Must. Write.

Despite the seemingly endless posts that I find appearing on my blog (do I really write all this stuff?!) I find myself feeling like I haven’t written in a long time.

Long before I ever contemplated writing a blog, I wrote for myself. Truth be told, I’ve always loved to write. But my writing was always good ole fashioned paper and pen writing. In high school I’d just use spiral bound college ruled notebooks and I’d fill them endlessly, like beating a dead horse. I lost those journals a couple years ago and I’ve never figured out where they went. I sort of hope I burnt them in my sleep or something. It gives me shivers of disgust to think of anyone ever finding them or reading them. Teen angst is a rampant disease, after all.

In college my love of beautiful paper grew and I wrote instead in elegant leather bound notebooks and hard cover journals. Except I was no longer journaling. My writing ceased to be an account of some meaningless anecdote and my books instead became my processing canvas. They were how I sorted my thoughts. Sometimes there’d be lists, short stories, poems, inside jokes, paraphrases of meaningful conversations, tidbits I’d heard and wanted to mull over later. I couldn’t call my notebooks journals anymore, mostly because I don’t like that word. I called them my Notebooks, and when I wrote in them I was notebooking. Yes, I invented a word for it. In four years at college I filled four and a half grown-up-sized notebooks.

I’m sure when I look back at them in ten years I will be equally disgusted with my writing as I was with my high school journals, but that’s life. I don’t remember things if I don’t write them down, so all angst aside, my notebooks are very dear to me.

But I’ve been realizing that as my blog grew, my notebook writing dwindled. It’s not because I have been writing the same things in a different medium either, because I haven’t. My blog posts are nothing like my notebooks. Sometimes similar topics come up because they’re on my mind, but even that is infrequent. Reading my blog is like having a conversation with me. Reading my notebooks would be like dissecting my mind, or the dark crevasses behind my heart.

It happened gradually – the increase in blog writing and the decrease in notebook writing. I didn’t even miss it at first. But lately it has stood in stark contrast to me. In my blog I’m able to ramble on about things and sometimes people read it and sometimes people like it and sometimes people talk to me. That’s all well and good – I love it, I really do. I feel more connected with people the whole world through than I ever have before. But because my notebook writing has stopped, a lot of my deep thinking and thought processing has halted, and so I feel a lot less like me. (If that doesn’t sound teen angsty, I don’t know what does.)

I’ve decided that it’s got to go back, it’s got to find a balance. I don’t want to stop writing on my blog, and I don’t think it will come to that. But I need to start writing in my notebook again. If I had to pick between the two I’d go with my notebook every time. So I’m going to do that tomorrow. I’m going to write something, anything. I think it’ll take me a little readjusting to using that part of my brain that free flows instead of trying to necessarily be cohesive and correct. The part that just thinks. And I might have to make a point of taking the time I’d normally be blogging to do that instead.

I think that people should do this in general, really. Maybe some people don’t need it, but I think a lot of people, perhaps even the majority of people, could seriously benefit from it. A lot of you write for yourselves when you write your blogs, but you’d be surprised how much more you’d write for yourself if you were sure it would remain unseen. Plus, the feeling of a pen in your hand will always trump a keyboard, and the smell of a paper journal …looking at a screen could never be the same.

There’s a place for each, of course. When I want to think out loud and get a little feedback and speak with my never-actually-met-you internet friends, I’ll post on my blog. But when I want to talk to myself and have the silent respect of a piece of empty paper, I’ve got to start Notebooking again.

So I will start in the morning. First thing.

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