Journaling Basics

How Many Is Too Many Journals?

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Do I have, and use, too many journals?

As I’ve mentioned, I have been an avid journal writer for my life. Journals have been part of my packing list since I was a teen. Even if I didn’t always write in them, there was some comfort in knowing that I had a journal tucked in when I was away from home.

I am currently away from home. And I’ve packed my journals.

Yes, I said journals. Here is a picture of the journals I packed for this weekend:

Stack of six journals I use nearly daily in my life.
That’s a lot of journals!

I posted this picture on Instagram and asked, did I have too many?

Of course, the answer that I received from many people “there are never too many.” Not included in this picture was my bullet journal and my general writing journal. I think I just forgot about those when I was taking the picture.

Let’s think about that.

There are 6 journals in this photo. And I forgot to add two more – that I use daily. So, that is a total of 8 journals – with me on this trip.

At home there at least 2 or 3 that I didn’t feel it necessary to bring. And that would bring my total to 10 or 11 current journals.

That’s a lot of journals.

Do I need them all? Let’s see.

Starting from the bottom of the pile:

The first journal – is my morning pages journal. I spoke about morning pages in this post. My morning pages journal is written in wide-ruled composition books that I buy when the back to school sales are on for between $.50-$1.00. I have been known to pay a bit more when I’ve been desperate or just found one that I like. However, generally, I try to stay stocked up and disciplined when I’m out looking. My stationery addiction will have to be addressed on another day.

The second journal is a project journal. It is currently empty. The question is: did I need to bring this one? This particular journal is a Dingbats dot-journal that is fabulous for bullet journaling. These types of journals are fabulous for creating writing bullet journals – hence why I brought it. My thought was that on this retreat, I would begin planning for NaNoWriMo – which is coming very fast. I have another post on NaNo which I will post very soon if you’ve not heard of it. And, so far, the journal is blank.

The third journal is my current project journal. In my first year of NaNoWriMo I wrote a novel – nearly on a whim – and was pleasantly surprised at the good bones of the story. I am currently on my third draft of the novel which, apparently, needed a new journal. I think I’ve created 3-4 journals for this project and I am determined that this will be my last one.

The fourth journal is a new journal I’ve recently begun. This particular journal is from Walmart and is from their Exceed journal line. I picked it up on a whim. For less than 10 dollars, you get a nice dot-journal for bullet journaling if you choose or whatever else you’d like. And the paper is amazing. I don’t know how often I will work in this as it is designated for something that I am just learning about. But I tucked it into my basket just in case I would need to add something to it.

The fifth journal is my Story Theory book. Story Theory is just what it sounds like. We study art and music theory, so why not story theory. What I put into this book is the nuts and bolts of writing. I have lists of questions to ask your characters. There are pages plotting and planning. Anything that would be related to the framework for writing nearly anything goes in here. My plan is to add my latest plot theory into there. Perhaps it will give me a deeper understanding of the outline.

The sixth journal is a blank book. Actually, I just purchased it yesterday because I was having second thoughts about using my Dingbats book for my next project journal. This one is from Michael’s and is from their Artist’s Loft series. It is a softer cover with smooth paper. It isn’t the highest quality paper but my fountain pen didn’t bleed through as long as I allowed the ink to dry. And, for under $10 it is a fabulous buy for bullet journals, writing project journals or whatever you want.

Not pictured are my daily bullet journal and my general writing. I will most likely write about at a later time but they are just what they sound like.

What my journals have in common.

I’ve known for a long time that I prefer the A5 size (8x5ish) so that is what you see. I’ve actually tried a bigger size but that doesn’t seem to fit. So I stick with this size. It fits in my bag and in my hand.

The paper inside of these books is of a quality that works. Meaning it is smooth and takes on fountain pens well. I like how it feels to write in these books. If I don’t like the paper, I’m not going to write on them.

All of these books are about exploration and discovery. Whether it is a project journal, story theory or morning pages, each one of these books helps me to look at my world from different angles. It keeps me focused on whichever topic I am working on at the time.

Did I answer the question of how many journals is too many? I don’t know.

This is what is working for me. At least right now. I’ve played with the idea of using a single book for everything (my general writing journal) and that works for some things. However, when I want to dig deeper, I don’t want to search through all of the pages to find what I need. That is where a new journal comes in.

How many journals do you use? And, do you think it is too many? Write your thoughts in the comments below.

Until next time,

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