Confessions of an English Major: An Ode To Empty Journals

Here’s the thing. I’ve never finished a journal cover-to-cover. That feels good to say (strange the demons one must face when writing a blog). I was 13 when I picked up my first of what some refer to as, “the most sacred of writer’s delights.” It was a small-thing, no bigger than a picture frame; olive-green on the front and back.

What stood out about the journal was its spine. It was made from a strip of backpack fabric. A kind of teflon so coarse, you could strike a match with it. On the inside, however, the journal was pretty plain. Your basic college-ruled notebook paper, pale blue lines, and left-justified punch holes—for binder aficionados. To my tweeny mind, though, it was perfect.

There was a sale on pencils and eraser heads in the form of lucky charms that day. Twirling a rainbow around my fingertips, I mused “I’m about to write a novel. I’m going to need all the luck I can get!” Nestling my future under my arm, I followed the beeps towards the checkout counter.

And then, nothing.

Not a word. Not even a raspy, provocative, boyhood-induced expletive. The journal came home and wedged itself between The Dirt and Order of the Phoenix. And like The Room Of Requirement, maybe it’ll come up when its needed again. Maybe…

More journals have come and gone in the years since. To my credit, I’ve written at least something in each of them—shame can be pretty persuasive. But looking back, there’s a journal on my shelf begging to be explored. And what better starting point could a young artist ask for? Swaddled in olive-green, the first pages of a book that I can write, will write, eventually…

3 thoughts on “Confessions of an English Major: An Ode To Empty Journals

  1. I was the same just a few months ago! I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of money I’ve spent on empty journals, only to never fill them. But after venturing to finish my first draft of a novel on my computer, I found that journals and hand-writing allows me to block my inner critic for a time. Maybe you’ll find a way to use them, either as idea journals, outlines or private diaries.

    Liked by 1 person

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