Sunday, 2 October 2011

Journal, journal, journal, notebook - it's all about organisation... and other blogs

I've developed a strange obsession with journals and notebooks in the last week. I've always had a weird love of the things but I think this odd love peaked on Friday when I found a use for 4 previously unused notebooks in half an hour. Now I have a big pile of the things.

I already had one journal, for writing everyday thoughts in and just generally rambling and exploring my thoughts, a turquoise number with magnetic clasp and holes cut out with bright yellow fabric underneath that I got for £30 from Warehouse, pretty pricey but it's held up ridiculously well all things considered. I got it in May and began using it pretty much instantly. Before I was never much for keeping a diary, always losing interest after a few weeks. But I've been writing in my journal now at least once a week for the last 4 months. Nice to see I can stick with something. Now though, in the space of a weekend I've acquired two more. One is a writing journal, where I explore everything writing related, particularly for Geniania. It's basically where I jot down thoughts on stuff I need to research, carry out writing exercises and other writing related things. The other is my art journal. I only started it yesterday and it's basically where I do doodles and sketches and other artsy things, whether it's trying out a technique or sketching out that picture I've gotten stuck in my head. I already had a sketchbook but it's a bit too big to be carting everywhere. These two are roughly A-5, both plain black, (one with faux suede on the cover and the other with a strange smooth pleather type stuff) and can fit in most of my handbags, at least the ones I use during the day anyway which is when I would use a sketchbook or journal.

Then there's my notebooks. I had just the one originally, a black Moleskine notebook that was pretty cheap (you can find it and other notebooks here. I have to admit the colour a month planner is looking very tempting) and I used it to set myself tasks for the day. I'd also just down quick lists of things I needed to do. It's where I wrote my monthly targets too as well as points of research. It was, and still is, my all-duty notebook that I find myself doodling in a bit more then I should. Then I thought.. you know what I need somewhere to put those little lists that are just a bit general. So I found a little slim notebook and turned that into my 'Little Book of Lists'. It's a tiny Oxford A-5 notebook that fits easily into any bag I own so it can go everywhere with me, just like the Moleskine. Finally there's the stripey jotter notebook where I write down any interesting suggestions and creative exercises that can help with my writing. It's pretty basic and I used to use it for lectures about my creative writing dissertation so it only seemed fitting that I use it for notes on the creative writing process. Another one that I forgot to include in the picture is my page layout notebook. It's basically white with about 4 signatures of A-4 folded in half. I hope to one day use notebooks that I've bound myself but finding lined paper in the right dimensions and sizes is proving to be tricky. I have this feeling sometimes that what a person writes in says a fair bit about them. As does what they write/how they write it. I plan to explore that in a later blog though.

In other news I've been reading the blog of a remarkably artistic person who lives in Tuscany, Italy. She binds the most beautiful journals and includes numerous tutorials and illustrations. It's thanks to her that I can now understand how to create coptic stitch books. Her name is Linda Tieu and her blog is just full of ideas and thoughts. You can check it out here. I particularly like how she structures the week of blog posts, especially the creative progress/workspace pictures as well as her descriptions of current projects. Just reading it gets me in the mood to create and to share with readers my absolutely awfully cluttered workspace. I say workspace but I mean collection of shelves and the end of my bed.

I'll probably explore more of these thoughts in later posts, I think that this one's been pretty big for today, particularly given my knackered and hungover state.

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