Whenever I’m seen in town, shooting various subjects, I always make a habit of sitting down and writing what the day brought me, whether it be rain, sun, snow or whatever.
And once I start writing the main points, then all kinds of ideas creep into my mind and I may stay at some coffee shop, of which there are literally 100s in Vancouver, for at least a couple hours. And no, unlike some patrons of coffee shops I’ve noticed, I do buy more than just a single cup of coffee…!
To me, it doesn’t make sense to sit in someone’s coffee shop for hours and hours, with just a single purchase of a coffee. The person who runs the business is letting you sit in his/her premises, and has bills and overheads to pay for, so it’s only fair that customers spend just a little extra.
Anyway, so sometimes strangers will come and ask me if I’m a professional photographer etc and where do I get my notebooks from. And they are sometimes surprised to hear that most of the journals I use are homemade. I never tend to throw away bits of cardboard, good-looking paper etc and whenever I feel like making a new journal, I raid my collection of paper.
Then there are times when I see a journal or notebook in a store that looks really great, so I end up buying it. Some of the best journals I’ve bought are from here. Over the years, I have amassed a pile of journals…at the last check, I had 3 boxes full of them! But you know something….they’re an everlasting source of information and inspiration, and whenever I look through any of them, I’m instantly transferred back to that time when the journal entry was written, and what was going on in my life, and more to the point, what I did to improve my life then.
Some people are happy to learn just where I get my journals, and I usually point them to this , but some want to know how they can start as well. It’s very simple I keep saying to them…just find a book and start writing, but they still look at me with puzzled eyes.
Some of the best and economically priced journals and notebooks can be found here
And here comes my easy-peasy 5 step guide on how to start a journal:
1 write using pen or pencil…the whole point of writing in a journal is to relax, let go of the rush-rush rat-race that you’ve been spending all day in…it means spending some time alone, winding down, chilling out, unloading your mind of all your worries and fears or tribulations, because once you’ve written them down, they’re not in your mind, they’re on your pages….not only that, but it’s scientific fact that writing uses and increases your mind power more than typing on a keyboard…so, please, write…
2 write in a place where you won’t be disturbed….if it means taking the phone off the hook, or switching your cellphone off, or sitting alone in your garden shed or in a coffee shop somewhere, so be it….your journal time is YOUR private time…nobody but nobody should be allowed to interrupt that….be religious about it!
3 write without stress….don’t set yourself targets…damn it, you’ve been doing that all day…..don’t say I have to write 2 pages or 6…don’t say I have to write every day….do it when you feel like it….and when you feel like it, do it!
4 write about anything…..you don’t need to write about anything specific….or you can if you want….if you’re stuck for ideas, write about what you know, or what has happened to you…it doesn’t have to be specific.
5 write and enjoy…..remember, you are taking time out from your rat-race of a life to slow down, relax, clear and unload your mind of unnecessary burdens…so enjoy your writing and look forward to it, whether it’s every day, every week or every month!
And here’s a look at one of my journals….notice I like to embellish mine to my own tastes!