journals have questions on them, which will definitely make it a more interesting experience. As I keep a diary anyway, in which I write much more than the three or four lines provided in five year journals, it’s good to have something specific to answer. They are more expensive for my can’t-be-bothered taste, with one being twice the price of the other here in India, though it is supposed to have “better” questions. Can there ever be better questions in life? Can deciding on the better journal help decide on a better life? Or is it just another commercial thing, a mere fad, that my somewhat humble writing sensibility will regret and eventually, forget to even keep up with?

I told you in that previous essay that I did not write much this year because I was sleeping better. But, there was also something else. I didn’t feel the need to record things if they weren’t that exciting. I bought four modestly priced 2015 diaries.That is probably the most lavish I’ve ever been. One was themed, which I haven’t used. I bought one as back up, because I always end up writing too much in a year, finishing the diary before the year ends, and so I generally have to get economical, either with material or with writing, by November. This year, my back up lies unused while my main is still stuck in August. Hmm, perhaps I have the answer to the five year dilemma…

I also bought a pocket one just to note down things, like to-do lists. Though it has just started October, it has many notes for Of Opinions essays, quotes I noted down for my handmade journal that I bought from a handicraft fair, said to-do lists that didn’t get ticked off quite as much as I would have liked to. It has all the poems I wrote this year, including some of the ones I put up here:

Enjoy deciphering my gloriously illegible handwriting in the blurriness!

Another thing I did for sometime, that was inspired by a post here on WordPress, was note down at least one thing I am thankful for. Mind you, this list was very short and repetitive, usually comprising of 1) Music 2) some people in my life 3) Vague notions like being free 4) YouTube and even 5) you generous people who read my blog! I tried to be more creative with it, but I couldn’t and so I stopped. It did help, however, in feeling more love, and so I think it was ultimately a good thing.

Do you write a diary? Which Five Year Journal should I get?


Writer, Blogger, Kate Bush Fanatic

18 thoughts on “Of Journaling

  1. I had a Tinker Bell diary once. Or maybe it was Care Bears. Anyways, I wrote my name on the inside and the date and…that was it lol I was horrible at keeping a diary and plus I was always scared of someone finding it and reading it! Oh–and the second journal with all that pretty squiggly detail happening on it caught my eye 🙂

    1. Maybe you should give a five year diary a try! They only have about four lines for every year. There are all types of them, in all types of prices. There’s one for moms that’s meant to be a future document for your children to know you better. These journals do look like a lot of fun, and so I’m tempted to try one. I know you have a weakness for cute stationery!

    1. Thanks! It does have a lovely cover and a ribbon. Both have gilded pages, but I don’t know what kind of questions this one has. The other one is a big hit online, with nearly 1000 reviews on Amazon! I wouldn’t have been so confused, if I knew the questions on the second one. It’s got 2-0 votes so far on my post here!

  2. The second one is really pretty, so I’m casting a vote for it.

    I’ve actually become a very avid journaler this year. I’ve written at least thrice a week since June after years and years of sporadic writing. I always just buy lined journals with 100+ pages so I don’t have a length commitment. I usually write before bed or after I wake up (I find it helps to have a regular time to do it), and usually, it’s between 1 to 4 pages of semi-legible scrawl about the mundane happenings of my life, my adventures as a writer, my rants about numerous subjects, and/or my thoughts on literature/television shows/whatever other virtual reality I’m escaping into. It really helps process things, and I think that as a writer, it’s going to come in handy one day.

    Good luck with your five-year project!

    1. Thank you, Amanda! And what a lovely response!

      I have felt that if something doesn’t end up in my diary, it might end up on my social media. But, where a private journal can remain private or be destroyed if necessary, there really is no “deleting” once something is out on the interweb. I’d say journaling definitely helps with processing what you are thinking and feeling, without having the need to share it all the time, which may not always do you much good.
      Keep journaling!

  3. I like the idea of a diary but don’t for several reasons.

    A: My life is [relatively] boring.
    B: Family member would pry and I wouldn’t want that, try and keep these things secret somewhere and you get the third degree about hiding something.

    If you want one though, go for it, if your have had a diary since 10 y/o you will probably be better placed for knowing what you would choose.

    1. I did go for the second one after it got four votes in the comments section here! My life is also very, very boring, but writing a diary helps me have a conversation with myself, writing down what I’m thinking at that time. Usually, when I am very busy with exciting things, I don’t have the time or will to write! If you do feel the need to write a diary, maybe you could write a blog for yourself and keep it private. I used to have an online diary on a website called “mydiary”, I think. I am not sure about the name. You had the option to keep it private or public. I didn’t keep up with it, because I much prefer writing in an actual diary or a notebook, but it does help in keeping things private. You could also write one offline on your word processor, and then just keep it password protected. All these are just ideas though, the first thing is if you want to write at all!

      1. Thanks for the reply, I used to have a blog over at LiveJournal, that could be private, viewable to only people you chose (a much easier option than what wordpress gives) , or public.

        Paper would be better though as you don’t have to worry about hackers or data etc which is my one fear of online stuff.

        I found though that I never read back on previous entries so started questioning the point.

      2. Hmm, perhaps the question is, what to journal, eh? I rarely write sensitive data down, it’s more thoughts and ramblings. Many people who keep five year journals, that have about 4 lines for each year, also keep it pretty harmless and mundane. I rarely read back my diaries, but they help in getting the daily steam out.

      3. Only way to find out is giving it a try! When I first started it really was just a line or two, for years. Introspection happened in my late teens, and now, it’s a balance between the two. I write whatever I want, or not at all.

  4. Judging a book by its cover, I choose the first one.

    I tried journaling when I was a kid, And I’m sure it’s a great thing to do — Great for self-exploration. But I feel like I do too much writing as it is now.

    1. I already ordered the second one, based on the votes here, though I liked the first one too! Oh well, let’s see how it turns out!
      I think many people feel the same way about journaling. They want to do it, have that little “me” time. But, they think its too much of a chore. Maybe that’s why five year journals are so popular. Not only do you get to see your life unfold over a period of five years in just one small book, but you also don’t have to write much. The most popular of the journals available is called “One Line A Day” where you literally have about 4 lines for each year in quite a small, but sturdy book. I think it’s always possible to jot down a line, or even just as word (like Dec 1, 2015: Happy.) to describe your day and feelings.

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