When I was (much, much) younger, I used to keep a journal almost daily. I have notebooks going back
decades a few years containing my ramblings on whatever was going on in my life at the time. I haven’t gone back and flipped through them any time recently (mainly because I have way too many other things to read, but also because they would likely make me cringe). Every once in a while, though, I do scroll through the wayback machine to see if I wrote anything here worth reviewing. Usually, the answer is no. (Mind you, I haven’t written much of anything at all here lately, over the past few months.) But I suppose that’s not the point of keeping a journal, is it? Or, maybe it is, after a decade or two have passed. In any case, in the moment it’s kind of like warming up by playing catch. You just put things down and see what happens to them.
The thing is, that’s not much different from the usual way I write. I lay things down on the page (or the screen) and stop later to figure out where it’s going, if anywhere. Invariably, when I have a specific route in mind to a destination, I make a detour. Which is like life, I guess.
I’ve dragged out the typewriter again—did I mention that already? I do this whenever I need to focus, or need to change up my process, or need to get away from the distractions of the always-at-your-fingertips shopping mall that is the Internet. (Seriously, in the last week I’ve bought a new planner notebook system, six books, a new laptop bag and, finally, the latest Stevie Nicks album, which I should have bought months ago—”Annabel Lee” is an amazing song.) I finished filling up a spiral notebook I’ve been carting around since January and have moved on to a new notebook, which has a beautiful embroidered cover in a blue peacock design (thanks, Mom). I may not write anything sensational in it, but at least it looks sensational.
Now I have to go back to banging on the typewriter keys and see if chapter four will consent to being finished before work….