Thursday Thoughts: Journals and Beauty Between the Pages

Thursday Thoughts: Journals and Beauty Between the Pages

Last week, my Thursday Thoughts blog focused on the kinds of resources that can help a struggling writer facing a creative drought, and I introduced you to just a few titles that I had personally received from friends and put to use. This week, I want to remind you of something, maybe something you haven’t really thought about lately. It’s something that I know I personally associate with an experience from my early youth. Remember your first day of school (I’m imagining back to elementary school) when the teacher would hand out textbooks? Every once in a while, our class would get lucky and be the first ones to use a set of new textbooks. Do you recall what that was like cracking open a brand new book, the sound of the fresh pages rustling, the new binder crackling a little from being creased and the smell — oh, the smell of freshly opened printed materials? Aah. I can’t be alone in this memory. Anyone else having flashbacks with me? No, just nerdy me?


There’s only one thing more lovely and that is a brand new journal or composition book.






Aah, beauty between the pages.  Oh, my journal’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June. Didn’t Robert Burns go on about that? Perhaps it was something else. (Oh, that’s right, this was what captured that flower fanpoet’s attention…) Back to my journalgasm…


Oh, the cool, soft, empty pages before you. And the feel of the cover under your fingertips, whatever the material — is it cloth, leather-bound, plush, or cold, heavy cardboard adorned with one of your favorite paintings, movies or wildbirds? Even before our words have hit the page, we can express ourselves by the kind of journal we choose.


And sometimes they are chosen for us. These can be the loveliest gifts of all, special gifts to serve as homes to words still unwritten but longed for, like the gorgeous journal I’m holding in my featured blog photo, made from a soft, delicate bamboo, and allowing me to feel at one with the elements when I bring it outdoors to write on my lanai and listen to the birds that surround. It was courtesy of one of my dearest writer friends a few years ago, and included the sweetest note, one I’ve never forgotten, encouraging me to find my voice again. I use that journal faithfully to do freestyle creative writing exercises I find in online word prompts and books like the ones I spotlighted last week.


I’ve also received some other more bold and bright, journals from friends and family, too, ones that have simply livened me up with their  hot hues and dazzling designs. Like this one (below), another gift from a very special friend.




What will inspire you and make you dive inside that new world that you’ve been dreaming about but have yet to put pen to paper to describe? What will compel you to take that leap deep into the pages? Will it be the bright flowers and bold birds on a journal like this one that make you want to reach out, snatch up that book and go hibernate in a hammock with a pen on the beach, scribbling away? Or maybe one that will push you more gently to sneak away, patrol the space and  find a quiet corner in a coffee shop where you can hover over the pages and confess all of your biggest fears, dreams, desires and regrets?




This is another awesome one (above) that a co-worker bought me one Christmas to inspire me, and it did. I ended up writing all of the poetry and even did some short story planning in it that led to my second book OUR SEASONS. So you never know exactly when or how a journal might inspire. I certainly never thought that when I began jotting down some poems within its pages that it might become thematic organically and a concept would be born out of totally random thoughts laid down on the page. Being the movie fan that I am though (especially of the classics), it’s no surprise that Katharine Hepburn would end up being so persuasive.


Then again, a journal doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to move you to want to open it, find a blank page and fill it. Even this can serve that purpose…




For those of you who journal now, where do you like to let your imagination spill onto the page?  Do you use your journal more for a personal release or as a place to explore your creativity through writing, art or both? Maybe you are jotting down poetry, song lyrics, short stories or using it as a confessional of sorts?   If you are already journaling regularly, hold it up for all to see. Share it with me – snap a photo of your journal cover and share through whatever platform you first spotted today’s blog topic.


Let me see those journals, scribblers. And if you are contemplating the start of this daily or weekly ritual, perhaps all of us here can inspire you to start. What role would you want your journal to serve for you? I’d love to hear from you. As always, thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.



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