A return to journal writing

Last night was riddled with technical difficulties from my laptop and a noteworthy absence of motivation to write anything at all. Let the record show that lack of motivation continues to linger tonight, which is frustrating but something I’m also pushing past. Go me (and the impressive, unstoppable power of my stubbornness). I’m presently looking forward to tomorrow, which will be partially spent getting a much-needed (and deserved) haircut and wandering around Barnes & Noble. Any suggestions for graphic novels, or novels in general, are always appreciated. One can never have too many books.

Right. So last night I found myself tremendously frustrated. Writing wasn’t happening in any way, shape, or form. I tried different approaches to A Princess, A Lich, and Some Murders, hoping desperately to add to the current word count but only failing to do so. Eventually, accepting the night as a defeat, I closed Microsoft Word. It occurred to me that I’d not checked on when The Literary Hatchet‘s next deadline was, and since I planned on submitting “Cordelia’s” I figured I should check…only to discover I’d missed said deadline. While I generally try to shy from this word, my reaction was a rather loud and appropriate utterance of “Oh, fuck”.

At some point or another, right before heading to bed, I decided it would be beneficial for me to return to journal writing. Not necessarily as a nightly thing, necessarily. I also happened to have my awesome Discworld/Starry Night crossover cover notebook, which had not seen use since it’s purchase. This, in case it needs repeating, is a crime I am regularly guilty of with notebooks. Making matters worse, I plan on stopping by Barnes & Noble tomorrow. That means I could very well come home with another Moleskine notebook. The journal in question, complete with its Squishable guardian, can be seen below.

Squishthulu guards my deep, dark secrets.

Squishthulu guards my deep, dark secrets.

Not only have I forgotten how helpful keeping a journal is for venting frustrations, but I managed to forget its terrific applications as a means to remind myself of all of the positive things I have going on. Not everything in its pages has to be doom-and-gloom, cloudy-with-a-chance-of-bitching sorts of frustrations (that was a horrible joke and I’m not sorry). It’s a reminder that I’m working on more than just one project presently, and that there will be some nights when my brain simply doesn’t wish to cooperate with me in working on one project or another. Those nights are not the end of the world, nor do they render me any less of a writer.

Suffice it to say, I’m already happy with this decision after only one entry. I can only imagine how therapeutic this will prove in the long run.

How many of you write in journals? Is it on a regular basis, or more sporadic, and is there a particular topic in mind or is it more just whatever’s on your mind at the time?

In hopes of forging new habits

Or “Help, I’m Experiencing a Horrible, Painful Book Hangover.”

I was planning this blog entry for earlier, and by earlier I don’t mean earlier today so much as some point yesterday.  Then I worked for ten hours, which transformed me into a three-toed sloth with a strong, overwhelming need to loaf about the couch.  I had also wanted to come up with a really witty title about having a sizable, ever-growing backlog of books (that didn’t pan out anyway, because the best I could come up with was “book-log”, and that sounds like toilet humor).

The three new habits I hope to form this year, which aren’t to be mistaken for New Year’s resolutions because, as mentioned in my last entry, I don’t usually handle those well are as follows:

  1. Read, even if only a little, every day
  2. Write, even if only a little, every day
  3. Write a journal entry every day before bed

The first one is actually what waylaid me from making an entry earlier.  Instead of writing about how I have a backlog of books to read, and how I already have some titles I want to add to my library (I’m looking at you, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove“), I ended up reading the two-hundred-some pages of “Dreams and Shadows” I had left (and hadn’t gotten around to for the past couple months, which is a shame because it’s a fantastic book).  Since a bit before my last year of college, I noticed I’d been making less and less time for reading.  Not for lack of wanting to read, and not for using the time for video games or other means of entertainment.  At some point, reading began happening less.  Yes, I realize there was probably an actual, underlying reason for that.  Since I genuinely enjoy reading, and I like to claim I’m a writer (though there is limited proof of this), I feel like I need to get back to reading, and reading often.  The intense feeling of sadness I have from finishing “Dreams and Shadows”, which I referred to above as a book hangover (if you don’t think that’s a great term, you need to reevaluate everything about your life because it is a great term) is something I’ve missed.  Falling deep into another world for hours on end is something I’ve missed even more.  And, of course, those new books I received for Christmas aren’t going to read themselves.

The second habit I intend on getting into will be a bit more difficult for me, but it’s one I need (emphasis on need over want) to get into.  I’m a writer, damn it.  I should start behaving more like one.  My schedule with my nine-to-five job, which is almost never actually 9a.m. to 5p.m. usually leaves me more ready for extended periods of sleep.  That being said, my notebook for “Joshua’s Nightmares” has been sitting out in places where it can make me feel guilty, and I acknowledge how awkward it would be if all of these lovely notebooks I have were to continue to remain blank.

Thirdly, and feeling a bit like a simple variation of the previous habit I hope to build over the course of this year, I want to start keeping a journal daily.  My all-around wonderful sister got me a TARDIS notebook this past Christmas, and I’ve been thinking about what to occupy its pages with.  A couple days ago, for whatever reason, the idea of starting a journal popped into my head.  The idea of journaling then proceeded to buy prime real estate in my head, where it built a tiny, but cozy, cottage, unpack all of its things, and refuse any notions of eviction.  I’m the sort of person who tends to worry a fair bit (read as “I’m a ball of anxiety on a regular basis”), so I thought it couldn’t hurt to have another outlet for what’s on my mind (without polluting Misadventures in Fiction with it).  It’s also a great way to make sure I do at least a little writing every day, though that one pertains more specifically to writing of a creative nature.

Anyone else working to form new or stronger habits, creative or otherwise, and feel like sharing them?  Post ’em in the comments.

And now, in line with all this positive-thinking, new-habit-forming business, I believe it’s time to write a journal entry.