Yesterday in Part 1 I wrote about why journaling can benefit members of metastatic breast cancer warriors. Now, you can select a journal in a variety of covers for you or your friend or family member to open lovingly and begin writing to your heart’s content.
my favorite journal and pen: Oberon and Pelikan M800, XF 18k nib
You can go online to select a fabulous journal to make your own, or you can check out your local bookstore or Borders or Barnes and Noble for journals that will suit a variety of tastes. Because I write only with fountain pens and prefer plain, unruled paper rather than ruled–usually, journals have ruled paper, I often order my fountain-pen friendly journals from favorite online sources. I’ve still been known to pick up a journal here and there that catches my fancy. You’ll notice that some online sources that dedicate themselves to hard-core journal lovers offer journals that are blanks but include a loose guide page with lines that you place behind the page to help you write on a straight line. Oberon does this with all of their blank journals. Also, many journals, for example, Moleskin journals are very popular, but I don’t use them because the paper is not fountain-pen friendly. For ballpoint pen writers they are perfectly fine; again, Borders and Barnes and Noble both have a fine selection of moleskin journals.
I keep a journal for every possible need to express myself through writing, and sometimes I find I cannot write a word for an essay or article until I write something in my journal. That seems to open up the flow of creativity that then allows me to express myself in other writing venues. I t often clears my mind at times when I’m feeling claustrophobic from issues or events or my TLSO brace. It, also, helps me to get on with other projects or simply to relax or even just stop crying when the MBC fear tries to dominate me.
I will add my warning now about diving into the world of journaling. It is absolutely addicting. No matter how much I love my Mac and my iPhone, and no matter how connected I remain electronically, I have a serious need to set pen to paper–and, more precisely, fountain pen (usually Pelikan–an exquisite pen in every regard) to Clairefontaine journal paper. That’s absolute heaven. I guess I’ll have to write another time about pens and inks, the other extraordinary part of this delightful addiction. When I write by fountain pen on fine paper, whether it’s a journal entry or a draft of a poem or an essay or article, I find a satisfaction that is personally enriching and renewing, something missing completely from electronic writing–though I most enjoy the efficiency of that realm.
Finally, the other obvious and excellent option for journaling is online sites. I keep online journals of my poetry and haiku at various sites. Livejournalis probably the most widely used, but another site, Penzu, is catching on and looks quite promising. Both sites, of course, allow your posts to be individually selected for private or public viewing.
journal from local store with silver gilding and ribbon marker, Pelikan 200, XF nib
Here are some of my favorite online sources for journals. Most of them also offer a variety of other items, such as inks, pens and other stationery items. Most have areas in which they specialize, so be sure to browse around. Also, remember to check out your local stores where you can see and feel the textures of the covers and the pages. Look for such qualities as being able to open the journal flat or nearly flat; better bindings on more expensive journals allow this. Look for a ribbon place holder, gilded pages in silver or gold. Some journals have magnet closures, others have a button on the front with a lanyard, still others have elastic wraps. Like this yellow journal, some have a closure that incorporates a pen holder. Prices vary widely, meaning you can find a terrific journal anywhere from $15 on up.